Chris Christie’s Republican National Convention Keynote Address

   Bookmark and Share  After officially nominating Mitt Romney for President during the afternoon session of the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wrapped up the evening session with a keynote address that electrified the Tampa Times Forum Arena with a  clarion call to all Americans who believe our nation can do better (see video and complete text of the speech below this post).

In his speech, without mentioning any names, Christie masterfully addressed the shortcomings of President Obama and his policies.  At one point he described the President as having a desire to be loved that runs deeper than his desire to take on the tough issues.  “That’s what we need to do now.  Change polls through the power of our principles. Change polls through the strength of our convictions. Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth”, said Christie.He added; “Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice.  Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth”.

Christie’s address was an incredibly strong statement of conservative principles that made it clear that Americans can no longer standby and be satisfied with the status quo of politics-as-usual.  He cited multiple examples of his leadership in New Jersey that demonstrated how by touching the traditional third rails in politics, New Jersey was energized, not burned.

The New Jersey Governor’s well presented case was a little heavy (no pun intended) on himself and light on Mitt Romney.  While he spent most of the speech referring to himself on more than 30 occassions, he mentioned Mitt Romney about seven times.   Atill, Chrsitie helped set a tone for the coming weeks of the election that places Democrats on a losing playing field.

Full Text of Christie’s Speech

The Hon. Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey

Republican National Convention Keynote Address
August 28, 2012
This stage and this moment are very improbable for me. 

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans. 

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight. 

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother. 

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable. 

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer.  She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger.  Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives.  Dad grew up in poverty.  After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s.   With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.  Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing.  She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day.  And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings.  She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to.  She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish. 

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore. 

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old. 

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade. 

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth. 

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.  She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love. 

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership.   In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved. 

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times. 

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path. 

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues.  And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough. 

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.  

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid.  We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it. 

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey. 

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things. 

There were those who said it couldn’t be done.  The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow. 

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit.  Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes. 

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy. 

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful.  Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it. 

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice. 

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised. 

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth.  History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America. 

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats. 

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities.  Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government. 

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government. 

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them. 

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements. 

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren. 

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren.  So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election. 

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. 

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense. 

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children. 

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers. 

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles. 

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party. 

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing. 

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades,  a spiraling out of control deficit,  an education system that’s failing to compete in the world. 

It doesn’t matter how we got here.  There is enough blame to go around. 

What matters now is what we do. 

I know we can fix our problems. 

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results. 

The people have no patience for any other way. 

It’s simple. 

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses. 

Leadership delivers. 

Leadership counts. 

Leadership matters. 

We have this leader for America. 

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction.  And now he has a running mate who will do the same. 

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey. 

It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House. 

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real. 

This moment is real. 

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.  

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge. 

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo. 

I have faith in us.  

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history. 

There’s only one thing missing now.  Leadership.  It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. 

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls. 

That’s what we need to do now.  

Change polls through the power of our principles. 

Change polls through the strength of our convictions. 

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth. 

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation. 

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world. 

Now it’s our time to answer history’s call. 

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we. 

What will our children and grandchildren say of us?  Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century. 

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. 

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one. 

This is the American way. 

We have never been victims of destiny. 

We have always been masters of our own. 

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you. 

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you. 

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling. 

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us. 

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States. 

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness. 

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Republicans Release Tuesday’s Convention Schedule and Make “We Built It” the Night’s Theme

   Bookmark and Share  Promising that Tuesday’s convention theme “will honor the fact that it is the drive, determination and sacrifice of America’s job creators and millions of hard-working American men and women who made the United States the exceptional nation it is,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today announced that Tuesday’s theme for the 2012 Republican National Convention will be “We Built It.”

At a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia, last month, President Obama declared, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”  Priebus said that Tuesday’s convention proceedings “will remind America that we are a nation made great not by Washington but by the men and women who summoned the inner drive, discipline and persistent effort to achieve their dreams within the free enterprise system.”

