RNC 2012: Christie’s speech was better than the reviews it’s gotten

TAMPA — The consensus around here seems to be that Chris Christie might have been Tuesday’s keynote speaker, but Ann Romney stole the show from the New Jersey governor. I agree, and will have more thoughts on Mrs. Romney’s speech later. But Christie delivered exactly what I expected, and was quite good at doing so.

Christie built on a key theme developed earlier in the night by a series of Republican governors, most of them elected since Barack Obama entered the White House. Ohio’s John Kasich, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Nevada’s Brian Sandoval and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley talked about how they’d gotten their states’ finances on track without abandoning their conservative principles, and Christie offered maybe the most dramatic examples of that:

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.

“We did it” offered a clear contrast to the untested Obama promise from 2008, “Yes, we can,” and the examples of the kinds of tough decisions he and the other governors have made offered a clear contrast to the unfulfilled promise of the three and a half years of Obama’s presidency. What Obama has been unable to do — balance, or in most years even pass, the budget; reduce both current and future obligations on taxpayers; create better conditions for the private sector to flourish — they have done. And then they all took that thought to the next step: Mitt Romney can make it work, too.

Or, as Christie put it, “if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican governor, Washington is out of excuses.”

Christie has become a YouTube legend for the zingers he’s flung, off the cuff, at vocal detractors during public events. In a setting like a national convention, that opportunity wasn’t likely to present itself, and didn’t. (A few protesters were removed much earlier Tuesday evening for trying to shout down speakers from the rafters.)

But that fame hasn’t come strictly because he has a quick wit and sharp tongue. It’s because he packs principled truth into those one-liners, and he had several such moments Tuesday night:

  • “They believe in teacher’s unions. We believe in teachers.”
  • “You see, Mr. President, real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”

The delivery was a little rushed — Christie had to speed up toward the end to fit it all in before the networks cut away to local news at 11 — and it wasn’t quite the kind of performance that people will still be talking about even after Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney deliver their messages the next two evenings. But it had all the elements that remind us why Christie has become a conservative champion, and why 2012 is unlikely to be the high-water mark of his influence in the party.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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230 comments Add your comment

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 29th, 2012
12:22 pm

Dang liberal media at it again !!!!

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 29th, 2012
12:25 pm

(A few protesters were removed much earlier Tuesday evening for trying to shout down speakers from the rafters.)

And a couple people were removed for throwing nuts at a black women and shouting ” This is how we feed animals !!! ”

Guess they were surprised to see a black person at the Republican convention.

Artazia

August 29th, 2012
12:32 pm

Christie did exactly what the keynoter is supposed to do, energize the audience. I thought he did a magnificent job.

One of the post-speech critiquers, on PBS I believe, summed it up nicely. Mrs. Romney’s mission was to reach out to prospective voters, e.g. women, and Gov. Christie’s was to solidify the existing base. They both delivered in fine fashion.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
12:33 pm

Christie accepted the nomination a bit early, no? Four years early?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
12:34 pm

Mrs. Romney’s mission was to reach out to prospective voters….

To beg them to “PLEASE, LIKE MY HUSBAND!”

Thomas Heyward Jr

August 29th, 2012
12:39 pm

“With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.”
.
30 years huh?
Sounds like Ryan’s 27 year goal?
.

Sheeeesh.
You people will fall for anything.
.
It is funny though.

Cutty

August 29th, 2012
12:40 pm

Republicans believe in teachers? Lol. What a croc. Republicans believe that teachers and any other government worker is a leech that is taking money away from corporations. Just look at how teachers have been laid off in GA the last few years, while tax breaks were lavished on big business. Christie had a quote about always telling the truth as well, but even that was a lie. That’s why the media thinks his speech sucked, bc it wasn’t honest. Kyle can stay in bizarro world if he wants to. No word on the nut throwers who were kicked out either. Only some rafter yelling people that no one heard. What a hypocrite.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
12:42 pm

Which Christie?

“Fiscally Austere” Chris Christie Uses State Helicopter to Attend Son’s Baseball Game

That Christie?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 29th, 2012
12:46 pm

It will be no surprise that the libtards will pan a speech touting American values and beliefs.

Class of '98

August 29th, 2012
12:49 pm

Christie: “We need leaders more concerned with DOING something than BEING something.”

Amen.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
12:50 pm

It will be no surprise that the libtards will pan a speech touting American values and beliefs.…that was filled with half truths.

