New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did not disappoint with his keynote speech at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, issuing an impassioned challenge to Republicans to start “taking our country back.” He received multiple standing ovations throughout his speech, reminding the world that he is a force to be reckoned in the political realm.
“This stage and this moment are very improbable for me,” Christie began. “A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.”
After beginning his keynote speech by talking about his parents and the lessons they have taught him, he then urged Republicans and conservatives to unite to save the United States of America.
“I believe we have become paralyzed, paralyzed by our desire to be loved,” Christie began.
“Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity were fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and the emotions of the times,” he continued. “Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to say and do what is easy and say ‘yes,’rather than to say ‘no’ when ‘no’ is what’s required.”
However, in recent years, Christie explained, “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 really tough issues. And unfortunately, we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it,” he added. “But tonight, I say enough…Tonight, we are going to choose respect over love. See, we are not afraid… We are taking our country back.”
Christie reminded his audience that “we are the United States of America” and argued that Republicans must show up on the good days and the bad days, the hard days and the easy days. “We must lead, the way our citizens live,” he added.
Christie also touted his accomplishments as governor of New Jersey as proof that GOP policies work — and will work again under a Mitt Romney presidency.
“They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years before I became governor. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit. But three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes,” he explained. “We did it.”
He also mentioned that his administration was able to take on public sector unions and reform a pension health benefit system that was doomed to bankruptcy, saving taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years.
“Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power,” he said of Democrats and President Obama.
He said that the Democrats’ policies have failed America, but called Romney the “leader” that America needs — the one that will tell the truth. Romney could be seen on camera watching Christie’s speech and applauding at various times throughout the address.
“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,” he said. “We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President.” At this, the audience got on their feet and cheered wildly.
He continued: “It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders back to the White House. America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.”
Surprisingly, a very large portion of Christie’s speech focused on what Romney and the GOP can do and very little on the failures of President Obama. But he did get in a quick jab or two.
“You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.”
Christie ended his speech by extending his hand to anyone who is willing to stand up fight for America’s future, saying it is “our time to answer history’s call”:
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, 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 for our children and our grandchildren. God bless you and God bless America.
As the final word of his speech rang out, the audience gave Christie a prolonged standing ovation.
Watch Christie’s GOP convention keynote speech via TheBlazeTV here: