Chris Christie promotes honesty, courage at home and abroad

Chris Christie greets supporters after his speech in Athens on Friday. (AJC Photo / Brant Sanderlin)

Chris Christie greets supporters after his speech in Athens on Friday. (AJC Photo / Brant Sanderlin)

Chris Christie greets supporters after his speech in Athens on Friday. (AJC Photo / Brant Sanderlin)

“People say lots of things about me, good and bad. But no one will ever say, ‘I wonder what Chris Christie is thinking.'”

The New Jersey governor brought his reputation for honesty — and his not-quite-yet-a-campaign for 2016 — to Athens today, marking the unofficial opening to the state GOP convention. His speech before a few hundred Republicans, who arrived several hours before the official start to the convention and had to pay to enter the breakfast event, touched on themes we’ve heard before from him: his ability to win elections and govern conservatively in a deep-blue state, and his call for Americans to have a frank conversation about reforming entitlement spending.

Newer was the link he drew between entitlement reform and America’s foreign policy. Christie suggested politicians and pundits underestimate the American people’s willingness to make hard choices about both.

“I think all of you are not only ready for the truth” about hard choices, he said. “I think you’re hungry for the truth.”

Christie argued entitlements — which, he said, now consume 71 percent of federal spending, compared to 26 percent under JFK — prevent the federal government from making other choices, from cutting taxes to investing in infrastructure or defense. It was the latter that he emphasized in making the argument for maintaining peace through strength.

Holding firm positions, Christie said, “is not picking fights. It’s avoiding them.” He sharply criticized President Obama — and, often, his former secretary of state and would-be successor, Hillary Clinton — for a foreign policy that has left Mideast countries from Libya to Iraq “on fire” and which has left our allies not only threatened by the likes of ISIS but by Obama’s “timidity.”

“The only person this president is willing to stand up to, to talk tough to,” Christie said, is the prime minister of Israel.

Christie’s criticism of the Obama/Clinton approach to Russia was harsher still. “Seventy years of blood and treasure to keep Europe united and free” from the Nazis and then the Soviets, he said, was being squandered by the infamous “reset” with Moscow. He suggested NATO members such as Poland and the Baltic states may understandably be wondering if they are in fact “junior” members who wouldn’t be protected in the event of an attack. ” As in the Mideast, with Obama’s bluster about “red lines,” Christie said it goes back to the president’s unwillingness to be forthright with our allies and enemies alike.

“Vladimir Putin needs to know what Americans will put up with from him and what they will not put up with,” he said.

To those who question the cost of a robust foreign policy, he said Americans are now “bearing the burden” — another apparent reference to JFK — “of a chaotic world, out of control, without any sense of order, without any sense of security.” And, tying a strong foreign policy back to a strong economy and fiscal situation, Christie said “a secure and safe economy in the United States will lead to a secure and safe world, in every corner of the globe.”

All in all, it was a strong and well-received speech from a man who would start far behind other Republican presidential aspirants if opinion polls are correct. (His only allusion to running was a call for a conversation about the presidency that had “honesty and courage and goodness”; afterward, he said he would be letting everyone know his electoral intentions soon.)

The size and response of the crowd suggest there may be an opening for him to improve those numbers, at least in Georgia.

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30 comments
spirach2
spirach2

Wow.  The apparent ignorance level of both readers and columnists in GA is beyond belief.


The only people among whom Christie has a 'reputation for honesty' are ignorant morons who don't know the *tiniest* thing about him.

Among those who are *extremely* familiar with him, and his record as Governor --like myself-- he has a reputation as quite possibly the biggest liar in America.

  He began his political career with a blatant lie he was later forced by the courts to publicly retract.

  He took office as Governor with a *gigantic* lie he has flagrantly violated, in every possible way, every day for five years since then.

  He pledged to clean up the corruption of NJ politics; instead, he has shown himself to be FAR MORE corrupt than any previous governor, by a factor of a hundred.

  He is probably the biggest single criminal in the history of NJ,... and if you know anything about the history of NJ (and I'm sure you know nothing, just as you clearly know nothing about Christie), you recognize what a monumental achievement that is.

  He's a man who's recognized to be lying, by those who actually know him,  when they see his *lips* moving.

  He has run the state, from Day 1 of his term, like Tony Soprano ran the Essex County rackets, stealing from the  people he pretends to serve, in a thousand different ways --except that Big Chris is MUCH bigger criminal than Big Tone, or any real-life mobster, ever dreamed of being.


  If he was ever magically prosecuted for all the crimes he has committed against the people he's supposed to serve, he'd be in jail for a hundred thousand years.

  As it is, though he's only currently under investigation for a tiny fraction of those crimes, he is still quite likely (as you would understand if you *weren't* entirely ignorant of the relevant events) to eventually be indicted himself, as the complex investigative and legal process plays out, and in fact to end up in jail, as did Governor McDonnell before him.


  He is, quite literally, one of the great liars, criminals, and frauds, in all of America today.

  He's also, to boot, been a *disastrous* governor in every possible aspect one could look at.


  And idiots like you, who know NOTHING about the man, elect to praise him and offer him up to the people of GA as a legitimate candidate for President.


  The stupidity is truly mind-boggling.   It's just incredible. Congratulations. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Christie is absolutely right. The truth will not only set us free, but make us free in more ways than one. 

