New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie disputed claims that climate change contributed to Superstorm Sandy during a ceremony Monday celebrating the rebuilt boardwalk in Lavallette, N.J.
"I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change," the governor told reporters. "But I would absolutely expect that that’s exactly what WNYC would say, because you know liberal public radio always has an agenda."
Christie's remark was in response to a question posed by WNYC/New Jersey Public Radio in which the governor was asked if the state had properly prepared such agencies as NJ Transit for climate change.
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When pressed further, Christie responded in his typical aggressive fashion, telling the NJPR reporter, "Since I disagree with the premise of your question I don’t feel like I have to answer the rest of it."
In late October, Sandy swept across the Northeast shoreline killing 182 people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage in the process.
Christie's stance appears to have shifted in recent years, having in the past gone against many in his party on the issue of climate change.
In 2011, the Republican governor called climate change "real," going on to say that "human activity plays a role in these changes."
"I can’t claim to fully understand all of this
," Christie said in July 2011. "Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts."
In his latest apparent shift to the right, Christie could be trying to court the GOP base for a likely 2016 presidential run, considering many conservatives view him as a Northeastern moderate who aided President Barack Obama in the last days of the 2012 election.
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Following Superstorm Sandy, Christie accompanied the president on a tour of the devastation, praising him
and in the eyes of many conservatives, aiding the Democratic president right before the election.
In contrast to Christie's assessment of what caused Superstorm Sandy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) came to a different conclusion.
"I think part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality, extreme weather is a reality, it is a reality that we are vulnerable
," Cuomo said two days after the storm, WNYC/NJPR reported.
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