by Kathleen McKinley | February 17, 2011 12:02 pm
In case you have been living under a rock, Chris Christie is the Republican Governor of New Jersey who is known for his blunt honesty. He had confronted the teacher union bosses in New Jersey, and he turned things around in a state that was in a fiscal crisis. He says the things most politician are afraid to speak……..the truth.
He is always mentioned as a Presidential candidate among conservatives. We simply love him. But he says he is not ready to run for President. Too bad for America. As Vice Chair of the Republican Governors Association, he spoke yesterday at the conservative American Enterprise Institute about America’s problems. 
“I think people are ready to hear the truth,” he said. “I really think it’s extraordinarily important for those of us who believe that our country is off on the wrong track to begin the conversation … about how we fix the problems that ail our states and our country in a direct and blunt way.”
An increasingly prominent conservative voice on the national stage, Christie today addressed issues like the long term stability of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as issues like government pension programs and the education system.
He cast himself as a “fighter” taking on President Obama, teachers’ unions and the ways of Washington.
Christie is not afraid to point fingers at the GOP as well as Democrats. He says both have lost their way. They care too much about the next election to govern with leadership. They avoid the hard decisions.
“The old playbook says: lie, deceive, obfuscate, make it to the next election,” he said. “Political strategy in Washington is all about waiting it out… These are hard things, but they’re not impossible to do.”
“If you ask for the responsibility of leadership, then you’ve got to deliver,” Christie continued. “There’s always some measure of risk in that. Always. But if you’re just here to mark time, then leave. There’s something else you can do.”
Christie spoke about the need for “a return to fiscal sanity,” and his take on the necessary reforms for the health benefit and pension systems, as well as the American education system.
“If you look at those three issues they are not, in and of themselves, Democratic or Republican issues,” he argued. “Each governor across America is confronting these same things that I’m confronting in New Jersey.”
Pointing to ominous statistics about the future of troubled entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Christie urged specific, immediate action.
“We have to fix Medicaid because it’s not only bankrupting the federal government, it’s bankrupting every state government,” he said.
He also argued for raising the retirement age for Social Security.
“When we say entitlement programs we should be specific,” he said.
“You’re gonna have to raise the retirement age for Social Security. Whoo hoo! I said it and I’m still standing here. I did not vaporize into the carpet. We have to reform Medicare… Once again, lightning didn’t strike!”
Taking a jab at President Obama, Christie argued that “investments” in technology and transportation were merely the “candy of American politics” – and not what the U.S. needs to salvage its economy.
“He thinks the ‘big things’ are high-speed rail, high-speed Internet access,” Christie said of Obama. “If we don’t fix the real big things, there are going to be no electric cars on the road… We’re not going to be able to care about the niceties of life, the investments that Washington wants to continue to make.”
“That’s not we need to be talking about,” Christie emphasized.
At CPAC, Ann Coulter predicted that if the GOP didn’t find a way to talk Chris Christi into running for President, we would nominate Mitt Romney, and we would lose.
I have a sinking feeling she may be right. Not because Romney wouldn’t be a great President, I think he would be. But just as last time, the media will be behind Obama 100% and Obama will still have the money he raked in last time. The 40% that vote Democrat no matter what, will vote Democrat. The 40% of the GOP that always vote GOP will as well. It’s that 20% that is swayed by media or personality that we have to have. It’s that 20% that would appreciate the honesty of Chris Christie. It’s that independent voter that understands that we are at a brink. If we don’t get our fiscal house in some sort of order, we will leave our children a much different America than the one we grew up in. We will continue with rising unemployment and increasing the size and scope of the government. Can this 20% be swayed by Mitt Romney? How can they trust that he will reduce the size of government if he was the one who imposed a health care mandate on his own state as Governor? This is how Romney has explained it:
“I’m not apologizing for it, I’m indicating that we went in one direction and there are other possible directions. I’d like to see states pursue their own ideas, see which ideas work best.”
Does that fly for you? Will it fly for the 20%?
What does he think of Obamacare?
“It’s a “very bad piece of legislation,” Romney said, siding with the federal judge who ruled it unconstitutional and wrote in his decision that “it is difficult to imagine that a nation which began…as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.”
“That was the whole idea of our federal democracy, we’d have people be able to try different ideas state to state but what we did not do was say that the federal government can make its choice and impose it on all of the states. That is one of the reasons why this bill is unconstitutional,” Romney said.
Does that work for you? I hope it does, because that will be his mantra as he moves forward on health care. He is simply saying that he felt this was what was needed or wanted in his state, but that the federal government should never tell states what to do. He believes in a state by state solution.
Another problem for Mitt? The whole mandate thing in Massachusett didn’t work out that well.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Romney has great things going for him. He has run his own business, a very successful business, and we really need people in the White House and Congress who understand the private sector. He has money and organization. He is well educated, goodlooking, personable, with a beautiful family. Yes, he is Mormon, but I don’t think that is the issue the media makes it out to be. I don’t think it matters at all to most of us. He seems to be a very good man. All of these things are important. I just feel that in this place and time we need something less polished and more down to earth. We need someone that we don’t feel is talking down to us (as Obama does), but speaking right at us, in an honest forthright way.
No one does that better than Chris Christie. He doesn’t look like a slick politician. He looks like your next door neighbor. But what I love most about Christi is that he isn’t afraid to stand up to power, and he isn’t afraid to say things that we need to hear. He took a state that was staring into economic doom, and he built a bipartisan consensus to scale back government. He cut more than $2 billion from last year’s budget and has proposed much deeper cuts for this year. He signed pension reform. He proposed a 2.5 percent cap on property taxes hikes and new rules for union negotiations.
Christie’s first state budget is looking good after six months, with revenue collections beating estimates by nearly 5 percent heading into the second half of the fiscal year.
He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.
He says what he means, and he means what he says. When was the last time we had a politician or a leader like that???
Christie is doing what needs to be done in New Jersey, and what we need to be done in D.C. We need someone who is willing to make the hard decisions.
Christie says he is not running. He says he isn’t ready. Maybe he isn’t. But we are ready for him.
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