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What Will Chris Christie’s Keynote Style Be?

It’s been rumored for months, but now it’s officially official. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address later this month at the Republican National Convention. The Governor says “We have an opportunity in Tampa to make clear that if we tell each other the hard truths, tackle the big problems, and make bold choices, we will see America’s comeback.”

Chris Christie Speaks at Press Conference
Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

Christie is nationally known for his blunt, direct and in-your-face style which plays very well in the Garden State. Political experts are mixed as to how blunt, direct and in-your-face he should be before a national audience.

“They (Republicans) want someone who is going to call the Democrats idiots and jerks and crooks,” says Hunter College political science professor Kenneth Sherrill. “I don’t think they can find somebody better or a more blunt and direct style than Governor Christie’s. It’s made for him.”

Rutgers University political scientist David Greenberg disagrees. He says, “I think Governor Christie really does need to tone it down both for New Jersey voters and also especially for the convention. His style, it plays well to the converted. If you’re on his side and you don’t like the people he doesn’t like you’re going to cheer him on because he speaks up, but if you’re trying to win over those independent voters, if you’re trying to re-fashion the Republican Party as less ideological, more centrist, he’s a tough sell.”  

Sherrill simply doesn’t see things the way Greenberg does. Asked if he thinks Christie needs to tone down the rhetoric, Sherrill doubles down on his initial thoughts by saying, “I think he should ramp it up. They (Republicans) want somebody angry and intense and that’s what they’ll get.”

“As Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results,” says Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “He has fearlessly tackled his state’s most difficult challenges, while looking out for hardworking taxpayers. He is a leader of principle and conviction, and I am excited to hear him address the Republican National Convention as our keynote speaker.”

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