Criticism & Praise For Governor Christie
Gov. Chris Christie is planning to strike some familiar New Jersey-centric themes in Tuesday night's keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.
Over a breakfast meeting with the Michigan GOP delegation, Christie joked, "This is basically going to have to be a 20-minute version of the Gettysburg Address or I'm in trouble."
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He also got a laugh when the head of the Michigan Restaurant Association Christie introduced him to the Michigan delegation and asked if he knew the importance of restaurants to the economy. "Did she just ask if I was aware of the restaurant industry?" Christie said jokingly according to the Star Ledger. "I am mildly aware of the restaurant industry."
Christie told reporters in New Jersey last week that his speech would touch on his family and on those people who influenced him to become a leader.
Christie's address at 10:30 p.m. will follow a speech by Ann Romney.
CRITICISM FROM HOME
New Jersey Democrats at home criticized Christie ahead of the speech.
Senator Frank Lautenberg described the "New Jersey Comeback" as "baloney" in a conference call with reporters and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. “It’s less than a joke that Gov. Christie should be addressing the rep convention and talking about what they have to do to win the election,” Lautenberg said according to PolitickerNJ.com.
Wisniewski said, It’s all about words and not about facts,” he said, criticizing the governor for touting the slogan “the Jersey comeback" while Congressman Rush Holt, in talking about programs cut by the Governor, said, As we watch Chris Christie and Mitt Romney in their moment of self promotion, we want to remind them of the people they refuse to help,” Holt said.
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who is running for re-election in November, was more measured. "It's a nice personal honor for the governor and he should be proud that his party gave him the distinction of delivering a keynote speech, but no speech can cover up the reality of what a Romney-Ryan presidency and vice presidency would be," said Menendez.
Senate President Steve Sweeney, who has been aligned with the governor on all the major initiatives, took issue with Christie's swipe of California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.
In his remarks to the California delegation, Christie chided Brown's upcoming ballot initiative on income and sales taxes by saying, "Man, that's leadership, isn't it?" Sweeney said the quote is ironic given Christie's support of putting marriage equality on the ballot in New Jersey rather than agree to legalize it legislatively.
The Associated Press contributed to this report