On Tuesday evening, Twitter-ers (along with just about everyone else) were humming with references to "Coptergate," the newly minted name for the controversy over
Christie's far from the first governor to come under criticism for use of the taxpayer-funded state police helicopter, which a spokesman said is "a means of transportation that is occasionally used as the schedule demands." (In this case, Christie had a meeting with a group trying to convince him to run for president).The Wall Street Journal notes former Gov. Jim McGreevey was criticized for using the state helicopter 277 times in his first year in office, but cut back later on. Former Gov. Christie Whitman took the state helicopter to attend a Devils-Rangers playoff hockey game in 1997, but later said she would reimburse the state.
But since Christie has based so much of his campaign and then governorship on the message of fiscal responsibility and fairness to taxpayers, some are saying it's a particularly large gaff.
New Jersey 101.5-FM's Eric Scott told Fox's "Good Day" on Wednesday he's surprised no adviser told Christie: "These helicopters aren't invisible. Maybe we shouldn't do this?"
Here are some of the Twitter posts that stood out:
1. Lons tweeted:
"NJ Governor Christie takes State Helicopter to his son's baseball game...Well the Harrier Jet is in the shop, people!"
2. bluejersey tweeted:
"I'm on a chopper, I'm on a chopper. Everybody look at me. Cause I'm riding on a chopper."
3. michaelroston tweeted:
"Gov. Chris Christie, helicopter parent"
5. KateEsq tweeted:
"If Corzine had taken a state copter to a private function, he would've had the decency to pick up the tab. Will Christie?"
What do you think? Was it reasonable for the governor to use the helicopter?