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Chris Christie’s Powerful Keynote Address Galvanizes The GOP For The Fight Ahead

In the keynote address of the Republican National Convention of 2012, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took the stage with expectations high – he met those expectations and more. Christie said that he took to office by talking to people like adults. In this year, and in combination with the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP ticket is risking it all by telling the American public what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. Christie told the crowd what they needed to hear, and they loved him for it. Republicans are betting the farm that the nation will as well.

Christie opened by noting the unlikelihood of his election, let alone his addressing the Republican National Convention. He talked about his family background, his parents and his relationship with his friends and relatives growing up in New Jersey.

But he quickly turned to the reason why the convention delegates and members of the press were gathered in Tampa in late August – the future of an imperiled nation.

“Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times,” said Christie. “But our leaders today have decide that it’s more important to be popular and do what’s easy and say ‘yes’ rather than say ‘no,’ when ‘no’ is what is required.”

“It’s been easy for our leaders to say ‘not us,’ and ‘not now,’ in taking on the tough issues. And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it,” Christie continued. “But tonight, I say enough.”

“Tonight we are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make America great again,” Christie said to applause.

Christie went on to talk in detail how he tackled the nearly insurmountable and seemingly intractable problems that New Jersey faced when he took office in 2010. Christie talked about how, with bipartisan support, he reined in the teachers unions, tackled unfunded pension liabilities and reformed public sector benefits.

“The disciples of yesterday’s politics – they always underestimate the will of the people,” said Christie. He said that the nation was selfish and would guard what was there’s even at the expense of the health of the nation’s treasury. Christie said, emphatically, “they were wrong.”

“I know the simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America,” said Christie. “We believe in telling hardworking families the truth about our fiscal realities.” He said that the solutions to America’s problems were clear: cut federal spending and reduce the size of government.

“We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements,” said Christie. “Seniors are not selfish.” He said Democrats want to “whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff.”

“They believe in teachers unions. We believe in teachers,” said Christie, again outlining the contrast between Republicans and Democrats.

“Leadership delivers. Leadership counts. Leadership matters,” said Christie as the crowd rose to its feet. “We have a nominee who will lead with convection and now we have a vice president who will do the same.”

He brought the crowd to its feet again with calls for a “second American century” for the next generation of Americans. “A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.”

Christie concluded with an endorsement of Mitt Romney for President of the United States:

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history. Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us. Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States. And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness.

Christie’s speech was unlike any he has given in the past. His optimism has always been guarded. It was as if in those times he knew he was speaking to an skeptical audience that he needed to convince. Coming from New Jersey, he was probably correct in that assumption. But tonight, before a friendly crowd, Christie lit up. Impassioned and with evident conviction, Christie fired up this crowd in the way they needed to be fired up.

It was a perfect keynote. And all without mentioning Barack Obama‘s name once — as though, he was inconsequential. In Christie’s vision, the President’s form of governance is but a symptom of a plague of indifference to the problems the United States’ faces.

The contrast with the governing party in the White House could not have been made starker after the first night of the RNC. Ann Romney’s quirky humanity was perfectly followed by Chris Christie’s pallet-cleansing and sober truth telling. To the extent that the America’s marginal and undecided voters see excerpts from tonight’s speeches, minds will be opened and likely changed.

Watch part one of Chris Christie’s speech below via Fox News Channel:

Watch part one of Chris Christie’s speech below via Fox News Channel:

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