Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ruffled feathers when defending his return to the campaign trail Monday amid flooding on the Jersey Shore, saying, "You want me to go down there with a mop?"
The governor made the comment during a campaign event in New Hampshire. Now, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to send Christie an abundance of mops.
A page, entitled "Mops for Christie," has raised $255 toward its goal of $1,000. Created by Kiyle Osgood, the purpose of the fundraiser is to "join together by raising funds to Mop up the mess we have in Trenton. Funds will be used to send as many mops as possible to the Governer (sic) of New Jersey."
Christie left New Hampshire on Friday and returned to the Garden State as a massive blizzard dumped heavy snow on the East Coast, causing flooding along the shoreline that some said rivaled Superstorm Sandy. The blizzard flooded streets and homes in several southern Jersey Shore communities and left thousands without power.
The governor was back on the campaign trail by Monday, though he did return Tuesday to call for the state to take over administration of financially beleaguered Atlantic City.
During a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Monday, Christie took a question from a woman in the audience.
"Why are you here in New Hampshire campaigning instead of there, helping to survey the damages done by the coastal flooding from the storm?" she asked.
"Because it’s already done," Christie replied. "It’s already done. Tell me why you think it isn’t."
The woman told Christie her friends and family had sent her videos and pictures of flooding "all over the state."
"All over the state?" Christie replied. "Really? There’s been one county that’s flooded in the state. That was Cape May County. So I don’t know where from all over the state, since we have 21 counties, where that’s happened. Second, I don’t know what you expect me to do. You want me to go down there with a mop?"
The comment generated backlash and received criticism from North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, who said his town had been inundated.
During the same town hall meeting, Christie referred to Rosenello as "crazy mayor." The governor later apologized, saying he got carried away. Rosenello accepted the apology.
During a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey on Tuesday, Christie clarified his comments during the town hall meeting.
“But what I was objecting to both on Sunday and Monday and I object to today is any, any type of characterization of what happened in Jonas here to be anywhere near what happened in Sandy. I mean it’s not even close. It’s not even in the same ballpark … you know what I’ve said to the folks down there all along is we did our jobs and we’re going to continue to do our jobs.”