Convention CEO William Harris said, “Tuesday’s program will highlight America’s entrepreneurial strength and our people’s incomparable work ethic.” 

Hammering the “We Built It” theme home will be a slew of speakers who have been doing their best to make sure that government gets out of the way of the American people’s entrepreneurial strength and incomparable work ethic.  Those speakers include the Mayor of Saratoga Springs Utah, Mia Love, New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, and a preponderance of conservative governors including Ohio’s John Kasich, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, and New Mexico’s Susana Martiniez.  The highlight of the night will be the delivery of the convention keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie(see the Tuesday night schedule below this post)

One of the most watched speakers of the night will be Rick Santorum.

Santorum, who ran against Romney for the Republican presidential nomination is one of Romney’s few former 2012 opponents who has been given center stage at the convention and what he says could go a long way in solidifying the support for Romney from among the social conservatives who supported him and remain reluctant of Romney.  Santorum’s speech will also be watch  intensely by the liberal propagandists like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, all the personalities at Current TV, and most the personalities at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC.  They will be chomping at the bit to exploit Santorum’s defense of life, liberty and traditional family values.

Tuesday night’s schedule of speakers could prove to be the strongest slate of orators of the entire convention.  While Chris Christie will offer a keynote address that promises demolish the reputation and record of the Obama-Biden Administration and capture the essence of the Republican vision for our nation, other convention orators such as Susana Martinez and John  Kasich will prove to be powerful voices and their speeches will probably earn them a place on the list of future potential presidential contenders.

Saratoga Springs, Utah Republican Mayor Mia Love

One of the most interesting speeches of the night will be given by Mia Love, a African-American Republican woman and Mayor of SaratogaSprings, Utah and a 2012 candidate for Congress who is challenging six-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.  She will be introduced with a video that highlights her personal story and tenure as mayor of Saratoga Springs before her speech.According to Love “The message I want to convey is that Barack Obama has accelerated this country into a downward spiral and that the only way there’s any hope of getting out of this is electing Mitt Romney, so I’m hoping everyone is inspired and ready to go out and do whatever they can to help Mitt Romney and  Paul Ryan get elected.”Love’s coveted Tuesday night primetime speech comes after Monday night’s prime time speaking engagement by another another African-American, former congressman Artur Davis, a Democrat who has become so disappointed in and dissatisfied with President Obama and his Party that he is now a Republican.Love has the early speaking spot Tuesday evening. She will be introduced with a video that highlights her personal story and tenure as mayor of Saratoga Springs before her speech.  Love, who is challenging six-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, will address the GOP gathering in Tampa on the evening of Aug. 28, a coveted prime-time slot for the candidate who has been billed as a rising Republican star.

Adding to the strength of the speaks will be the power behind Tuesday night’s theme as articulated in the phrase “We Built IT”.

It’s a theme that stems from a statement made by President Obama when speaking without a teleprompter at a campaign event in Virginia last month. At the event, President Obama infamously went into an rant that claimed American’s didn’t build their own businesses and suggested that entrepreneurs owe their success to the government and that the government was the driving force behind their businesses.

The Obama campaign quickly tried to claim that the President’s remarks were taken out of context, however his statements were eerily similar to those made several months earlier by Elizabeth Warren, the liberal nominee for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts who is locked in a tight race against Senator Scott Brown.  In a campaign event of her own, Warren, who President Obama is a fan of and was once a Special Assistant to the President,  made the same claims that the President seemingly paraphrased.  (See Video below)

The remark has helped to shed a bright light on the antithetically American ideology embraced by the left and President Obama and Republicans intend to capitalize on it in a way that focusses on the Republican principles which support an ideology that believes it is the people who are the driving force behind our government and not the government that is the driving force behind the people.

