Christie Defends Post-Sandy Tourism Ads

NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) -

Gov. Chris Christie defended on Tuesday tourism ads the state is running in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, accusing his Democratic gubernatorial opponent of supporting the ads because they would help him politically.

During an appearance on the North Wildwood boardwalk, Christie said the ads were never meant to imply that the state has fully recovered from the Oct. 29 storm. But he said the shore has made remarkable progress since then.

Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie’s opponent in the November gubernatorial election, is airing an online campaign ad featuring storm victims telling how their lives have still not gotten back to normal.

When a reporter asked about critics of the “Stronger Than The Storm” tourism ads, Christie shot back, “What would they have us do, go into the fetal position? I’ve never said everything’s all right.”

Christie has said his ads were crucial to convincing potential vacationers making their summer plans that the entire Jersey shore was not destroyed. Tourism, he said, is a nearly $40-billion industry in the state.