Yesterday, the gov claimed that his opponent in the gubernatorial election, Barbara Buono, was making a fat joke when she said this about his starring role in Jersey Shore tourism commercials: "I don't know about you, but seeing Chris Christie frolicking on the beach is not going to drive me to go to the Jersey Shore."
But today, speaking to a group of kids at a school on Long Beach Island, Christie said something that rung similar. A student asked him if he had ever surfed. He said no, but that he knew someone who could give him lessons.
"We're going to go to a deserted beach where no one can watch, because it won't be pretty," he said.
Was that a self-deprecating remark about his weight? Or was he just joking about being a bad surfer? And either way, if he can make jokes about no one wanting to see him on the beach -- why can't Buono?
Christie double-downed on his criticism of Buono's remark again today, at a news conference moments after the surfing comment.
"I'm not the least bit angry or upset about it," Christie said, but "I think it tells you a lot about that person" that she would make such a comment.
He invoked the shared struggles of other overweight New Jerseyans, and said he was in better shape than six months ago, when he had lap-band surgery.
"If you want to make an issue of my physical experience? Then have some guts stand up and say it," he said.
Then he made another joke: "if she wants to conduct herself that way in the campaign, that’s fine, I'll deal with it. I have broad shoulders -- broad other stuff, too."
The crowd of Long Beach Islanders gathered around laughed.