On the first full day of the Republican National Convention, where Mitt Romney was formally chosen as the Republicans’ presidential nominee and Ann Romney gave a speech introducing her husband, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie was also thrust into the spotlight again. And he did not disappoint.
Given the prime keynote slot at the convention, Christie came out swinging on behalf of Mitt Romney and against the Democrats and President Barack Obama. His speech was full of the tough love and rhetorical bluster that had many pundits suggesting he might be a good fit for Romney’s VP choice, which eventually went to Rep. Paul Ryan.
Here are some highlights of Christie’s speech to the RNC.
Christie’s family story
Building a narrative, particularly a family narrative, will be an important theme for many speakers at the RNC, including Ryan and Romney. Ann Romney already set the table, describing her husband as a “good and decent man…warm and loving and patient” and saying Romney was “the man America needs.” Christie built on the family theme with his speech, discussing his upbringing as the son of an Irish father and Sicilian mother. He later broadened the theme, applying it to all Americans:
“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.”
Respect over love
True to his reputation as a tells-it-like-it-is politician, Christie accused government leaders of trying too hard to be loved, instead of making the tough decisions necessary to govern. “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,” he said.
The Democrats have failed
Christie drew a stark line between the policies that Republicans wish to implement and the policies that Democrats have put into place. He touted his successes as New Jersey’s governor, including balancing the state’s budget and reforming the pension and health benefit systems, while criticizing Democratic plans. “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,” he said. “Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.”
‘Romney will tell us the hard truths’
Christie drew a contrast between Democrats and Mitt Romney, saying that while the Democratic party would do anything and say anything to be loved and to stay in power, that Romney will be as brutally honest as he is in fixing what ails the United States.
“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.”
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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