GOPElephantRight.jpg GOP Elephant Right image by kempite Stars01.gif picture by kempiteGOPElephantLeft.jpg GOP Elephant Left image by kempite

Tuesday Convention Schedule

As part of its “convention without walls” program to make the convention open and accessible to people across the country, Republican officials also released today the convention schedule for Tuesday, August 28 through the convention’s mobile app – Tampa 2012 (http://connect.gopconvention2012.com).  Tuesday’s schedule includes the keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

7:30 p.m. :        Convention convenes

  • Presentation of Colors
  •  Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem sung by Philip Alongi
  • Invocation
  • Video
  • Remarks by Janine Turner
  • Video and remarks by Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, UT), U.S.
  • congressional candidate
  • Remarks by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
  • Segment to be announced
  • Remarks by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), accompanied by Jack Gilchrist
  • Remarks by Governor John Kasich (OH)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Mary Fallin (OK)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), accompanied by Bev Gray
  • Video
  • Segment to be announced
  • Remarks by Governor Bobby Jindal (LA)
  • Videos
  • Remarks by Sher Valenzuela (small business owner, candidate for DE Lt. Governor)
  • Remarks by Governor Susana Martinez (NM)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Chris Christie (NJ)
  • Benediction and adjournment

Bookmark and Share

The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.  In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.  Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.  Why jump in front of a train wreck?  Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.  Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.  Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.  The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.  Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.  He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.  If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.  But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.  Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.  However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.  Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.  While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.  Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.  But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.  Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.  Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.  Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.  We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.  There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.  In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.  That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.  However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.  Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.  He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.  Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.  As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.  Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.  But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.  And there are a few to choose from.  Rubio would lock of Florida.  Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.  Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.  Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.  Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

The Herd: A Look at The Republican Veepstakes. Today’s Potential Nominee — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at House majority leader, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Born: September 6, 1962 (age 47), Newark, New Jersey

Spouse(s): Mary Pat Christie

Children : Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget.

Residence : Mendham Township, New Jersey

Alma mater: University of Delaware, Seton Hall Law School

Religion: Roman Catholic

Profession: Attorney

(Click here for Christie’s White House 2012 page)

Governor Christie decided not to run for President in part because he felt that this was not his time and also because he wants to see through with his committment to the people of New Jersey who elected him three years ago. Logic would dictate that those same reasons would apply to accepting a spot on the presidential ticket as Vice President. But stranger things have happened and if Christie seems to be the magic elixir for an apprehensive electorate that wants a strong fiscal conservative who seemingly stands up to the establishment, then the pressure to run will be put on Christie. In the end I still don’t see him being nominated for Vice President by Romney nor do I see Christie accepting the nomination if Romney did pick him. Besides, it should also be noted that even if he were on the ticket, Christie is unlikely to have the ability to deliver New Jersey’s electoral votes to Romney.

But for reasons that are obvious, he will be at least said to be on the short list.

Christie’s popularity among conservatives nationally is high.  His say it like it is, shoot from the hit approach to the tough issues is something that many people find refreshing in politics and those who see it that way like Chris Christie a lot.  But those who do not see it that way find Christie to be a blowhard and a bully.  Those on the right think the New Jersey Governor is a no-nonsense leader who is more concerned with getting government spending under control, lowering taxes, and as someone who would rather say “no” because because it’s proper public policy than say “yes” because its politically expedient.

On the other hand, those on the left see Christie as an insensitive, and abrasive thug who likes to call people names and is unconcerned with with the needs of working class Americans.

I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusion because if you’re on the left you will believe the latter and if you’re on the right you will believe the former and nothing I say will change your opinion.  But that might be just one of the reasons why Christie will not be on the presidential ticket.  He is a polarizing figure who you either love or hate and as such, it is hard to say which way independent voters will fall on Christie as a voting bloc, and that independent voting bloc is critical to winning the election in November.  If Christie proves to poll well with independent voters, and that somehow his number two spot on the ticket has the ability to win enough of them over to influence their voting Republican in key battleground states like Ohio and Florida, then Christie could be  a must for Romney.  But that is not very likely in 2012.

