Governor Christie on NBC Nightly News: The Jersey Shore Is The Soul Of New Jersey
Governor Christie on NBC Nightly News: The Jersey Shore Is The Soul Of New Jersey, 10-30-2012. (Transcript Below)
Brian Williams: Chris Christie the Governor of New Jersey today took an aerial tour of the coastline. He landed at several stops among them, Belmar the beachfront community where a lot of folks approached him. Many of them remember have just lost everything in this storm. And we have the Governor live with us tonight. Governor, I’ve heard you say you’re operating on two hours of sleep from last night so we’ll try to make this quick and painless. First of all let’s establish that what happened here; you can meet people from Kansas to Seattle who all share childhood memories of the Jersey shore. It’s kind of a universal truth. We’re dealing with the places of childhood memories for you and me and a whole lot of other places, boardwalks where we still take our families on summer weekends. Describe what you were able to see of what’s left from the air today.
Governor Christie: Brian it’s unthinkable. Let’s say this I flew over the Seaside Heights boardwalk today the roller coaster, the log floom ride, are in the ocean. The boardwalk in front of Lucky Leo’s, Brian, is gone, it is literally gone. The big sausage and peppers stand in the middle is gone. It’s gone, it’s off. You know, all of those iconic places that you and I knew as kids are gone. And you see that up and down the Jersey shore. Seaside Heights, towns in Long Beach Island that are underwater. It’s just unthinkable. Belmar, the entire boardwalk in Belmar is gone, and it’s two or three blocks up the side streets away from the beach. All you see is water and sand and debris where a boardwalk used to be.
Brian Williams: Oh it’s unbelievable. You’ve just named all these landmarks that I know so well from July and August weekends. So, here’s the question: are the rules of the game changing? The shoreline that used to be enough, and not just Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York is that not enough anymore. Are you on the precipice of a massive shoreline reconstruction? This is your summer economy. It’s part of the beating heart of New Jersey.
Governor Christie: Yeah, listen, we’re going to have to do an entire reexamination Brian because let me tell you the other thing you notice from Belmar, really Asbury Park, down to the end of Long Beach Island, the beach is gone. It’s gone. And you know, we’re going to have to reexamine how we deal with all of this now as we go through a period of rebuilding. I am committed to rebuilding. We’re gonna do it because as you said, it is not only the heart of our economy, it’s the soul of New Jersey. The Jersey shore is the soul of New Jersey. And we’re going to rebuild, but it’s going to take some time, and some effort, and some resilience, but those are all things that New Jerseyans have in abundance.
Brian Williams: So the Jersey shore that you and I knew long before it was a TV show, you think there is a way to fortify it while preserving it while keeping its essence as a kind of summer playground even though nature often proves that when nature bats last, nature wins?
Governor Christie: Yeah I think there is a way to do it Brian, but we’re gonna have to sit down and be smart about it because I saw in places like in Avalon where there were significant dunes that were built by the Army Corps of Engineers they did much, much better than some of the things that were done in the northern part of the shore, so one of the things I’m going to be talking to the President about tomorrow is bringing the Army Corps in immediately to talk to us about how’s the best way to rebuild the Jersey shore.
Brian Williams: And when people who don’t have interests on the Jersey Shore, have never visited, have no interests in seeing it make it, see this in a world of shrinking resources is it fair to ask why you? Why the money? Why the effort if this is the new normal?
Governor Christie: Well listen, it’s fair to ask it but I have the answer. The answer is that for New Jersey which gives so much to this country. By the way, fiftieth in return on our federal tax dollars, so New Jerseyans send more than any other state in America in federal tax getting back less. When that’s done and you see that our state is a state that needs this to contribute to our economy, and also to the soul and the vibrancy of our state, I think we have very good answers and arguments to make. And you can count on one thing–you’re looking at the guy who’s going to make those arguments.
Brian Williams: Governor, thank you very much after a long day and another long night. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, may see you over there tomorrow joining us from the command center there.
Governor Christie: Thank you
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