Six New Jersey newspapers are calling on Gov. Chris Christie to resign "for the good of the state," citing his "arrogance," "long neglect of the state," and endorsement of Donald Trump for president.
The papers, which made the demand in an editorial published Tuesday, are the Asbury Park Press, Home News Tribune, Courier News, Cherry Hill Courier-Post, Daily Journal, and Morristown Daily Record, reportsThe Huffington Post.
The editorial calls the former Republican presidential hopeful "an embarrassment" and "an utter disgrace."
"We're fed up with Gov. Chris Christie's arrogance," it reads.
"We're fed up with his opportunism. We're fed up with his hypocrisy. We're fed up with his sarcasm. We're fed up with his long neglect of the state to pursue his own selfish agenda.
"We're disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him, calling him unqualified by temperament and experience to be president. And we're fed up with his continuing travel out of state on New Jersey's dime, stumping for Trump, after finally abandoning his own presidential campaign."
The editorial notes that Christie has been largely unavailable to the media since the 2013 "Bridgegate" incident, in which two of his allies have been accused of ordering the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York as retaliation toward a Christie adversary.
In a news conference Monday, one of his rare interactions with the media, Christie refused to answer any questions he deemed "off topic," giving "because I don't want to" as his reason. The governor "spent 261 full or partial days" outside the state last year, the editorial adds.
If Christie does not step down, voters should initiate a recall drive, the editorial states.
Christie ended his presidential campaign February 10, then endorsed Trump last week. Christie stood behind Trump as the businessman gave a victory speech in Florida last night after winning several Super Tuesday primaries. The governor wore a dazed expression, which has been the subject of much lampooning on social media.
In his two terms as governor, Christie has had a mixed record on LGBT issues. In 2012 he vetoed a marriage equality bill, and equal marriage rights came to New Jersey only a year and a half later, after Christie's administration grudgingly ceased defending the state's same-sex marriage ban in court. In 2014 and 2015 he vetoed bills that would have made it easier for transgender New Jersey residents to update their legal documents; he cited the possibility of fraud as the reason for his veto.
In 2013, however, he signed a bill barring state-licensed professionals from subjecting minors to so-called ex-gay therapy, making New Jersey the second state to do so, after California. Oregon and Illinois have since enacted similar laws, as have two cities, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati. During his presidential campaign, he also differed from most Republicans by opposing the concept of "religious liberty" legislation that would allow anti-LGBT discrimination.