The Democratic legislature unanimously approved a teacher tenure reform package in June, and Christie signed it a few weeks ago. Except, for all of Christie’s fiery anti-union rhetoric, the bill was actually crafted with significant input from the state’s teachers union, which supported its passage. Again, Christie can claim some credit here for pushing the issue aggressively in the public square and making it a priority.

salon.com

What Christie Didn’t Tell You

Tom(Independent Viet Vet,USAF)

August 29th, 2012
12:52 pm

Finn – Are you on your work PC all day long, be careful someone might tell on you for wasting company time? But I almost forgot, that is what libs do, right? I wonder if we are going to have mindless protestors interrupting speakers at the DNC next week.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 29th, 2012
12:53 pm

Guess they were surprised to see a black person at the Republican convention.
——

Narrow-mindedness and willful ignorance will do that to a person.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
12:56 pm

Question for you Republicans:

If Romney wins the White House do you Republicans think Democrats in the Senate and House should acknowledge Romney accomplishment and work with him to craft legislation that will make this country a better place?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 29th, 2012
12:57 pm

Finn: What Christie Didn’t Tell You
——–

False. Christie made it clear that the things New Jersey has done were done through bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship is possible…with competent leadership.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
12:59 pm

Sorry, Tom, where I am in life is a place that allows me to not have to worry about getting “in trouble” for being on the Internet – at any time of day.

You get that from having a good upbringing, getting a good education, incessantly expanding your skill sets, and being an active contributor. (No, I didn’t build this thing all by myself)

Try it. Start with the skill set part.

emo

August 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

Doesn’t matter; I’m sure they were both preaching to only the choir.

southpaw

August 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

Cheesy Grits @12:25

And a couple people were removed for throwing nuts at a black women and shouting ” This is how we feed animals !!! ”

Guess they were surprised to see a black person at the Republican convention.
———————————————–
So the protesters, not the Republicans, are the ones who can’t distinguish between a black person and an animal. Gee…I wonder if the protesters have any political affiliation?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 29th, 2012
1:01 pm

Finn: Question for you Republicans
—–

Of course. Just as the Republican-led House has done, passing bills to reduce the deficit, create jobs, and reform entitlements.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

That’s right, Lil Barry, compromise is key.

If Democrats in the NJ house had acted like the obstructionist Republicans in DC, Christie would have had NOTHING to brag on.

a dad

August 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

Finn – ideally yes, but we both know that unless Romney’s legislation satisfies the liberal agenda that the Dems in the House will veto anything and everything they can, just life the Gop’s do now. elcome to Politics 101. Our biggest problem is how polarized this country had become, and how both sides espouse a my way or the highway approach. What amazes me though is I think the ast majority of the U.S population tends to be more middle ground, yet for some reason we can’t out forward a more moderate candidate and the best we can do is put forth extremists like the current selection.

@@

August 29th, 2012
1:03 pm

Christie: “I’m here to begin with this new era of truth telling.”

In his family? “My dad was just a passenger,” quipped Christie. “My mom was in the driver’s seat.”

“I AM my mother’s son!”

Here’s hoping male voters aren’t as whiny as the liberal women.

Behind every powerful man, there’s a strong woman.

Behind every whiny “Julia”…there’s a democrat president to rock her from cradle to grave.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
1:04 pm

2nd part of my question:

Or do you think they should approach Romney’s first piece of legislation by all members of the Democrat party voting NO on it? No questions asked – no debate – just FLAT no?

And then fight him tooth and nail on every single piece of legislation Romney and the Republicans introduce with the goal of making Romney a one term president?

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

August 29th, 2012
1:05 pm

I liked Christie’s speech but at the same time was expecting more. I thought Guiliana did a better job in 2008, but then again, they lost. I think some one has decided that they are starting to pull in front and they are scared to make a mistake and attack Obama needlessly.

As Trump said on the radio yesterday, you are dealing with a deceitful liar, who in previous campaigns has fought dirty and goes for the throat, when he can. He has dug up sealed divorce records, to get his opponents disqualified, and slimmed those, he couldn’t disqualify. We know he has already had his campaign imply that Romney caused a woman to die and called him a felon. What is next?

I agree with Trump, you can’t pull your punches against this Mistake; there are few limits or governors on his vile attacks.

Class of '98

August 29th, 2012
1:06 pm

Hey Kyle, you should do a column concerning the use of the term “inhuman” for Mitt Romney, as a column in the Washington Post calls him today.

