Chris Christie Addresses Criticism for Missing a State Trooper’s Funeral

The cover of The Daily News on Tuesday showed the governor next to a headline, “Chris’ Dead Cop Diss.” Mr. Christie sent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Monday to the funeral for Trooper Sean Cullen, who died after being struck by a driver as he responded to a car fire. Mr. Christie in the meantime campaigned with Mr. Trump in Florida and North Carolina.

Chris Burgos, the president of the state troopers’ union, which has fought bitterly with Mr. Christie in court over public pensions, was sharply critical of the governor.

“We did not expect someone who has consistently shown disdain for law enforcement to pay his respects to the Cullen and State Police family,” Mr. Burgos said.

Since December, Mr. Christie has missed three funerals for officers from the state who died in accidents. He attended the funeral for a trooper who died in June, just before he began his campaign for president.

On the campaign trail on Monday, Mr. Christie got swept up in Mr. Trump’s attacks on Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, his chief rival in that state’s primary, whom he criticized for spending time out of state. Mr. Trump said Mr. Kasich spent more time in New Hampshire than Mr. Christie ahead of that state’s primary.

“I hated to do that, but I had to make my point,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Christie was also pictured at a rain-dampened hangar in Ohio next to Mr. Trump, who was holding an umbrella over himself.

On Super Tuesday, Mr. Christie was widely mocked online and on “Saturday Night Live” for his blank stare while standing behind Mr. Trump during a news conference.

Mr. Christie has said he is supporting Mr. Trump because he has the best chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, in the general election. Mr. Christie’s ratings at home have fallen further in polling since the endorsement.

“I think that what we see here is a guy — the governor — really attempting to ingratiate himself with Donald Trump doing everything he can including taking a political hit in his home state but still he’s getting wet, outside the umbrella,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University.

On Tuesday, an editorial in The Star-Ledger, one of the nine New Jersey newspapers that have called for Mr. Christie’s resignation, demanded that the governor repay the state for the cost of his state security detail while he was traveling on behalf of Mr. Trump. Also on Tuesday, Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City, a Democrat expected to run for governor in 2017, started a website calling on Mr. Christie to step down.

The governor said that he would not resign and that newspapers were just trying to find ways to stay relevant by printing scathing editorials. He also said that he would refocus on New Jersey.

“I’m going to do my job,” he said. “The people of New Jersey will see it and react to it, and I’ll do better.”

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