Chris Christie Awarded GOP Convention Keynote Speech — And Here’s What He Says He’ll Talk About
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Christie, the sometimes abrasive but always entertaining governor of New Jersey, is set to be announced Tuesday as the keynote speaker for the Republicans’ national convention later this month.
Christie, who considered a 2012 presidential bid of his own before endorsing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is already at work on his speech to the convention in Tampa, Fla. His record of cutting his state’s budget, curtailing public sector unions and dealing with a Democratic legislature with disarming and combative confidence all were expected to be on display as he looked to fire up his party’s base.
The scheduling decision was first reported online by USA Today early Tuesday and confirmed by Republican officials directly involved in convention planning. The Republican officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the formal announcement was not planned until later Tuesday.
“I’ll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we’re in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them,” Christie told USA Today in an interview announcing his speech. He said he will describe his experiences in New Jersey as evidence that “the American people are ready to confront those problems head-on and endure some sacrifice.”
The keynote speech is the highest profile spot for someone not accepting the party’s presidential or vice presidential nominations. The slot has launched many political figures, most notably a little-known state senator from Illinois named Barack Obama in 2004. Four years later, he won the White House.
Christie, already a favorite among fiscal conservatives for his tough talk and take-no-prisoners persona, will find a national introduction of sorts in Tampa and, perhaps, offer the opening steps toward a presidential run in 2016 if Romney loses, or in 2020. The 49-year-old former prosecutor has shown little sign of his influence waning, and he has left the door open for a White House run of his own.
Responding to a question about a 2016 presidential bid, Christie told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was “going to need a job” after 2013. He added, “So maybe it will be that. Who knows?”
Christie became the first Republican elected New Jersey governor in a dozen years when he defeated Democratic millionaire and ex-Wall Street executive Jon Corzine in 2009. Christie was among the most sought-after guest stars on the GOP speaking circuit and spent much of the recent years traipsing from Connecticut to Michigan and Illinois, appearing in Oregon and Minnesota to endorse fellow Republicans and elevating his own national profile.
Many in the party hoped he would mount a last-minute effort to get on the 2012 ballots. He weighed it and in October 2011 earned headlines when he declared with finality that “now is not my time” to run for president, dashing the hopes of Republicans still searching for someone other than then-front-runners Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Christie had insisted for months that he wouldn’t run. But then came an intense weekend of reconsideration before he made a firm announcement at a news conference at the New Jersey Statehouse. His decision effectively made the campaign between Romney and the rotating cast of anti-Romneys who rose and fell as each primary came and went.
In leaving the 2012 melee, he said he wasn’t seeking the job of vice president.
“I just don’t think I have the personality to be asked,” he said. “I’m not looking for that job.”
But, apparently, he wasn’t opposed to going to Tampa to deliver a speech that may rekindle buzz about his own presidential ambitions.
“It’s what I accomplish or don’t accomplish as governor that will be the springboard or not for me,” he told USA Today. “It’s not what you say but what you accomplish.”
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 509 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 460 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 443 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 324 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 323 Comments
- Ariz. Lawmaker Surprises Colleagues, Comes Out as an Atheist While Delivering Daily Prayer Read More
- This Is How Texas Politicians Are Fighting Against the Atheist-Led ‘War on Christmas’ Read More
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 253 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 146 Comments
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 116 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Car bomb kills 12 in southwest Pakistan
- LeBron, Heat dig deep to top Pacers in Game 1
- Bronx 'ghetto' tours stop amid residents' outrage
- For Philadelphia bicyclist, a cat is his co-pilot
- Vote on gay Scouts comes at emotional moment
- Obama to push for transparency in face of threats
- Youngest Okla. tornado victims remembered by kin
- Between economy and trouble, Obama approval steady