Speaking at the Reagan Library Tuesday evening, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a speech on "real American exceptionalism." While he did not directly answer the question of whether he would reconsider a presidential bid in 2012, he urged the audience of about 900 to view a post on Politico's website that pieced together an extensive series of video clips in which Christie says he's not running for president. Fans of the governor will likely be disappointed in his revelation, however it was delivered.
Fox News is reporting:
Chris Christie say he has finally made a definitive decision, once and for all, not to run for president in 2012, sources close to the New Jersey governor told Fox News on Tuesday.
Despite the intensity that has heightened in recent days as the New Jersey governor prepares to deliver a speech Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, several people close to the governor insist he has not changed his mind to forego a presidential bid.
During the speech, which of course focused on former President Ronald Reagan, Christie dedicated a portion to what he calls the divisive re-election strategy of President Barack Obama, and how that differs from the American exceptionalism embraced by Reagan.
In 2004, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama gave us a window into his vision for American leadership. He said, “Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us — the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of ‘anything goes.’ Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”
Now, seven years later, President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election. This is not a leadership style, this is a re-election strategy. Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others. Trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard. Insisting that we must tax and take and demonize those who have already achieved the American Dream. That may turn out to be a good re-election strategy for President Obama, but is a demoralizing message for America. What happened to State Senator Obama? When did he decide to become one of the “dividers” he spoke of so eloquently in 2004? There is, of course, a different choice.
Christie then said that, that choice was manifested in the way Reagan led the country in the 1980’s, citing the former president for stating: “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.”
"That is American exceptionalism," Christie stated firmly.
"Not a punch line in a political speech, but a vision followed by a set of principled actions that made us the envy of the world. Not a re-election strategy, but an American revitalization strategy."
Do you agree with Christie on the meaning of American exceptionalism?