Gov. Chris Christie said that, no matter the lingering criticism over people still not in their homes more than four years after Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey’s recovery from the 2012 storm will be “the proudest thing of my governorship.”

On ‘Ask the Governor,’ Christie spoke with a caller who said she and her neighbors had been bilked by a contractor. He said he didn’t want to minimize the issue, and promised the caller the Attorney General’s Office would contact her tomorrow, but that the recovery has gone well by and large.

“We’re talking about a multibillion dollar expenditure by the state – multibillion dollar, with federal funds and state funds. We’ve sent billions and billions of dollars to recover from the storm, and the state is recovered from the storm,” Christie said.

“I will tell you, the proudest thing of my governorship without question is going to be the recovery from Sandy, and no matter how many times I get these knuckleheads who don’t know anything saying, ‘Why didn’t you do more,’ I just keep pointing them to Louisiana and Mississippi,” he said. “Because we did it in less than half the time they did, and did it better than they did. And better than New York, by the way. A lot better than New York. Sorry, (Gov.) Andrew (Cuomo), but a lot better than New York.”

Last Friday, Christie signed a bill creating new mortgage foreclosure protections for people whose homes were impacted by Sandy. He did so despite expressing strong reservations about the bill, even questioning its legality.

Around 350,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by Sandy. There are still around 3,200 victims with incomplete home elevation and construction projects.

Christie said that while some people remain unhappy, thousands have been helped but their experiences don’t get publicity.

Christie said the mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi, told him it took 11 years to return to normal after Hurricane Katrina.

“We got their business back up and running. We got them back in their homes. They got the money to elevate their homes. They got money to make sure that their power is going to stay on and generators, all the rest of the stuff,” Christie said. “We have done an extraordinary job. But you’ll never get that from the haters in the media because that’s just the way they are.”

New Jersey: Decoded cuts through the cruft and gets to what matters in New Jersey news and politics. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at

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