Christie visits Cape May in recovery tour

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 Christie visits Cape May in recovery tour Christie visits Cape May in recovery tour

CAPE MAY – With Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own” as his entrance anthem, Gov. Chris Christie walked Wednesday onto the Washington Street mall to greet more than 500 residents, business owners and visitors.

“I want to thank the mayor for welcoming me at a time when there’s not a hurricane or a blizzard,” said Christie. “Although I am starting to feel some raindrops. I hope it’s a beautiful day for all of you here – if not, hang in there. It will be beautiful tomorrow. Tomorrow is always beautiful in Cape May and it’s going to continue to be beautiful in New Jersey because of the work that all of you do.”

The open air rally drew a large crowd that continued to grow throughout Christie’s comments on efforts to support residents and businesses along the shore after last year’s Superstorm Sandy.

“When I walked around here in November of last year, I didn’t really know if New Jersey was going to have a summer – a summer where tourists would come back, where the beaches would be ready, where our businesses would be open to take care of these folks,” said Christie.

“Down here in Cape May, you all have been extraordinary in the way this resort has come back, and while this will not go down as the greatest summer in Cape May, it is a heck of a lot better than we thought it was going to be,” he said. 

Hand-lettered signs along the mall welcomed Christie and fronted most of the businesses. One member of the crowd held a sign that said, simply, “2016.”

Christie kept his remarks on the “Stronger than the Storm” message, emphasizing that help remained available for business owners still struggling for the after effects of Sandy. He was introduced by Mayor Ed Mahaney.

“Welcome to the nation’s oldest seashore resort and a national historic landmark city,” he said. “We are so pleased that so many of our residents, business people and visitors came here today to meet our leader.”

As Christie took the podium, an audience member shouted “We love you, Chris,” drawing laughter from the governor and the crowd.

“He sounds like my kind of guy,” said Christie.

Pat Scarpone of Clifton, waited out the crowd to hear Christie’s comments. He said he likes the governor because “he’s very direct.”

“It is clear where you stand, whether you agree with him on everything or not,” he said. “I’d rather have someone be on the blunt side than to try to snow me.”
Scarpone, who was on a three-day visit in Cape May, was staying at a nearby bed and breakfast. “I hadn’t been here before and it is lovely,” he said. “We parked when we got here and haven’t moved the car – we’ve been able to walk to everything we’ve wanted to do.”

Christie’s remarks to the crowd wrapped up shortly after noon, just as rain seemed imminent. He stayed in place to greet people who lined up to meet him.

West Cape May Mayor Pam Kaithern attended the event, as did members of the county freeholder board.

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