Pros:

  • His hard hitting, say it like it is, approach is viewed as politically courageous and refreshing.
  • He is far from what anyone can call a career politician
  • He has positive national name ID
  • Christie might be able to appeal to independent voters who like his blunt style
  • He would energize much of the conservative base and even some of the T.E.A. activists
  • He could make Joe Biden look like a comedic sidekick
  • Christie’s presence on the ticket could force the Obama-Biden campaign to invest more time and money in New Jersey, a state they anticipate winning easily

Cons:

  • He has only been in office for almost three years
  • Even if he is on the ticket, Christie may not even be able to carry New Jersey for Romney
  • Christie has not been fully vetted yet and under intense scrutiny his clean record may be tarnished by some minor political indiscretions
  • Conservatives leery of Romney will not appreciate what some may consider to be two Northeast Moderates on the ticket
  • Independents might tend to see Christie as too abrasive

My Assessment:

Christie is certainly a viable option. However his two most appealing qualities, his bluntness and his newness on the political stage, may just be the very same things that cause Mitt Romney to look elsewhere. That in addition to both men being known as Governors from the liberal Northeast, could make several other candidates from outside of the Northeast much more attractive to the Romney campaign. But Christie’s ability to inspire and energize the base might just be what Mitt Romney needs to help avoid any McCain-like voter apathy. In the end, I think Romney will pass on Christie and go for a running mate who is safer, lacks Christie’s confrontational political personality and who has a much stronger and more proven ability to win over independent voters.

Photobucket

Recent Key Votes

S 1 – Authorizes Same-Sex Marriage

Legislation (Conditional Veto)

Feb. 21, 2012

S 317 – Relating to Contractors

Legislation (Pocket Veto)

Jan. 17, 2012

More Key Votes

Photobucket

Chris Christie On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

Photobucket

Bookmark and Share

Chris Christie Introduces the Establishment’s Fear of Gingrich In To the Presidential Race

Bookmark and Share   In a Sunday morning interview with NBC’s David Gregory, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed to be doing his best to help establishment Republicans remain in the driving seat.  The interview with Christie consisted of a discussion about the results of South Carolina’s primary, which saw Christie’s prefered choice for President, Mitt Romney,  lose to Newt Gingrich. According to Christie those primary results  will not make that much of difference as the nomination battle rages.  According to the New Jersey Governor, one of the reason for that is because Newt Gingrich has “embarrassed” the Republican Party, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney never has.  He went on to claim that the former speaker just didn’t have the experience needed to be President.

But Christie’s remarks were based less on truth and more on an immediate need for Chris Christie to do his job as a surrogate for Romney and out of need for self-preservation.

Following Romney’s devastating loss to Gingrich in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Christie is apparently grabbing for straws as he searches for anything that he can throw at Newt and make stick.  But why?  What is the real reason behind Christie’s vitriol?

It is a simple fact that the establishment, or status quo,  of any institution naturally tries to preserve itself.  So it is only logical that in politics, the establishment of any Party will try to do the same.  It is the main reason why change, true change, is hard to come by in politics.  In the case of establishment Republicans, Newt Gingrich is the one realistic candidate remaining in the Republican nomination contest, who represents real change and as such, the establishment wing of the Party is not compelled to enthusiastically embrace his candidacy.  Going with Gingrich would cause them to risk losing the traditional perks that the system grants to the political powerbrokers and as an idea based reformer, Newt is a threat to the process, a process which is stacked against change.

But another political reality that the establishment is facing is the bigger electoral picture in 2012.

Establishment Republicans want not only to maintain the status quo of the political process, they want to increase their sphere of influence of that process.  That control comes about by increasing the number of Republicans who are elected to office……all elected offices.

When it comes to Chris Christie, that electoral concern is largely the main reason he came out and endorsed Mitt Romney for President.

While the focus right now is on the presidential race, in the next few months, elections for other offices will quickly consume some of that focus.  In 2012, control of the United States Senate is already beginning shape the presidential race and that is already playing out in New Jersey more than anywhere else in the nation.

Although there is little public interest in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race, the top of the ticket will make all the difference between winning and losing for Republicans.

Incumbent liberal Senator Bob Menendez is up for reelection to his second full term in the Senate.  He was first appointed to fill the vacancy that was created by then Senator Jon Corzine, who in 2005, became Governor.  In 2006, Menendez was subsequently elected to his first full term in the Senate.

Currently, Menendez is in decent political standing among New Jersey voters.  According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 45% of state voters believe to be re-elected while 38% believe otherwise.  And he beats a generic, unnamed Republican candidate by as much as 11%.

Typically, incumbents are in trouble if their reelect number are under 50%, but this is New Jersey, a state that brought Frank Lautenberg back to life, out of retirement and back in to the Senate where he does little more than keep his senate seast warm while he nods off in it. However, while the opportunity to pick Menendez off will be an uphill battle, the possibility does exist.  And therein lies Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for President.

In a state as blue as New Jersey, Mitt Romney can do relatively well.  While Newt Gingrich’s description of Romney as a Massachusetts moderate may work against Mitt in Peioria where conservatives can’t find anything too favorable about either Massachusetts or moderates, in Trenton, both are positive things which can only help Mitt among a Republican electorate which is generally slightly to the left of the national Party.   This becomes an even more important factor in New Jersey when it comes to defeating Bob Menendez.

Given Mitt’s perceived moderate image, he is expected to have much longer coattails than the more conservative, abrasive, hard-hitting, Southern Republican that is Newt Gingrich.  That conventional thinking is playing a critical role in New Jersey.

Although it is not official, Republicans are expected to nominate a longtime Republican State Senator by the name of Joe Kyrillos, for Bob Menendez’s Senate seat.  By New Jersey standards, Joe Kyrillos is considered a right of center Republican, but he is also the ultimate political insider.  In 1988 he became one of the state’s youngest members of the Assembly, where he served two consecutive terms and then promptly went to the State Senate where he remained since 1993.  Along the way, Kyrillos also spent some time as the state Party Chairman.

In addition to that, Joe Kyrillos happens to be a good friend of Chris Christie and served as Christie’s 2009  gubernatorial state campaign chairman.  Joe Kyrillos also coincidentally served as Mitt Romney’s presidential state campaign chairman in 2008.

This web of connections is all the evidence one needs to understand why Christie endorsed Romney and why he is now aggressively attacking Newt Gingrich.

But what Americans must begin to accept is that the circumstances which are forcing the establishment to rally around Mitt Romney in New Jersey are the same forces which will be forcing the establishment to rally around Romney and attack Newt Gingrich in many other states.   It is all being driven by self-preservation.  None of it is based on the issues, or reforms, or even beating Barack Obama.  It is based upon the establishment’s hope to maintain the status quo, something which can best be achieved by insuring that Mitt Romney defeats Newt Gingrich.

The good thing is that the establishment is not in good graces with a vast majority of the electorate that has taken on very anti-establishment attitudes.  This is one reason why despite the endorsement of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Romney lost to the anti-establishment candidate, Newt Gingrich.  In fact, to a large degree, the more incumbents that endorse Mitt Romney, the more the anti-establishment opposes Mitt Romney and supports  Newt Gingrich.

While those circumstances won’t help Newt Gingrich very much in a state like New Jersey, it will help him and the Republican tickets in a many other critical states.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich has the ability to tap into the anti-esatblishment sentiments that swept Republicans in to power in the House by historic proportions during the 2010 midterm elections.  That anti-establisment energy is minimal in New Jersey, where in 2011, state legislative elections did not produce any gains for New Jersey Republicans.

In 2012, to take control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans need to hold on to the 10 Republican Senate seats that are up for reelection and pick of 4 of the 23 Democrat seats that up for election.  At the moment Republican’s chances for success at taking the majority of senate seats are quite good.  So much so that it is even realistic to consider the chance that Republicans can actually pick up the 13 senate seats that would be required to meet the magic number of a filibuster proof 60 seat majority.