Can you imagine if a conservative called Obama “inhuman”? My gosh, there would be riots in the streets.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
1:07 pm

a dad,
Obama’s signature bill – ACA – is based on Conservative plans. Trumpeted by Heritage Foundation and enacted by Mittens, himself.

How many Republican votes did he get? See, for Republicans it doesn’t have anything to do with “doing what’s best” for the people.

Interested Observer

August 29th, 2012
1:08 pm

Republicans always argue that tax cuts, cuts to government spending, and balanced budgets will unleash the economy and create jobs. How has that worked out in New Jersey? The unemployment rate has gone up since Christie took office. UP! Mr. Christie forgot to mention that:

“There’s one number New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie almost certainly won’t mention in his keynote speech Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention: 9.8 percent, his state’s current unemployment rate.

That dwarfs the troubling 8.3 percent national unemployment rate under President Barack Obama. And while the national rate has stayed relatively flat for the past five months, the Garden State’s has risen from 9 percent in March when its previous decline stopped.”

Read more at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/08/28/Why-Christie-Wont-Mention-NJs-Unemployment-Rate.aspx#UowIOKV15y4JVpBf.99

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

August 29th, 2012
1:09 pm

If Democrats in the NJ house had acted like the obstructionist Republicans in DC, Christie would have had NOTHING to brag on.

If our Mistake had leadership skills on the level of Gov Christie, he might not have all the problems he has working with the other side.

Class of '98

August 29th, 2012
1:09 pm

@@, good post. As others have pointed out, the Democrats want cradle-to-grave entitlements, but the hardest part is making it to the cradle.

Hillbilly D

August 29th, 2012
1:10 pm

Off topic:

Evidently the AJC has a new home page (at least the one I saw today is different). For whatever my opinion might count, I don’t like it. Requires more steps to navigate to where I want to get to than the old one.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

August 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

17 recently elected Republican Governors, faced with significant democrat representation in their state legislatures, are making progress in working with those on the other side and turning around those debt ridden states. It is called leadership, empathy, commitment, perseverance, and insistence that things are going t get done. It can happen, just not with our Mistake, he has none of those qualities.

Romney has demonstrated those characteristics by governing a state with few Republicans in positions of authority.

ODD OWL

August 29th, 2012
1:15 pm

Wingfield love freedom of speech for Republicans, but not so much for Democrats…. How do you tax cuts for the rich Republicans feel about the fact that the Romney/Ryan Republicans have dealt the race card from the bottom of the deck ???

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
1:16 pm

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 29th, 2012
1:19 pm

That’s just it, Finn–Christie led the way in crafting bipartisan solutions supported by both parties. Obozo can’t do that.

Obozo: “My way, the highway, or a fascist power grab on my part”.

Matz

August 29th, 2012
1:19 pm

My favorite Christ Christie quote (to a female reporter who had asked about jobs):

“You know, something may be going down tonight, but it ain’t going to be jobs, sweetheart.”

He’s a ’stand-up’ guy and wants everyone to know it. Gosh, don’t you hope he talks to YOUR daughter like that? Ahhh, the days when women knew their place. Vote GOP this November to take us back there!

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
1:19 pm

Rafe, that is just proof that it’s the Republican side of the aisle that is broken and has forgotten that Democracy is based on the art of compromise.

The lost children are going to implode in November after Big O wins by a landslide.

@@

August 29th, 2012
1:20 pm

How do you tax cuts for the rich Republicans feel about the fact that the Romney/Ryan Republicans have dealt the race card from the bottom of the deck ???

Chris Matthews went with ^^^ that one.

Newt Gingrich responded with “How racist must you be to assume that we’re talking about African Americans?”

Good comeback.

schnirt

ODD OWL

August 29th, 2012
1:22 pm

I had several of these paycheck to paycheck big house middle class Republicans down here in the south tell me that if Romney/Ryan is elected, they will bring back all the Jobs that the Romney type Republicans outsourced overseas over the last 20 years… What a hoot !!! Non rich Republicans are the most naive, gullible, ignoramuses to ever come down the pike… A pike that my enslaved ancestors built by the way… Most Americans are ignorant of that fact too…

kayaker 71

August 29th, 2012
1:27 pm

The GOP hierarchy is afraid of it’s own shadow. Christie should have held up page whatever of the Bozocare health care plan that says that over 700B in Medicare funds will be cut. He should have pointed out that we have not had significant growth in 4 years and that our unemployment is over 8% and has been for about 43 months. He should have pointed out that the person who is posing as president of this country is an incompetent buffoon. But, oh no, we might lose independents if we go that route. Someone in this liberal joke we call a media might just criticize us and we can’t have that, now can we. The GOP needs to grow a pair and call out this clown in government housing for what he is, nothing more than a Chicago thug with an agenda.

