From Livingston, New Jersey
Ignoring the naysaysers who argue he has little chance of getting the Republican nomination, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie officially joined the GOP race on Tuesday, telling a crowd in his home town that it’s time for new leadership.
“I am now ready to fight for the people of the United States of America,” Christie said to cheers in the gymnasium of his hometown high school in Livingston, New Jersey.
Christie used his speech to tell his own family’s story, railing against dysfunction in Washington, and calling for stronger leadership in the Oval Office.
“I am not looking to be the most popular guy who looks in your eyes every day and tries to figure out what you want to hear,” Christie said, as he emphasized his familiar blunt way of speaking to voters.
“I say what I mean and I mean what I say,” Christie said, as his supporters in the crowd argued that’s exactly what makes the Governor of the Garden State so appealing at this point in time.
“Ronald Reagan was pretty blunt, too,” New Jersey state Senator Steve Oroho told me. “He had a very good way of telling somebody to go to hell and make them look forward to the trip.”
“He’s got the ability to lead, and like his motto says, he tells it like it is, and I think we need that,” said David Gray, the deputy mayor of Byram Township, New Jersey.
“That is his personality,” said Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ). “I think the American people are crying out for leadership.”
“Chris’s chances are really good, and I’m really excited,” said Tom Gallagher, whose wife went to high school with Christie.
Gallagher was yet another New Jersey voter at today’s event who said he has no problem with Christie’s blunt speaking style of politics.
“I would rather have that than somebody say nice things, and then do something totally different behind closed doors,” Gallagher said just before Christie’s speech.
“He tells it like it is, that’s what I like about him,” said Ed Szekely, who was a year behind Christie at Livingston High School.
“I like a guy like that,” said Szekely as he cradled a cup of coffee outside a convenience store down the road from where Christie made his announcement.
“Absolutely, I think he would be a good President,” Szekely added.