LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2015 — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is known for his blunt manner of speaking. He is New Jersey to the core, a label he wears as a badge of honor. In 2011, he was the keynote luncheon speaker at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum. He had the crowd roaring with approval when he asked of President Obama, “What the hell are we paying for?” Now in 2015, he addressed the RJC as a presidential candidate.
He was introduced by RJC member Jeff Fox. Christie thundered out of the gate, speaking in his trademark tough, hard-charging and highly emotional style.
Christie said that while he wanted to blame all of the weakening of America on Barack Obama, there were Republicans complicit in that weakening as well.
“We are in the midst of the next world war.”
His wife was two blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11. She walked through lower Manhattan to safety. Christie spent a great deal of time talking about 9/11. He had been hired by President George W. Bush as a United States attorney only one day earlier. Christie highlighted that he has the experience. Only one day after the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, Christie made it clear that the top priority is to keep Americans safe. He has worked very well with FBI Director James Comey.
Christie spent a large chunk of his speech not on his plans if elected, but on his credentials. He had dinner in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara Netanyahu. “Israel will never have a better friend than me.”
“There is not a moral equivalency with the conflict in the Middle East.”
“ISIS will be destroyed as an ideology and as a force around this world.”
Then he shifted tone. Gone was the bombast. Christie spoke in a calm, almost hushed tone.
He will put country first and the safety and security of Americans above all else.
Christie called the battle between security and civil liberties a “false debate.” He clearly explained and passionately defended the NSA metadata collection program, saying it was legal and constitutional.
He criticized Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for wanting more information on terrorists and less information on innocent citizens.
“How do you know?”
“Terrorists don’t wear sandwich boards saying, “I’m a terrorist.”
We do not need to wait for a tragedy. Tragedies have already happened in Paris and San Bernardino. The terrorists did not meet 15 minutes before the attacks at a Taco Bell. They carefully planned strategy months in advance.
Asked if the GOP has lost its compassion, Christie said what the GOP has lost is its ability and willingness to talk about the compassion. We have the compassion but are reticent to discuss it.
“It’s easy to be pro-life when they are in the womb. They haven’t done anything to disappoint us yet.”
“I am pro-life for the whole life no matter what mistakes you’ve made.”
“Sometimes, the harshest words are the most entertaining.” Those words “make us laugh.”
“When you’re a leader you need to be blunt and direct, but you need to know where the line is.”
“That’s not political correctness. I’ve never been accused of that.”
Christie proudly touted his appointment of a Muslim to a judicial seat, saying the man loved American law, not Sharia law.
He listed the top three global threats in order as radical Islam, Russia and China.
“Radical Islam is not a criticism of Islam. It’s a criticism of radical Islam.”
Using “soft language” as Hillary Clinton does make matters worse.
“This president has allowed Vladimir Putin out of his cage and he needs to be put back in.”
“We have a weak and feckless president who is unwilling to confront anyone other than Bibi Netanyahu.”
Christie knows how to toss out red meat. In 2011 he was the potential savior who felt it was not his time. Now in 2015 he is fighting the perception that 2011 was his time. The voters will decide that. The RJC attendees know that Chris Christie says what he means and means what he says