Steve13
Steve13

The only way that we will elect a Republican president is if the right-wing segment of the party doesn't stay home on election day because the Republican candidate is not conservative enough.  You folks elected Clinton and Obama twice.  Thanks.  Wouldn't those of you who stayed home agree that GHW Bush, McCain and Romney would have been better than who you helped elect?

coj
coj

Now, how many republican candidates for president beside Christie are facing criminal investigations? How many have been indicted? And how many are bat-guano crazy?

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

We need a President more concerned with upholding Our Constitution and running the federal government in a manner consistent with it and with running it in an efficient way.  Christie would be a good one for that mission.  The current slate of Democrats are more concerned with fomenting class and racial animosity, snarkiness, nerd prom cliquiness, bravely taking on the scourge of microagressions, and other moronic drivel.  Can the union survive more of the same worthless nonsense like we've seen the last six years?

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Plumb Krazy @LilBarryBailout

The only class who would be upset at public pensions getting cut are those whose gold-plated benefits far outpace those of taxpayers forced to fund them while earning less than the retired government "workers".

MarkVV
MarkVV

Gov. Christie does not have reputation for honesty – he has reputation for “straight talk” among his supporters, and for rudeness among his opponents. Those should not qualify or disqualify him from presidency, but his simplistic, naïve and ignorant views regarding the foreign policy certainly should disqualify him.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Arrogant SAWB .....and the "S" ain't for skinny.....

Dusty2
Dusty2

Christie made a good speech.  He's got the right ideas and presented a strong personality.  I think he would made a good president. 


At the moment I prefer Jeb Bush  who seems a more stable and thoughtful person and just as strong  or stronger in quality as Christie.


It is still early.  I hope debates will give us a clear vision.  Until then, the best policy is to ignore professional liberals who are paid to be contrary to Republicans, no matter who they are.  They, of course, hang out on blogs noted as conservative.  Their "canned" posts of distortion come right from headquarters.  Politics!  What a sad game we have made of elections!  

332-206
332-206

Oh gee, the latest in the Georgia GOP's vision in selecting Presidential nominees...  

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

I don't know, he appeased democrats in New Jersey, not much of track record.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

I'd like to see Christie jump in the pile of candidates. His is a more moderate voice in the sea of far right rhetoric. 


Perhaps a few of his ideas can work their way into the forefront of the conversation even if he trails in the polls.


straker
straker

At this time, Christie is the only Republican I would vote for.


I"m betting many other Democrats, not happy having only Hillary to vote for, but even more unhappy with all the other announced Republican candidates, feel the same way.

Juanx
Juanx

"The size and response of the crowd suggest there may be an opening for him to improve those numbers, at least in Georgia."


Chris Christie is polling below 40% in New Jersey. Why would Atlanta, Georgia need to be the one to improve anything about Christie? The man is a bully. Can you imagine him on the phone with Putin as bombs are being lobbed from Russia to Monaco? I know this sentence makes no sense. That's my point.

coj
coj

@Juanx  Posted a comment that got deleted by Wingfield because I asked how many candidates have criminal investigations pending. Must not be a kosher question on this right-wing blog. Oh well.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@coj I didn't delete it, I just haven't been approving comments as quickly as usual today because I'm busy. As you can see, it's right there toward the top of the page.

GMFA
GMFA

He won't make it out of the first round. Oh wait. He vetoed a bill in New Jersey that allowed pigs to be kept in crates. Bet he had his eye on Iowa pig farmers when he did that. And the Bridge Scandal. And really, does America want a President who eats that much bacon.

Claver
Claver

@GMFA You had me until you started dissing bacon.

Claver
Claver

We spent a heck of a lot of money in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I don't think that made us safer and stronger than if we had spent the money at home.  The Ukraine is not and was not a NATO member.  Is Christie suggesting that he would have gone to war with Russia over it or does he think that a bit of bluster and a threat to shut down some traffic lanes in the Crimea would have changed things? 

forexbomb
forexbomb

But no one will ever say, ‘I wonder what Chris Christie is thinking.'”


LOL, another blowhard politician ...  He has NO chance..  

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

"Vladimir Putin needs to know what Americans will put up with from him and what they will not put up with,” he said."


Because America is so great we get to go around telling other countries how they will conduct themselves? America is now the world's Bully.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

"“The only person this president is willing to stand up to, to talk tough to,” Christie said, is the prime minister of Israel."


Who we are handing money to, hand over fist. So, yeah, I think we can stand up top the beggars. Or should we call Israel our "employees?"

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

He sharply criticized President Obama — and…Hillary Clinton — for a foreign policy that has left Mideast countries from Libya to Iraq “on fire” and which has left our allies not only threatened by the likes of ISIS but by Obama’s “timidity.”

What? TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY, CONS! There wouldn’t be an ISIS if it wasn’t for the last Republican President. The “fire” that exists as we know it in this day and age is, in large part, due to the failed foreign policy failures of the last Republican President.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

The size and response of the crowd suggest there may be an opening for him to improve those numbers, at least in Georgia.


Georgia voted for Newt last time around. Newt !!


He better hopes he isn't indicted for Bridgegate. That is going to trial and some Christie loyalists may flip on him when facing prison. 


Christie said in a February 2014 interview that he did not know about the lane closures, did not approve or authorize them and only became aware of them from a Wall Street Journal story after the lanes reopened


LOL

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

Chris Christie is as likely to be president as Ted Cruz.


PS: my "pulled punches / blood drawn" comment in the prior thread was a joke; sorry it flopped.