Gov. Chris Christie is no stranger to town hall meetings or even tele-town hall meetings, and neither are New Jersey political reporters for that matter.
But for Christie’s latest town hall event in which the governor’s re-election team says 75,000 New Jersey households took part, the latter was omitted.
The governor, whose at least 110 town halls or tele-town halls had always been attached to Christie’s public schedule, hosted a statewide tele-town hall event Tuesday evening with friend and Senate lawmaker Joe Kyrillos (R-13). The event, however, was omitted from both his campaign and official governor’s schedule.
Campaign spokesman Kevin Roberts confirmed the tele-town hall was a campaign event but declined to say why the event was not added to Christie’s campaign schedule.
The event came just as the five-week mark approached since the last time New Jersey’s governor held a public appearance where he allowed reporters to ask questions.
About two weeks ago, PolitickerNJ noted Christie made at least 30 public appearances as governor and on the campaign trail, but not a single one allowed for a press avail. Since then, Christie has continued to hold public events but, like before, hasn’t had a press avail.
When asked two weeks ago if Christie had any press availabilities pending on the horizon or if the lack of them meant anything in particular or was just the result of a busy schedule, a Christie spokesman responded with the latter.
“Yes, it does mean something,” said governor spokesman Michael Drewniak.
“[It means] that he’s very busy day in and day out, splitting time between a re-election campaign and as chief executive of the state of New Jersey,” he said. “Schedules are tight and full and the days are long.”
Drewniak went on to say that any story on the lack of the governor’s public availability is “whiny” at best.
Christie hosted a tele-town hall meeting with Democratic mayor and state Sen. Brian Stack earlier this month and the Statehouse press corps was invited to listen in and report on the event.
Roberts didn’t immediately say whether additional tele-town hall events would be held between now and Nov. 5 and Drewniak indicated in an email that no public events with press avails are pending this week.