Gov. Christie Gives State Government 'A' for Effort During Blizzard (VIDEO)
The governor's signed a request for aid from FEMA in a public appearance in Freehold.
Gov. Chris Christie, speaking in Freehold Friday, signed an application for federal aid aimed at reimbursing municipalities for the expense of cleanup from this week's blizzard.
The application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency covers 13 counties, including Monmouth and Ocean, Christie said.
Christie, in his first public appearance since returning from a Florida vacation Thursday, thanked Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes, head of the State Police, and Department of Transportation head James S. Simpson for their work during the storm.
"This has been an extraordinary five days for them,'' Christie said.
The governor praised the state's planning and response to the storm.
"I would give the folks in New Jersey state government and county government an 'A' for the effort that they put in. We would probably get a 'B+' for results, in my view. We can always do better," Christie said.
Christie also thanked Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, a Democrat, for his role as acting Governor while he and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno were out of the state.
Christie -- who has faced stiff criticism for being absent while the state dug out from, in some places, more than two feet of snow -- called that criticism "carping and craziness'' and said it was nothing more than partisanship.
Lt. Gov. Guadagno, he said, had planned a vacation with her gravely ill father and that his Disney vacation was also planned far in advance.
"I was not going to rescind my daughters' Christmas gift,'' Christie said. "I believe my first responsibility is my responsibility as a husband and a father.''
Christie also said he was in near constant contact with his cabinet and the Acting Gov. Sweeney and on top of the situations as events developed.
"Believe me, my cellphone was ringing far more often than I would have preferred during a normal situation on a family vacation,'' he said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in the state Monday, Christie said, to assess the storm damage.
"Hopefully we will be able to move rapidly on the process of getting the damage assessment done and getting relief to municipalities," Christie said.