But in order for the G.O.P. to do either, a strong Republican ticket will be required.  The question is who will account for the strongest ticket?

The establishment assumes that a moderate candidate like Romney will do just that.  However; I am of the belief that a more radical, anti-establishment candidate will provide the strongest ticket and in states like Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin, tapping in to the same TEA Party-like energy that accounted for dozens of new Republicans getting elected to the House, will find that the chance to pick up each of the Democrat Senate seats up for grabs in those states will be enhanced by the “say no to the status quo” style of Newt Gingrich, far more than the “go along to get along style” of the “Massachusetts moderate”,  Mitt Romney.

Furthermore, in a state like New Jersey, where Chris Christie is hoping that his friend Joe Kyrillos can unseat Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, I am afraid that such a goal will be impossible regardless of who is at the top of the ticket, at least not with Joe Kyrillos as the standard bearer.

So what it comes down to is this.  Will Republicans be better off defending the status quo, or will they be better off staying the course that increased their numbers in 2010, when opposing the status quo proved to be the key to victory?

I believe I know the answer.  That is why I endorsed Newt Gingrich for President long ago.  Unfortunately Governor Christie does not agree.  Quite disappointingly, he is playing the role of political insider and pursing political self-preservation over proper public policy concerns.  And it is why he has chosen to go after Newt with guns blazing.

In his attempts to disqualify Newt Gingrich, he told NBC’s David Gregory that he thinks;

“Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time“, and explains “whether he’ll do it again in the future, I don’t know. But Gov. Romney never has.” 

Christie added;

“We all know the record. He was run out of the speakership by his own party. He was fined $300,000 for ethic violations. This is a guy who’s had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment to the Party.”

The saddest thing about those comments is Christie’s blatant attempt to support his political opinion with lies.

While it is true that Newt has never really taken the easy way out by simply  playing the political game in order to hold on to power, Christie is actually lying when he continues to promote the myth that Newt was fined $300, ooo.  The truth is that Newt paid for the investigation into one of 84 false accusation that his political opponents tried to burden Newt with.  In the end, all of the accusations were dismissed, but Newt was still stuck with a bill for the investigation of one charge which found that his lawyers had filed papers erroneously.

But Christie’s attempt to play the role of political hitman causes him to ignore these facts and that is quite disappointing.

Up to now, Chris Christie has been an impressive, hold no punches, play no games leader.  But apparently even he is not immune from the game of politics when it concerns his the interests of the status quo and his insider buddies.

Meanwhile, even though Newt may not be “safe” choice for the republican presidential nomination, he is the bold choice and I am willing to take bold new leadership over insider politics and tired old political games.  I want republicans to win and achieve real change, not to win and simply maintain the system that needs to be reformed.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Christie Shoring Up His Value as a Vice Presidential Running Mate

Bookmark and Share    In advance of the delivery of his second State of the State address, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie’s team has released a new web ad that credits him for having begun to turn the Garden State around.

It’s the type of stuff, that fits in well with any campaign’s desire to tap in to a similar theme for the nation and its economy, which much like New Jersey, is in desperate need of a comeback.  This is not to say that the ad is meant to establish the groundwork for a Chris Christie vice presidency.  Afterall, regardless of national politics, Chris Christie does need to make sure that his image in New Jersey remains one that will be worthy of reelection come 2013.

Either way, the web ad helps promote an image of Christie that can’t hurt either his chances for being picked as a vice presidential running mate or for eventually being reelected Governor.

Bookmark and Share

Newt Gingrich: Phoenix Rising or Leader Emeritus? Can Newt be the Next Frontrunner?