Centrist

August 29th, 2012
1:27 pm

Yahoo! Washington Bureau Chief and former political director with ABC News David Chalian got caught on an ABC webcast saying that Mitt Romney would be “happy to have a party when black people drown.” This is the grossly biased liberal media at work. An absolutely disgusting example of the politicized, non professional cancerous hacks spread throughout the mainstream media.

ragnar danneskjold

August 29th, 2012
1:28 pm

As is my practice, I elected to listen to the Braves rather than to politicians, but I had heard only positive reviews of Gov. Christie’s speech before our host’s essay. Sounds like all is going well at the convention.

Interested Observer

August 29th, 2012
1:28 pm

RE: “17 recently elected Republican Governors, faced with significant democrat representation in their state legislatures, are making progress…”

Congressional Republicans have refused to work with Obama on legislation that Republicans previously supported and/or campaigned on such as health care mandates, stimulus during economic recession, infrastructure spending, cap-and-trade, and even a grand bargain that would have cut deficits by $4 trillion dollars. They even voted against a deficit commission bill that they introduced and co-sponsored because President Obama embraced the idea. Even now, Republicans are running around the country complaining about the sequestration budget cuts that they themselves proposed and voted for.

Yet, some would have us believe that Republicans abandoned their own positions because of Obama’s poor leadership skills.?

No, Congressional Republicans are opposing President Obama at every turn, not because of policy differences and/or lack of leadership from the White House. They’re doing it because of politics. Their view is that any success for Obama hurts their chances of winning back the White House. So, they’ve done everything possible to thwart him. In response, members of their base make the false claim that Obama doesn’t have leadership skills rather than recognizing the fact that they are being conned.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 29th, 2012
1:30 pm

As others have pointed out, the Democrats want cradle-to-grave entitlements,

And Republicans want a society where the rich get richer.

And if you are poor. Too damn bad. You probably choose to be poor anyway.

JF McNamara

August 29th, 2012
1:32 pm

“Whose policies led us to the greatest recession since the great depression?”
We did it.

“Whose policies ran up a massive deficit over 8 years under the previous President?”
We did it.

“Whose policies led to wage stagnation, outsourcing and higher wealth concentration”
We did it.

“Who has sought to limit the rights of minorities, gays, and women?”
We did it.

“Who cut federal taxes but, unlike states who have mostly variable expenses, have hard obligations in defense, social security and medicare and led to soaring debt”
We did it.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 29th, 2012
1:34 pm

Yahoo! Washington Bureau Chief and former political director with ABC News David Chalian got caught on an ABC webcast saying that Mitt Romney would be “happy to have a party when black people drown.”

Hard to argue with him when things like this are going on at the convention.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19414600

Class of '98

August 29th, 2012
1:40 pm

When the rich get richer, everyone wins. The United States economy isn’t identical to a game of “Monopoly”. I know it’s a difficult concept, but you can grasp it if you really, really try.

Class of '98

August 29th, 2012
1:41 pm

““Whose policies led us to the greatest recession since the great depression?”
We did it.”

You mean like the primary contributing factor to the recession, which was the government-backing of shoddy mortgages by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? You can thank Democrats for that.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 29th, 2012
1:42 pm

year old hears his mothers voice for the first time.

D@mn science, d@mn you to he$$! This baby would still be in silence if we had taught these scientists only creationism!

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 29th, 2012
1:43 pm

You mean like the primary contributing factor to the recession, which was the government-backing of shoddy mortgages by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? You can thank Democrats for that.

Id say huge tax cuts for the rich while fighting two wars didn’t help either.

Just a hunch.

Matz

August 29th, 2012
1:44 pm

“When the rich get richer, everyone wins.”

Except for when they don’t. You know, like the people who LOSE their jobs, homes, medical coverage and retirement savings when their jobs are outsourced by their bosses who get richer by doing so. Then, you know, whole different story. Thanks for trying, though! Your own grasp of difficult concepts is really evolving. Don’t give up!