What's so funny about Christie at the beach?

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NJ Gov. Chris Christie shake hands with North Wildwood Mayor Bill Henfey during a visit to the North Wildwood Boardwalk. Aug.27, 2013 (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)

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.

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