  Bookmark and Share  While Mitt Romney maintains a steady 25% in most Republican presidential polls, the polling numbers for other candidates have seen wide fluctuations that provide them with five minutes of fame in frontrunner status. That has been a phenomenon mainly to the desire of the G.O.P. base to find a viable alternative to Romney that they can get excited about. For a while that alternative was Mike Huckabee Mitch Daniels, and Donald Trump.  Then it was  Michele Bachmann, and soon after her it was Rick Perry.  When Perry stepped in and did not meet expectations, the enthusiasm shifted back towards the hope that a new name would jump in to the race.  Paul Ryan again declined and then Chris Christie spent an hour in a press conference convincing people that he was not running.  Soon after that, Herman Cain catapulted to the top.

At the moment, Cain still remains in the lead in several state and national polls, but it is a slim lead that seems to be slowly fading.  Meanwhile Romney stays mired in the mid twenties.

So what’s next?

Will Cain build on his lead?

It is possible but not very likely.

Herman Cain has had a few hiccups such as his contradictory remarks regarding abortion.  These bumps in Cain’s road to the White House have stalled his momentum a bit and it provides a little space for a new name to move up in the polls.  And while Cain can certainly recapture that momentum, he is still quite limited in the sense that he has not been able to coordinate any significant organizational strength on the ground in any of the early states.  Without such organizational strength, high poll numbers are in truth artificially inflated.  Coordination of an operational organization that keeps a close track on voters is the only way to insure that those high poll numbers translate in to actual votes.

But between now and when the first votes in Iowa take place, perception is the name of the game.  Voter perceptions will continue to be the driving force behind the polling numbers and if I am right, I believe that perceptions will soon find Cain being viewed in a much dimmer light and cause Newt Gingrich’s name to the forefront.

As Rick Perry focusses on tearing Romney down instead of building himself up, and as Herman Cain is forced to waste time correcting and explaining himself, candidates like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul will continue to look for opening that will let them get in to contention.  Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich has recently found his opening.  An average of polls as indicated by Real Clear Politics, shows that Newt Gingrich is practically tied with Ron Paul for third place.  Paul’s numbers are basically as high as they can go in a Republican primary or caucus.  That essentially leaves Newt as the candidate in third place and that ultimately gives Newt Gingrich the best chance to become America’s next new Top Model………….,  I mean candidate.

Up to now, Newt has been running g a low-key campaign.  That is mainly due to the fact that he has had no choice in the matter.  His fundraising has been relatively meager, many conservatives have not wanted to give Newt much of a chance because of his personal marital infidelities, and the establishment has not wanted to give Newt much consideration because of what they see as a general image problem that makes Newt unelectable.

But all that may change and Gingrich is ready to force that change upon voters.

Mitt Romney is eventually going to have to move in one direction or another.  He will have to break out of the mid-twenties and break in to the at least the low  to mid-thirties.  Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen until Romney wins a primary or caucus other than New Hampshire, where he is an obvious favorite.  Until Republicans who are apprehensive or unhappy with Romney have concrete reasons to resign themselves to an inevitability of Romney winning the nomination, they will either remain on the fence or commit themselves to another candidate.  Right now, Rick Perry, the candidate seen as having the most potential to be the alternative candidate,  is not picking up many votes and he is not having an impact on the 25% that Romney steadily maintains.

Perry also has many troubling hurdles.  While his Republican rivals will continue to chip away at his strong suit……..job creation, and hammer away at his unpopular illegal immigration positions, Perry is stuck with other problems.  He is not good on the stump.  Perry does not do well in unscripted environments.  Whenever he is left to his own devices, he fumbles and stumbles and does not portray the type of command of the issues and confidence that is necessary.   While in time, he may improve, right now there is little room for on the job campaign training.

As for the others, Herman Cain faces the same problem and I believe that he and his cornerstone 9-9-9 plan are not going to hold up to the scrutiny that comes with being a frontrunner for very long.  Ron Paul has hit his usual 8 to 14 percent ceiling of support, Bachmann will fight for her life and exhaust her resources in Iowa to compete for a stop spot and in the end, she might pull off a win in Iowa but that is becoming increasingly unlikely and even if she does take the Iowa caucuses, she will have little ability to translate that in to a victory in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada or any other contested races.

