Failed presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie missed a funeral for a New Jersey State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty so he could emcee a Donald Trump campaign event in North Carolina on Monday.
New Jersey State Trooper Sean Cullen, 31, was accidentally struck by a motorist while responding to a car fire last week. Christie skipped Cullen’s funeral on Monday because he was too busy interviewing Donald Trump for an event in North Carolina, NJ.com reports.
This is the third funeral for a police officer killed in the line of duty that Christie has missed in order to hit the campaign trail. The governor’s office refused to comment on or answer questions pertaining to Christie’s attendance–or lack thereof–instead referring reporters to the Trump campaign for answers, NJ.com reports.
At least one top Republican lawmakers in New Jersey has said that Christie either needs to stop campaigning for Trump or quit his job.
“If he is going to go on the campaign trail with Donald Trump, he cannot continue to serve as our governor,” New Jersey Sen. Jennifer Beck, a Republican, said earlier this month. “The governorship of the state of New Jersey is more than a full-time job.”
Last week, Christie spent two days vacationing in Florida. NJ.com reported that it has been unable to confirm whether or not Christie stayed at Trump’s resort in south Florida. When asked directly about whether he stayed at a property owned by Trump while on vacation in the Sunshine State, Christie refused to answer the question.
Taxpayers have footed the bill for a lot of Christie’s campaign travel expenses, as the law enforcement officers who protect him at all times are paid with public funds. From January through September of 2015, taxpayers have shelled out $614,000 for security detail on the campaign trail. In 2015, Christie spent a total of 271 days on the road outside of his home state.New Jersey taxpayers have paid nearly $1.8 million for law enforcement to protect Christie during out-of-state travel since he first took office.
Christie’s decision to endorse the New York businessman was a significant change in tone from his earlier criticisms that Trump lacked the temperament to be president. Christie was widely and brutally mocked online after he half-heartedly introduced Trump at a press conference and then pathetically stood behind him, his eyes wide and expressionless, while Trump bragged about his primary victories.