Chris Christie Takes Back the Thing He Said Yesterday About Paying for His Helicopter Rides

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, attends the 15th Award Of Courage Corporation Gala Benefiting Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Christie; Photo: Joe Corrigan

It was only yesterday that New Jersey governor and miserly budget zealot Chris Christie was defying critics who wanted him to reimburse the state for using a police helicopter to ferry him to and from his son's high school baseball game:

"The governor does not reimburse for security and travel," a spokesman for the governor, Kevin Roberts, said in an e-mail message. "The use of air travel has been extremely limited and appropriate."

But Christie likely soon determined that saving a few thousand dollars wasn't worth the damage to his reputation, because today his office announced that the governor and the New Jersey Republican Party have agreed to pony up a combined $3,383.73 for Tuesday's air travel, as well as for a copter trip Christie took to another baseball game last Friday, which nobody knew about.

“As the chief of State Police said yesterday, the air travel didn’t cost taxpayers any additional dollars and fell under the protection unit’s normal security responsibilities,” [spokesperson Maria] Comella said. “But the governor understands the sensitivity about this kind of thing and believes he owes it to the public to ensure that this is not a distraction.”

Too late!

Gov. Christie reimburses N.J. for use of state helicopter to attend son's baseball games [Star-Ledger]