Burned at the beach: Gov. Chris Christie photographed in the sun amid NJ government shutdown

Meanwhile, small-business owners and vacationers were outraged to have missed out on one of the summer's busiest and most lucrative beach weekends.
2:43 | 07/03/17

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Transcript for Burned at the beach: Gov. Chris Christie photographed in the sun amid NJ government shutdown
Sticking with politics, new Jersey governor Chris Christie is taking serious heat for going to the beach during his state's budget meltdown. His standoff shut down the government and closed state beaches. But the governor and his family had one stretch of state beach all to themselves, though it was closed to everyone else, and when he was confronted about sunning himself during the budget crisis, the governor doubled down. ABC's gio Benitez is at Jersey shore. Reporter: It's the ultimate summer bummer, a government shutdown closing state beaches up and down the Jersey shore. All 40 state parks are closed. Reporter: Closed, but not for governor Chris Christie, who had island beach state park all to himself this holiday weekend, basking with his family on acres of empty sand. The governor has a residence at island beach. Others don't. That's the way it goes. Run for governor and then you can have the residence. Reporter: Christie had told reporters his family was heading to the beach, but implied he was working hard to reopen government. Governor, you look like you got some sun? No, I didn't, Claude. But go ahead. I didn't get any sun today. Reporter: Problem is the local newspaper hired a plane to fly over island beach and snapped those pictures. When confronted, the governor's spokesman insisted governor Christie "Did not get any sun," because "He had a baseball cap on." But here on the Jersey shore, they're not buying it. On the front page of the Newark star ledger W that page and headline, governor soaks up sun in beachy clothes. When you see this picture, you're just? I just I think it's awful. It's just awful. That just shows he really doesn't care about the people. You voted for Christie twice? Twice. And now what do you think in seeing this picture? It shows a lot of arrogance I'm kind of embarrassed he's our governor, and I'm embarrassed I voted for him. Reporter: Even Christie's own lieutenant governor piling on. It's beyond words. It's insensitive to the people who can't use the park. Reporter: Christie is America's least popular governor, his approval rating -- just 15% still, today, he was defiant. Oh, my god. What a scandal. He actually was with his wife and his children. But governor, you can understand though why a lot of people are upset, they can't go to that beach they want to be able to do what you were doing and they can't. Well I'm sorry they're not the governor. Reporter: But spotted off the Jersey shore today -- this banner, tell governor Christie, get the hell off island state beach park. Gio, governor Christie spent the day in trenten, but will he head back to his beach house following that criticism? Reporter: Tom, we have been asking this question. His team will only say that he is in the state capital right now working on that state budget. They won't say if he is coming back here tonight. Tom? Gio Benitez on the Jersey shore. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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