In regards to Rick Santorum, while he will campaign well, he has not demonstrated an ability to catch on with voters and without any significant money available to him, it is not possible for him to become a contender for the top spot.

This leaves Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson.

Johnson is just not a factor and will not be.  He is investing all his time and very limited resources in New Hampshire where he is counting on pulling off a miraculous upset victory over Mitt Romney and suddenly become the man to beat.  But that won’t happen.  Huntsman may be able to surprise many with a second place finish in the Granite State but that too is unlikely.  And regardless of how well he does, he will not gain the type of momentum from his New Hampshire finish that can  propel him to a top spot in South Carolina, Nevada, and/or Florida.

This leaves Newt Gingrich with multiple windows of opportunities to become the next best alternative to Mitt Romney and the next flavor of the month, or at least the week and he knows it.  He already believes that he has a chance to do well in New Hampshire, and states that Romney does not have a lock on that state’s primary. And he may be right.  That is why Gingrich is finally building an organization in New Hampshire.  More so than any of the other candidates, Newt has the potential to sneak up on Romney, a state which recent primary history has shown to be the scene of many surprises.  If Newt has the resources, he could take advantage of New Hampshire by pulling off a surprise second place showing.  That would be a great start to the firewall Newt has stated that he will build in South Carolina.  With a good showing in New Hampshire, Gingrich may be able to build what could more accurately be called a large sand dune in South Carolina, but not a firewall. Nonetheless, he can establish himself there and turn what is currently a campaign to talk about in passing, in to a campaign that grabs the headlines——positive headlines.

Leading up to the first nominating contests, in order for any of this to be possible, Newt can and must begin to take control of the agenda through successful strategic messaging.  By turning his numerous ideas in to the topics of discussion, he can quietly rise in the polls, as he has already been doing, but at a significantly faster rate.

If and when that happens it will be quite possible for Newt Gingrich to make his move and turn the nomination contest in to a two or three man race between himself, Mitt Romney and either Herman Cain or Rick Perry.  If that does occur, all bets are off because Newt can not be underestimated.  He is a man of superior intellect and his ideologically passion can be infectious among conservatives.   Add to that the undeniable fact that Newt is a  figure who has helped shape contemporary conservative thinking and what you have  is a candidate who in a mano y mano environment, will allow Newt to score many points and finally begin to tap in to all that is needed to unite critical factions of the electorate into a winning coalition of voters, a coalition that even includes the TEA Party.

While Newt is not considered a darling of the TEA movement he has the ability to tap into them and win them over. In New Hampshire he has already begun to tap in to the TEA Party.  He recently hired Andrew Hemingway, a Tea movement activist and former state chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, as his state campaign director.  In line with his potential TEA movement appeal, while Newt was once part of the establishment, he is far from an establishment thinker or player and that bodes well for him in an anti-establishment electorate.  When it comes to the conservative base of the Party, few true conservatives can turn their back on Newt if he positions himself as “the’ alternative to Romney.  Social conservatives may still put their noses up at Newt, but their vote may be end up being divided between players like Cain, Perry, Bachmann, and even Santorum.

Of course none of this is definite.  Newt has been reluctant to demonstrate a willingness to allow his campaign to operate in carefully structured environment, and while that may be refreshing and have a degree of popular appeal, it prevents Newt from avoiding pitfalls and from organizing the type of ground game that is needed to keep support once you get it.  However, as demonstrated by his new hires in New Hampshire and the opening of 5 offices in  New Hampshire, there are signs that he is resigning himself to the reality of the need to employ some type of  basic and traditional campaign structure.

All of this leads me to suspect that Newt is the next name to become the focus for the Republican presidential nomination.  The question is, will he have the ability and resources to keep his name at the top once he gets his turn, or will he fall back into the ashes like others have done?   The answer  will either start a new chapter for Newt as President or close the book on his political career and forever remain simply, the former Speaker of the House.

Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: