Showing posts with label Chris Christie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris Christie. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chris Christie American Enterprise Institute Social Security & Medicare reform 02/16/11 VIDEO

UPDATE: Chris Christie American Enterprise Institute Social Security & Medicare reform 02/16/11 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Chris Christie American Enterprise Institute Social Security & Medicare reform 02/16/11 VIDEO

Governor Chris Christie will discuss the reform issues that will serve as the foundation for his February budget. Christie believes reductions in spending are the key to restoring fiscal health and fueling long-term growth and that Republican and Democratic leaders must be prepared to tackle the toughest issues.

VIDEO and TEXT CREDIT: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research | 1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20036

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chris Christie 2012: VIDEO

12 in 2012: Chris Christie, New Jersey's governor is a rising Republican star.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Governor Christie finds A New Poster Boy for Greed & Arrogance VIDEO

A New Poster Boy for Greed & Arrogance.

Governor Christie stands up against outrageous Superintendent salaries during a town hall meeting in Toms River, New Jersey on November 9, 2010.

VIDEO and TEXT CREDIT: GovChristie

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Chris Christie Meet the Press Nov. 7, 2010 TEXT VIDEO

NBC News This is a rush transcript provided for the information and convenience of the press. Accuracy is not guaranteed. In case of doubt, please check with MEET THE PRESS NBC NEWS 885-4598 (Sundays: 885-4200)

VIDEO, IMAGE and TEXT CREDIT: Meet the Press

MR. GREGORY: We now turn to the aforementioned Republican who has emerged as a leader of his party, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Welcome to the program.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): Thank you, David.

Chris Christie

MR. GREGORY: Good to have you here.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Happy to be here.

MR. GREGORY: When you talk about the response from the voters on Election Day, something's very curious. We know some of the feelings about the Democrats, about President Obama's policies, but look at this from the exit polls in terms of the opinion of political parties. Republicans didn't fare too well either; 52 percent unfavorable rating. What does that say about the Republican Party today?

GOV. CHRISTIE: You know, I think what it says is what I was saying all over the country, that's it's put up or shut up time for our party. You know, we lost our way last decade, David, we did, and people expect us to do better. And if the Republican Party wants to come back, they're going to have to do what they said they were going to do. I mean, because if they don't, we're going to be sent to the wilderness for a long time, and we're going to deserve it.

MR. GREGORY: What does that mean? What do they have to put up?

GOV. CHRISTIE: What they have to do is they say they want, and, and we're doing it in New Jersey: smaller government, less spending, less regulation, lower taxes. That's what the public is saying that they want. And if you look at what we've done in New Jersey, David, we're delivering on that. We're not fixed yet, but we're on the track to being fixed, closing an $11 billion budget deficit without any new or increased taxes, cutting the corporate business tax. We're doing things to try to create an environment where private sector jobs can grow.

MR. GREGORY: And, and I want to talk about some of the choices you made in New Jersey. But, you know, you heard Senator DeMint, and there's a lot of Republicans talking about cutting the deficit, cutting the budget, but they're not specific. He wasn't specific. He talks about Paul Ryan, who has some ideas about Medicare and changing the way that's structured, indeed, making some cuts. Paul Ryan in the House, he's from Wisconsin, doesn't have support among establishment Republicans. There are 15 Republicans who stood up behind him in terms of making these cuts. Are Republicans really making good when Senator DeMint and others aren't specific about the cuts they're going to make to entitlements or to defense, to the big ticket items that really move the budget?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, let me tell you what's--where the leadership's going to come from. You have 11 Republican governors and a Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo in New York, who have said we can't raise taxes and we have to cut spending in everything. In New Jersey what we did was we cut spending in every department, a 9 percent cut in real spending, not projected spending, real spending year over year. Find another state that did that and, and we'll go and talk about it. I mean, we made real hard decisions, and I cut some programs that we would've liked to have kept.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

GOV. CHRISTIE: But we're broke. We don't have the money anymore. And so I hope that what these governors, Republicans and Democrats, will show Washington is you can do this and you have to do it.

MR. GREGORY: I asked Senator DeMint about sacrifice, and he said, `Oh, we don't want to, we don't want to break our promise to our seniors. In your state, what are you telling people they have to sacrifice and what do Republicans around the country have to tell Americans they have to sacrifice if they want to bring the size of government under control and the deficit under control?

GOV. CHRISTIE: We told everybody there has to be shared sacrifice among everyone, and let me be specific. We cut every department of state government. We cut funding to K to 12 education. We are proposed real pension and benefit reforms on public sector workers, increasing the retirement age, eliminating COLAs, things that are really going to bring the pension problem back under control. We cut all of this spending in the state in every state department, David, every state department. From environmental protection, to military and veterans affairs, all the way through had to sustain a cut. Those are the type of things you have to do to show people you really mean shared sacrifice. Everyone came to the table and everybody had to contribute.

MR. GREGORY: So, as you, as a national Republican with national influence now--and you've met with congressional Republicans and talked about issues--does everything have to be on the table?

GOV. CHRISTIE: What I told them was they'd better come up with a plan that's credible like we did in New Jersey, and the public's going to be able to smell real quickly if you're not credible. And if we are not credible, then we are really going to be in trouble as a party, and I think the numbers you showed indicate that.

MR. GREGORY: What about the tea party, the tea party's influence on the Republican party? Net positive, net negative? What do you think?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Net positive. Listen, the core that drives the tea party, in my view, are those four principles I talked about before--less spending, smaller government and less intrusive government, lower regulation, and lower taxes. And when Republicans are at their best, those are our core principles. And so I think that, at bottom, it's a positive influence. Listen, you're going to have variances around, around the country. I endorsed Mike Castle in the primary...

MR. GREGORY: Right, in Delaware.



GOV. CHRISTIE: Because I felt he was the best person.

MR. GREGORY: Is that a wake--do you agree with Lindsey Graham from South Carolina or Jim DeMint from South Carolina, that Delaware is a wake-up call for Republicans?

GOV. CHRISTIE: I think Delaware was a missed opportunity to have a really good United States senator in Mike Castle, and that's why I endorsed him in the primary.

MR. GREGORY: Let me talk a little bit more about New Jersey and taxes and spending. And I want to talk specifically about the--this ARC tunnel, this rail tunnel that would've connected New York and New Jersey and the controversy surrounding this. To boil all of this down, the federal government, as I understand it, offered you a deal. You were worried about cost, cost overruns, and they said, "Look, we're going to take care of that. New Jersey's not going to be responsible." So critics have used...

GOV. CHRISTIE: Whoa, let me stop you right there.


GOV. CHRISTIE: No chance. That never happened. The federal government said $3 billion is what they were going to give us, and I had to sign a contract saying every nickel over $3 billion was the responsibility of the federal government. All the federal government offered me in the interim two week period, between the time when I first canceled the tunnel, was the ability to get federal loans...

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

GOV. CHRISTIE: ...that we'd have to pay back.

MR. GREGORY: They weren't going to shift this to...


MR. GREGORY: ...private companies to be able to take care of it?

GOV. CHRISTIE: No. It was federal loans or, if we wanted a public-private partnership, we had to have increased fees on all the train tickets, for all the commuters, all across New Jersey, including ones that weren't using the tunnel, to be able to repay it. No matter what, David, this was going to fall on the people of the state of New Jersey, and the worst part was, it was a blank check. No one could tell me how much this was going to cost. We had already put $5.7 billion up from the state of New Jersey, and we were talking about $2 billion to $5 billion in overruns now. I mean, we could not sustain that. We're broke.

MR. GREGORY: Is this a matter of ideology for you, or simply a pragmatic issue that you don't have the money? And by that I mean, should the federal government be involved in big infrastructure projects like this?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Sure, they should. And you know what? I gave the federal government two weeks to come back to me and say if this is a project of such national importance, then put more money on the table for it. But, you know, they didn't. In, in Florida, where they're building high speed rail, Florida's being asked to give a 20 percent match to an 80 percent for federal. In this project, New Jersey was picking up 70 percent of the cost, the feds 30 percent and nothing from the state or the city of New York. Listen, this is about fairness and about what we could afford, and I'm not going to sign blank checks on the taxpayers in the state of New Jersey for a project that, as laudable as it might be in some respects, we simply can't afford now. When we talked to the campaign, David, about tough choices, this is an example.

MR. GREGORY: Tax cuts. You've got a millionaires tax in New Jersey, which I know that you're opposed to.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Not anymore, we don't.

MR. GREGORY: Not anymore because...


MR. GREGORY: vetoed it.


MR. GREGORY: You've got high taxes across the board.


MR. GREGORY: How do you deal with that as a Republican governor of New Jersey?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, first you say, "No more." And the Democrats sent me an extension of the millionaires tax that would have not only hit individuals but small business in New Jersey, and I vetoed it. And I'm not going to increase taxes on the state that the Tax Foundation has said is the highest burdened tax state in America, especially if you look at our unemployment rate, David, ours is higher than any state in our region. The reason is, over the last eight years under Corzine and McGreevey, we raised taxes and fees 115 times. We put a wet blanket on the economy of New Jersey, and that's why our people are still out of work disproportionately to everybody else in the region. New York is a point lower. Pennsylvania is more than a point lower. I mean, we, you know, we did this to ourselves with all these increased taxes.

MR. GREGORY: What about the Bush tax cuts and extending those? You've said that should happen at all levels for a couple of years, but you've said only a couple of years because there is a day of reckoning here. Can you have tax cuts when you also want to balance the, the budget? Or do you have to consider tax increases at the federal level at some point?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, you know, I've been watching you for weeks talk about extending the Bush tax cuts. Drives me crazy when I'm sitting at home. This is about maintaining the current tax structure in a time we have a very weak economy. And so I favor extending these for another two years, extending the current tax system and not having a tax increase...

MR. GREGORY: But those, I mean, wait a minute. It may drive you crazy, and I know other Republicans that feel the same way. But I've also talked to Republicans. I've talked to economists like Alan Greenspan who say there is no free lunch here. You cannot have tax cuts at this level and not have them be paid for. And other Republicans say, yes, they should be pay for. So you do agree they should be paid for.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, obviously--well, listen, I've, I'm walking the walk in New Jersey, David.


GOV. CHRISTIE: I mean, when I said we're vetoing the millionaires tax, I found spending tax to pay for that.

MR. GREGORY: So you can have existing tax policy, but it still has to be offset.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, listen, and I'm not disagreeing with you, David.


GOV. CHRISTIE: But I'm--what I'm disagreeing with you is you characterizing what's happening here as a--as tax cuts. This is maintaining the current tax policy in a weak economy, and what you're, what you're advocating through your question is tax increases.

MR. GREGORY: Right. I'm not--that's not fair. I'm not advocating. I'm, I'm questioning whether or not they have to be paid for.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, when you call the, when you call the tax cuts, what I'm saying is the--I take the position as the opposite of that.

MR. GREGORY: Right. Right.

GOV. CHRISTIE: The opposite of that is it is a tax increase in a weakened...

MR. GREGORY: But they are set to expire.

GOV. CHRISTIE: ...weaks in, in a weakened economy. And what I'm saying is you should keep the current tax structure in place until our economy gets stronger.

MR. GREGORY: That's fine. But they're set to expire, so if you're going to re-authorize them, they're, they're, you're voting for tax cuts.

GOV. CHRISTIE: No, you're not voting for tax cuts. You're voting to maintain the current tax structure.

MR. GREGORY: I understand, a continuation.

GOV. CHRISTIE: That's a...

MR. GREGORY: But there's...

GOV. CHRISTIE: And then we agree.

MR. GREGORY: And there's still an offset issue.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, then we agree.


The, the issue of where there's room for negotiation, is there room for negotiation in your mind? Should the president make a deal here on, on these things for a certain period of time? Does everybody, then, in a couple of years have to come to this and say, "Maybe these aren't the best ideas. Maybe we also have to think about tax increases at some point"?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, I think the first thing that the president has to focus on is building private sector jobs again in this country. And I don't think, by increasing taxes, that's the way to--that we're going to get it done in the short term. And so, sure, there's areas for compromise, I'm sure there are, between Republican leaders in the Congress and the president. But the president has to lead on this. And I think that the message is really clear, I got the message from the election, it's about putting people back to work. And you will not put people back to work in private sector jobs by increasing the cost in the private sector.

MR. GREGORY: A couple more areas. I want to--you've become an YouTube star, as you well know, because you've had some, some interactions with voters, including when you were campaigning for Meg Whitman out in California. Let me show that moment.

(Videotape, September 22, 2010)

GOV. CHRISTIE: You know what, you want to yell, yell at me, but don't give her a hard time. We're here. We're here talking about the future of the state of California and the future of our country. And you know what?

Unidentified Man: And you're just talking about the truth that's she's lying about.

GOV. CHRISTIE: And you know what? And you know what? Let me tell you, and let me tell you this. You know what? It's people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country. We're here to bring this country together, not to divide it.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: So what's the balance? On to a style question. The balance for you being a straight talker, you know, taking on the corrosive conversations we have about politics, and then your image as being a little too brusque, bullying, you know, Governor Wrecking Ball? How do you, how do you straddle that line?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, I am who I am. I don't straddle the line. And I think what people in New Jersey appreciate about, appreciate about me is I don't send smoke signals. They know who I am. They know how I feel about issues. Sometimes they agree with and sometimes they don't, but all I think that that clip indicates is that when I have something on my mind, I'm going to say it. I'm going to say it directly. And I think that we have too little of that in politics, David. And when, when I sit around and watch the way some people in political life talk, it, it fogs me over. And I think it fogs people in America over too. They want to hear somebody say, "If you feel a certain way, say it and live with the consequences." I'm willing to let the chips fall where they may on that issue.

MR. GREGORY: So the question is whether you're going to say all this stuff at a national level.

You've ruled out running for president in 2012. But you're also acting like a guy who's increasing your national influence. You're campaigning for congressional Republicans. Why do all of that? Why, especially in tight races, if you're not looking down the line at running?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Because I care about my country, and because I felt that those people where the absolute best candidates to help make our country a better place. And so that's why I campaigned for them. I have no other agenda. And to the extent that New Jersey over the last year can serve as an example to people that say, "Listen, you can cut spending. You can balance a budget without tax increases. You can make hard choices and not only survive politically but thrive politically." Then I want to try to set that example for folks so that these other new governors who are coming in, members of Congress...

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

GOV. CHRISTIE: ...that they will act boldly and be strong.

MR. GREGORY: Shermanesque statement, you're not running in 2012?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Absolutely.

MR. GREGORY: You wouldn't be on a ticket at all as VP?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Can you see me as somebody's vice president, David, after, after that question about governor wrecking ball? I would feel bad for that poor man or woman.

MR. GREGORY: What about down the line, beyond 2012? What, what criteria would you use in making a decision about whether to run for president?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, first I have to decide whether I run for re-election in 2013 in New Jersey, and that's going to be determined by how good a job I do and whether the people in the state of New Jersey want me back. So before you ever get to anything beyond that, you know, my mother always taught me first things first. Do your job. Do your job that the people of New Jersey gave you. I love being governor and I'm got to be governor until 2013, then we'll see what the verdict of the people is of the job I did on 2013.

MR. GREGORY: So fair at least to say the door is open beyond 2012.

GOV. CHRISTIE: I'm going to need a job, David, after 2013, you know? And so whether it's going to be being governor of New Jersey or doing something else, I have four kids between 7 and 17, I'm working the rest of my life anyway. So it's going to be doing something, David, so maybe it'll be that. Who knows.

MR. GREGORY: Governor Christie, thank you very much.

GOV. CHRISTIE: Thank you, David.

MR. GREGORY: Appreciate it.

VIDEO, IMAGE and TEXT CREDIT: Meet the Press

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chris Christie not about to keep fiscally strapped New Jersey on the hook for overruns

Chris Christie

Governor Chris Christie holds his tenth Town Hall Meeting on his Reform Agenda in Moorestown, N.J. on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)
Further burdening New Jerseyans with unaffordable public obligations is as Governor Christie said, “how we got ourselves in to the awful fiscal mess” and is why he must “make the hard decisions” that are necessary to “return our state to fiscal health”…

New York Post, “In the long run, New Jersey will be better off for that decision”:

“Proving once again that he's de determined to restore fiscal sanity to New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has stuck to his guns and reaffirmed his initial decision to kill the Hudson River tunnel project. Yes, that will hurt commuters, who've long sought relief from congested rail and road traffic.
But so would a sharp increase in New Jersey's gas tax and other levies that would probably rise sky-high to pay for this bloated project…He understands that government construction projects come with automatic cost inflation. And he's not about to keep fiscally strapped New Jersey on the hook for overruns, which is ultimately what Washington proposes to do. "I cannot place upon the citizens of New Jersey an open-ended letter of credit, and that's what this project represents," he said yesterday. Good for him…In the long run, New Jersey will be better off for that decision.” (“A tunnel too far,” New York Post, 10/28/2010)

Wall Street Journal, Governor Christie affirmed that New Jersey “…must finally recognize its limits”:

"I cannot place upon the citizens of the State of New Jersey an open-ended letter of credit," said Garden State Governor Chris Christie yesterday. Mr. Christie was affirming his decision to cancel a bloated project to build a new railroad tunnel under the Hudson River to New York City. He also affirmed that a government that already taxes its citizens more heavily than any other state in the country and has still racked up more than $100 billion in unfunded liabilities must finally recognize its limits. The proposed tunnel was a joint project of the state of New Jersey, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with each contributing roughly equal amounts. The catch was that Jersey would pay for any cost overruns…It's hard to blame Mr. Christie for sparing taxpayers from such a fate. (“Christie Gets Off the Train,” Wall Street Journal, 10/28/2010)

Star-Ledger Editorial Board, “Give him this…We are paying for yesterday’s sins”:

“We just can’t afford it,” he said yesterday. Give him this: The state’s gigantic pension and health obligations make this much harder. We are paying for yesterday’s sins. (“Christie to tunnel commuters: Drop dead,” Star-Ledger Editorial Board, 10/28/2010)

Innovation News, "We believe that Governor Chris Christie was right to have terminated the trans-Hudson tunnel project as currently conceived":

“We believe that Governor Chris Christie was right to have terminated the trans-Hudson tunnel project as currently conceived. In its current state, ARC is purely a local commuter rail connection to Manhattan with a terminus adjacent to Penn Station but not even tied into its Amtrak intercity lines. An investment on this scale should be considered in a larger context of the proposed Amtrak's NE Corridor high-speed line. As such, it is properly a project of regional or even national significance and should be funded primarily by the federal government and not by New Jersey taxpayers. As we have noted earlier, if there is one corridor in this country that justifies and deserves true high-speed rail service by virtue of its urban densities, passenger flows, economic activity and sheer size and importance, it's the Boston-to-Washington corridor. More than any other transportation initiative of recent years, the Amtrak concept plan evokes the tradition of what Felix Rohatyn has called America’s "bold endeavors" — a series of grand transportation enterprises that began with the Erie Canal and the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century and continued into the 20th century with the Panama Canal and the Interstate Highway System. The Northeast Corridor High-Speed Rail Line would be a truly worthy 21st century inheritor of that tradition. And the Trans-Hudson Tunnel could be a fitting beginning to this bold venture. We agree with the N.J. Alliance for Action that the $3 billion federal commitment to the ARC tunnel should be redirected to Amtrak for construction of the trans-Hudson tunnel as an integral part and essential first element of Amtrak's plans to develop high-speed rail service in the Northeast Corridor. We further believe, along with Rep John Mica (R-FL), that any future federal high-speed rail assistance should be focused primarily on making the Amtrak vision a reality rather than dissipated among many "high-speed" rail corridors of questionable merit.” ("Governor Christie's Trans-Hudson Tunnel Decision", Innovation News, 10/27/2010) # # #

For Immediate Release: Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010 Contact: Michael Drewniak
Kevin Roberts 609-777-2600

TEXT CREDIT: Office of the Governor PO Box 001 Trenton, NJ 08625 609-292-6000

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chris Christie says Meg Whitman has positive vision for California VIDEO

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey discusses his endorsement of Meg Whitman and the critical need for Californians to unite behind her positive vision.

VIDEO and TEXT CREDIT: Meg2010Campaign

Friday, June 18, 2010

Governor Christie: Day of Reckoning VIDEO TEXT TRANSCRIPT

It sounds so simple when Governor Christie says it, you cann't give the government 2 dollars and then get 3 dollars back. More common sense from the New Jersey Governor.

Governor Christie: “Now is the time to not ignore the problems but to confront them.” Governor Christie held a Cap 2.5 Town Hall Meeting in Perth Amboy, N.J. on Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Contact: Michael Drewniak 609-777-2600


A lot of the things that these difficult trying times are bringing into focus for all of us as citizens, as elected officials - that accountability is important now more than ever. And your point that when we appoint people, and I appoint lots of people, by the time I get done with four years I'll probably appoint thousands of people to different things - boards and commissions and authorities around the state, members of my cabinet, judges - a lot of people that I'm going to be responsible for that are going to have my name next to them, for better or for worse for the rest of my life. I understand accountability, and I think you're absolutely right, I think one of the things that that these times have brought into great focus for us is that we have to hold each other accountable. All of us understand, we were taught by our parents I suspect, that you don't get something for nothing in this world - ever. Yet government has tried to sell you over the course of time this idea that - We're not going to give you something for nothing but we're going to give you something and someone else is going to pay for it.

So it's not for nothing but it's for nothing to you. What has happened in our state and in our country over the last couple of years is that those chickens have come home to roost. And we now have a situation where we are in a deep hole and we've got two choices. We can continue to do what we've always been doing before and I don't think we should, because that's crazy, that's what got us here. But the new path and the bolder path is a path that will be lined with resistance from those who are benefiting from the current system and they will attempt to scare you. They'll attempt to scare you about change and they'll attempt to tell you that you're ox is the one that's going to get gored. The same people who are telling you to get something and someone else will pay for it are not going to tell you watch out, because when change comes they're going to take it away from you.

We all know that it's being taken away from us as we speak; our standard of living, our way of life is being challenged by an economy where we have too much debt, too big of government, too much spending and taxes being too high. We all know it in our hearts, depending upon where we are in the political spectrum we may want to admit it more or less but we all know it. We all know it to be true.

And I kind of want to end today where I started with Mayor Diaz. Now we might come at certain issues from different perspectives but we all understand - she and I understand that the day of reckoning is here. Whether you are a Republican, whether you are a Democrat, whether you are an independent; whether you are rich or whether you're poor; whether you're retired or still working; or if you're a young child who's trying to think about what is New Jersey and America going to be like for me? The day of reckoning is here. And there is no more solemn obligation, I believe, that we have as human beings and especially as Americans than to do everything we can to leave this place better for our children and grandchildren than it was left to us.

Now for all of you who are parents out there and grandparents, you know judgment day is coming. And by that I mean, our children and our grandchildren are going to judge us. At the moment where we have the ability to make decisions about how optimistic and hopeful and prosperous their future can be, are they going to look back and say we buried our head in the sand? Ignored the problems. Cared only about our own creature comforts and didn't care about tomorrow.

Or are they going to say that when this day of reckoning came, our generation stood up and said we're going to fix it. We're going to fix it, not just for ourselves but more importantly we're going to fix it for our kids, and for our grandchildren. So that they can live in New Jersey.

We've already had a great New Jersey life. Looking out at the most of us, there's a lot life that has been lived out in this audience. A lot of life. That's a very nice way of saying we're getting old. But there's a lot of life that's been lived out by this audience and we have already had a great New Jersey life. Most of us have, if not all of us in this room.

The question is: will our children have a great New Jersey life?

Or will they have to go to Florida, or Pennsylvania, or Connecticut, or some place even further away. To be able to get a life where they feel as if they can grow, and prosper, and be happy.

Well I'll tell you this, that's not the New Jersey I was born in. An that is not the New Jersey I care to die in.

And so, when people asked me last year why are you running for governor, why do you want to do this? That's why. Because I want my children around to take care of me when I get old. I want to be able to get in a car and drive to a grandson or granddaughter's little league game. I want to be there sitting around the kitchen table for that first birthday party. I don't want to have to see it over the internet. I want to be there. And the only way I'm going to be there is if they're here because I ain't leaving.

And I want them to be here with me. I want to them to experience the same great life that I have been blessed to experience. And I feel like for most of you, you want the very same thing.

And so if we want that, now is the time to get to work. Now is the time to not ignore the problems but to confront them. Now is the time for us to say, we are going to be the people who fix New Jersey's problems.

And then we put our head on the pillow at night, when we pass the torch off to our children and grandchildren, we're going to be able to say to them, we did our job, now it's your turn.

Thank you very much.

# # #

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chris Christie tells teacher "Well, you know what, then you don’t have to do it" VIDEO

Chris Christie tells teacher "Well, you know what, then you don’t have to do it" VIDEO

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Governor Chris Christie Reform Agenda: Cap 2.5

For Immediate Release: Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Fiscal Crisis: The Current Budget As An Example.

As you all know, we have a fiscal crisis in New Jersey: a $10.9 billion deficit on a $29.3 billion budget.
At 37 percent, it's the worst budget deficit percentage in America—worse than California, worse than New York, worse than Illinois—and we need to take bold steps to deal with it.

On March 16, we put forward a budget with $10.9 billion in reductions against proposed spending of the Corzine administration.

This was not easy to do, so I want to start off by saying that while I stand firmly behind the cuts we proposed, please don't take my firm stance in favoring those cuts as meaning that I don't know how painful they are.

Everybody would love to be governor in a time when you can just give things away and make everybody your friend and make everybody happy.

That's not the time that I'm getting to be governor.

I feel an obligation to stand up and do what the people elected me to do, which is to get our government under control, and to start to reduce the amount of money that people have to pay to the government in taxes.

But if all we do is cut, and we don't get at the underlying problem, we're just going to be back in this spot year, after year, after year.

New Jersey Is On An Unsustainable Fiscal Course

Over the last ten years, municipal spending has grown by 69 percent, and property taxes have grown by 70 percent, until New Jersey property taxes are now the highest of any state in the nation.

This is an unsustainable course.

For nearly 30 years, the citizens of New Jersey have placed in the hands of politicians—mostly politicians from Trenton—the responsibility for fixing property taxes. And in every gubernatorial election since 1973, we've had folks dancing around this property tax problem, putting band-aids on it, but not doing a thing to address the structural issues that allow politicians to hike property taxes year, after year, after year.

We can't increase municipal aid, increase aid to school districts, and increase property taxes without end. At some point, the people's ability to pay runs out.

And now we're there.

With property taxes up 70 percent in ten years, people in New Jersey are now voting with their feet, and they're leaving.

Senior citizens are leaving the homes that they raised their families in, heartbroken because they can't pay the property taxes anymore.

Young couples can't buy their first homes, not because of home prices, but because of the property taxes.

And middle class families are suffering from 9.8 percent unemployment in New Jersey, the highest in the region—higher than Pennsylvania, higher than Connecticut, higher than New York. Many of them are finding that after they've lost their jobs, they're going to lose their homes as well, because their property taxes got raised beyond their ability to pay.

In every poll you'll ever see, New Jerseyans say our biggest problem is property taxes.

So how do we fix it?

The Centerpiece of the Solution: Cap 2.5

First and foremost, we have to impose discipline on every level of the political system. I propose that we start with Cap 2.5, a constitutional amendment to cap property tax increases at no more than 2.5 percent per year.

For 30 years, politicians in Trenton have been passing the buck, and property taxes have gone up and up and up. The people of New Jersey have had enough.

I believe in less government, lower taxes, and empowering local officials who act on behalf of the people who elected them. I came here to do what the people sent me to do.

That may lead to a disagreement or two. Just recently, I had a friendly little exchange with a reporter you might have seen....

But anyone who comes to this discussion talking about "you can't cut this" and "you can't cut that" who doesn't have some way to pay for it besides jacking up property taxes is just joining that pathetic, 30-year tradition of passing along the problem for the next guy to deal with.

When we enact a constitutional amendment to limit property tax increases to no more than 2.5 percent across the board annually, we will have put in place the foundation for getting our fiscal house in order for the first time in a generation.

With that in place, then and only then can we begin to look at doing—in a sustainable way—what New Jerseyans want for urban revitalization, education, and every other big-picture issue.

But first we have to fix the foundation.

Cap the Spending Side, Too

Fundamental fairness dictates that the other part of the constitutional amendment has to be that discretionary state spending—state spending outside debt service or aid to municipalities or school districts—has to be capped at 2.5 percent as well.

We can't ask mayors to make sacrifices while the state goes on its merry way, spending like always.

We need to stop the explosive growth of government. If the projected spending of the Corzine Administration had been permitted to stay in place for Fiscal Year 2011, over the last 20 years state spending in New Jersey would have risen by 322%. That is 16% per year, every year, for 20 years. No economic model can sustain that level of public sector growth. On the local level this growth has also continued unabated.

Even as we speak, it continues in New Jersey at the local level, despite the economic downturn. Consider this fact. In 2009 we lost 121,000 private sector jobs in New Jersey, while the municipal and school board payrolls grew by 11,300 jobs.

The private sector shrank... while the government grew. That's exactly backwards from how it's supposed to be.

The leadership in the State Legislature in New Jersey believes that the solution to this problem is to increase taxes again—for the 116th time in the last 9 years. They passed a bill to raise taxes to 10.75% on those who make $1m per year. I vetoed that bill, literally, one minute after the Senate President handed it to me. I vetoed it because New Jersey does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending and debt problem. I vetoed it because it does not work. Look at the numbers.

In Fiscal Year 2009, the state collected $10.476 billion from our income tax, with no surcharge on small businesses and the wealthy. In Fiscal Year 2010, with Governor Corzine’s surcharge of 10.75% applied to small businesses and individuals, the state collected $10.243 billion. $233 million dollars less than the year without the surcharge. Higher taxes will continue to drive citizens and businesses from New Jersey and keep our private sector job growth at zero, which it was for the entire first decade of this new century.

We must change course.

We must cap the property tax increases. We must cap discretionary spending. They go together.

But that's still incomplete, because mayors still have to provide services and education.

If they have to operate under a cap, then they deserve the tools to help control the underlying expenses.

That's why this reform package is not only a cap on property tax increases, not only a cap on discretionary spending—it also contains a toolkit of 33 specific legislative reforms on collective bargaining, civil service, health care, education, and pensions.

Let me take you through these.

The Toolkit: Collective Bargaining Reform

First: Nearly 75 percent of every municipal or county budget is driven by personnel and labor costs. We need to level the playing field on those costs through collective bargaining reform for our public sector unions.

I stand foursquare in favor of arbitration to resolve the disputes with our public employees who do not have the ability to strike—police, fire, and teachers. Arbitration is there to be sure that these things are fairly resolved—and the key word there is "fair." More often than not these decisions are favorable to labor, but they're not always fair to the taxpayers who have to pay whatever the arbitrator decides.

So under collective bargaining reform, every arbitrator will have to take into account Cap 2.5. They will no longer be allowed to award a benefit that's larger than that. For the first time, arbitrators will have to consider not only who's sitting at the table in front of them, but also who pays the bills.

Municipalities, and mayors, and budgets, and taxpayers... shouldn't be at the mercy of unelected arbitrators who can effectively impose a property tax increase at will. And under this reform, we won't be.

The Toolkit: Civil Service Reform

We also need reform of the civil service system. Civil service was set up over a century ago to protect against political patronage, but collective bargaining has procedures to protect against that as well. We should have one system or the other.

Candidly, I think labor is best served by collective bargaining, so we should give mayors the ability to opt out of civil service, and to manage like a business. If someone isn't doing their job, or that job isn't needed anymore, the mayor ought to be able to get rid of it, and save the taxpayers the expense. Civil service reform will give them the tools to do that.

The Toolkit: Teachers' Fair Contribution to Health Care Costs

When we're taking into account what we spend and how we give raises, we can't act as if health care expenses and pensions aren't a part of it. This has been my big argument with the teachers union over the last number of months. You may have heard something about that....

Everyone values the hard work teachers do. And teachers should be able to have good medical benefits for themselves and their families. That's just common sense.

So this is not about a fight with individual teachers.

This is about a union that has decided that everyone they represent is entitled to free medical, dental and vision benefits for themselves and their families from the day they're hired until the day they die.

You may think I'm exaggerating.

I'm not.

The union does not pay a penny toward the health care of its own members.

That's a pretty sweet deal. I can't think of any other job where your employer says, Well, don't worry about your health insurance. We'll just throw that in no matter what it costs. Yet that's what the union has right now, and their leaders don't seem to feel any need to pay like the rest of New Jerseyans and join the real world on this.

It's a question of fairness. We don't want them to pick up 100 percent of the premiums. We don't want them to pick up 50 percent. Not 25 percent—which is what I paid when I was a federal employee. Not 10 percent.

You know what we ask for? One-point-five percent of their salary.

One-point-five percent.

It's not unreasonable to ask people in public employment to pay 1.5 percent toward their own medical benefits.

If the average teacher makes $55,000, we're talking $825 annually for full family medical, dental and vision coverage. Less than $69 a month.

Now in the private sector, this is a deal employers would run to line up to get.

But the other side on this says this is an attack on public education. I have to tell you, I don't understand why my child would learn better in school if their teacher was paying nothing toward their health benefits as opposed to paying 1.5 percent of their salary.

Candidly, it's still a great deal, so this idea that we won't attract people to teaching because they have to pay 1.5 percent of their salary towards benefits, as opposed to nothing, is just foolish. It makes a mockery of teachers' commitment to their profession and to their students.

Most people become teachers because they find it so rewarding. Of course they want to make a good living, and have financial security like all the rest of us. But the difference between zero and 1.5 percent is not going to cause a dedicated teacher to leave the profession, or stop somebody who wants to teach from doing it in the first place.

I think when the union makes that argument, they're selling their members short.

They may, but I'm not going to.

Also, we need to get away from this one-size-fits-all straightjacket about coverage. We need to give mayors the ability to negotiate with the private sector to offer a full menu of benefits that can lower the cost for municipalities, and give workers the choice to pick the health plan that best fits their needs.

This is not revolutionary. This is happening in the private sector every day. It is also happening with employees of the federal government. Why should state and local government workers in New Jersey have a better deal?

This is restoring a little common sense to the way we spend our tax money.

The Toolkit: Pension Reform

On pensions, I want that pension to be there for every police officer, for every fire fighter, for every teacher who's counting on it.

But our pension system is $46 billion in deficit.

Don't let anybody tell you that is caused by the failure of the state to stand up to its commitment to fund these pensions. That's part of the problem, but it's not the whole thing.

If the state had contributed every dollar it was supposed to over the last ten years, our pensions would be funded at 74 percent of value, instead of 64 percent, which is where they are today. That's only 10 percent difference.

So what does that tell you?

What it tells you is that the benefits are too high and the contributions being made by many of the public sector unions are too low. We need to buttress the pension back up, make it strong for the folks that are in it now, so that it's there for them when they come to retire.

A Real-Life Example of What's at Stake

Now, I'll end with this so you can really understand what's at stake here.

Last week, I had a town hall meeting in Hoboken, and I talked to a family—a husband and wife and three boys—who had a property tax increase last year of $2000. That's an incredible financial hit for any family to take, especially in one year. It's not as if you can go to your employer and say, Hey, I need another $2000.

If Cap 2.5 had been in place for Joe and Jennifer and their three boys, their property taxes would have gone up only $213, not $2000.

For the first time, Joe and Jennifer's property tax bill rose about the $10,000 mark.

Instead of paying the mortgage, or a making a down payment on a car, or saving for college, or taking a vacation, or just keeping up with what it costs to live, another $2000 of their paycheck got sucked up in that ten-year, 70 percent increase in property taxes.

We're long past the point where politicians in Trenton can justify that kind of ever-increasing drain on a family's income.

With Cap 2.5, there's only one out if you want to raise taxes higher than 2.5 percent, and that is to put in on the ballot and let the voters decide. That's what they've done in Massachusetts, and about half the time, the voters say, You know what, it's worth me paying an extra point in taxes this year to have this new program, or to hire more police officers.

The other half of the time, they say no. But the control is in the hands of the people, not the politicians.

New Jersey Needs Cap 2.5

Skyrocketing property taxes hurt seniors, they hurt middle-class families trying to make ends meet, and they hurt young families trying to buy their first home.

Cap 2.5 will cap property tax increases at no greater than 2.5 percent a year for everything: municipal tax, county tax, and school tax.

For 30 years, the politicians in Trenton have failed the people of New Jersey. In the last ten years, those politicians have raised property taxes 70 percent.

We can no longer afford it, and the politicians in Trenton have refused to solve the problem.

Cap 2.5 will allow the people of New Jersey to control property taxes and keep them at no more than 2.5 percent a year, unless the people vote differently.

To fully address the problem, I've matched Cap 2.5 with a toolkit of 33 specific legislative reforms to reform collective bargaining, civil service, health care, education, and pensions.

After three decades of passing the buck, we'll cap increases in property taxes that are wrecking people's lives and driving people out of our state, and we'll give local leaders the tools they need to help control the underlying expenses.

We're going to build a solid fiscal foundation for our state. We’re going to say “No” to those who refuse to understand that the days of something for nothing are over and the days of shared sacrifice are here. We’re going to stand up to the entrenched, special interests that are unused to having the truth told to them without regard to the political consequences. We’re going to stand up for the future of our children and grandchildren—a future in New Jersey that is hopeful, optimistic and full of opportunity and prosperity in a private sector that is growing and a public sector that stops the annual grab for the taxpayers wallets.

The legislature needs to put Cap 2.5 on the ballot this November as a constitutional amendment, and let the people do what the politicians in Trenton have refused to do for 30 years: get out-of-control property taxes under control and, at long last, fix this perpetual fiscal crisis, once and for all.

Thank you. ###

Friday, May 14, 2010

Governor Chris Christie You know, Tom, you must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America. VIDEO

You know, Tom, you must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America.

Governor Chris Christie holds a press conference outlining a realistic and achievable plan for affordable housing that creates a standards-based, municipally controlled system with minimal involvement from the State with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Thursday, May 13, 2010.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Governor Chris Christie Budget Address New Jersey Senate and General Assembly TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Governor Chris Christie delivers his Budget AddressRemarks of Governor Christopher J. Christie to the Joint session of the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly Regarding the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget. FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT
Governor Chris Christie delivers his Budget Address in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. (Governor Photos/Tim Larsen)

VIEW the VIDEO here: Governor Chris Christie’s Budget Message

Friday, March 05, 2010

Chris Christie New Jersey League of Municipalities VIDEO

Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno attend the meeting of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors at the Woodrow Wilson School on Princeton University Campus in Princeton, N.J. on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. (Governor Photos/Tim Larsen)
Mar. 5, 2010 - In Case You Missed It - New York Post - 'We Have No Choice'

For Immediate Release: Contact: Michael Drewniak. Date: Friday, March 5, 2010 609-777-2600, By Governor Chris Christie. New York Post. Last Updated: 4:35 AM, March 5, 2010.

Adapted from Gov. Chris Christie's remarks to about 200 mayors at a meeting of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

When I started in office, I had to close a $2.3 billion shortfall in the $29 billion annual budget -- and only $14 billion was left.

Of that $14 billion, $8 billion could not be touched -- because of contracts with public-worker unions, bond covenants and commitments the state made in accepting federal stimulus money.

We had to find a way to save $2.3 billion in a $6 billion pool of money. The treasurer's office presented me with 378 possible freezes and lapses to balance the budget; I accepted 375 of them.

While public pay booms, private-sector work is tough to find: Waiting to speak to recruiters at a Rutgers job fair earlier this year.

There's a great deal of discussion about me doing that by executive action. Every day that went by was a day where money was going out the door such that the $6 billion pool was getting less and less. Something needed to be done -- and the people didn't send me here to talk; they sent me here to do.

As we look ahead three weeks to my fiscal year 2011 budget address, you all need to understand the context from which we operate.

Our citizens are already the most overtaxed in America. You mayors know that the public appetite for ever-increasing taxes has reached an end.

So we're going to reduce spending at the state level -- because we have no choice.

We also have an obligation to work with the Legislature to give mayors the tools to reduce spending at the municipal level. The pension and benefit reform package just passed in the Senate is only a beginning. We need to change the rules of arbitration to level the playing field. The ever-increasing raises being given to public-sector workers as a result of the arbitration system tells us that.

By the same token, I'm tired of hearing superintendents and school-board members complain that there are no other options than raising property taxes. There are other options.

After a two-year negotiation, Marlboro gave teachers a five-year contract with 4.5 percent annual salary increases -- with zero contribution to health-care benefits. Yet I'm sure there are people in Marlboro who've lost their jobs, who've had their homes foreclosed on, who can't keep a roof over their family's head.

There's something wrong.

At some point, there has to be parity between what's happening in the real world, and what's happening in the public-sector world. The money doesn't grow on trees outside government buildings. It comes from the hardworking people of our communities who are hurting right now.

In this instance, the political class (of which all of us here are members) is lagging behind the public. The public is ready to hear that tough choices have to be made.

They're not going to like it. But they're tired of hearing, "Don't worry. I can spare you from the pain." They've been hearing that for a decade, as we have borrowed and spent and taxed our way into oblivion.

State government has done every quick fix in the book. Now we're left holding the bag.

All of you know in your heart that what I am saying is true. You know that we can't afford these raises that are being given to public employees of all stripes. You know the state can't continue to spend money it doesn't have. And you know that the appetite for tax increases among our constituents has come to an end.

So the path to reform and success is clear. We just have to have the courage to go there.

What we're doing is showing people that government can work again for them, not for us. It has worked for the political class for much too long.

There's no time left. We have no room left to borrow. We have no room left to tax.

Forget about the next election, the next newspaper editorial, the next angry letter or phone call from someone who wants something for nothing. It's time for us to show courage and resolve.

We can do it -- because we are from New Jersey. And I have never, in all my travels around the country, met a group of tougher people.

Chris Christie is New Jersey's governor.

State of New Jersey, 1996-2010 Office of the Governor PO Box 001 Trenton, NJ 08625

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Governor Chris Christie's Address to Special Joint Session of Legislature VIDEO

Governor Christie Budget Deficit Speech: Governor Chris Christie presented his plan for closing an estimated $1.3 billion deficit in the current state budget.

Feb. 11, 2010 - Press Packet from Governor Chris Christie's Address to Special Joint Session of Legislature

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 11, 2010 Contact: Mike Drewniak. 609-777-2600.

Trenton, NJ - Please see attached .pdf files containing today's press packet and the schools surplus withholding numbers. Please note the press office will be closed Friday, February 12th.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chris Christie Delivers Inaugural Address as 55th Governor of New Jersey VIDEO FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Chris Christie Delivers Inaugural AddressTrenton, NJ - Today, Chris Christie was sworn in as the 55th Governor of the State of New Jersey and Kim Guadagno was sworn in as New Jersey’s first Lt. Governor. Governor Christie’s inaugural address as prepared for delivery is below:
Remarks of the Honorable Chris Christie, Governor of the State of New Jersey, Inaugural Address. War Memorial Building. Trenton, New Jersey, January 19, 2010.

For Immediate Release, Contact: Maria Comella. Tuesday, January 19, 2010. 609-575-1805

Lieutenant Governor Guadagno, Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Oliver, members of the 214th legislature, Chief Justice Rabner and the members of the supreme court, to all the former Governors, to my former U.S. Attorney colleagues, to my dear family and friends, and most of all to the hard working men and women of New Jersey, I stand here today as your Governor. I understand the task before me and I am well aware of your expectations for me and this government. You voted loudly and clearly for change and you have entrusted us with what may be our last, best hope for a stronger New Jersey—the New Jersey of our youth, full of hope and opportunity. New Jersey, you voted for change and today change has arrived—right here, right now.

I stand before you at an historic moment for New Jersey, a State rich in history.

It was, of course, in this very city, in the midst of a cold winter such as this one, and tremendous hardship for his troops, that George Washington crossed an icy Delaware some 233 years ago to win a battle that contributed so much to our history as a free people, and ultimately to the idea that a better life was possible in America.

Today, our challenges are different. We do not face the hardship of Washington’s troops. But our economy is struggling. Our budget is in deep deficit and our State is losing ground. Our people are dispirited and wondering if our best days are truly still ahead of us.

So let me begin with the spirit of those giants who have preceded us in mind.

First, I say to the people of New Jersey, while the economic hour is dark, there are brighter days ahead. We have the tools to win the battle for a better future. More than our forefathers had; even more than we realize ourselves.

And second, to all the people of the State, whether you voted for me or not, whether we have agreed or disagreed in the past – today, I am your governor. Young or old, republican or democrat, rich or poor, regardless of color or heritage – I promise you this: I will work every waking hour of every day for a better life for all of our citizens.

To governor Corzine, I thank you for your decade of service to the nation and to the people of New Jersey. Your focus on the health of our children is something for which many New Jerseyans will long be grateful.

Rarely in New Jersey’s history have we faced the challenges we face today. There is fear and uncertainty. But fear and uncertainty are not necessary and do not have to be permanent. We have the tools for a brighter future, if we change direction.

To the people of New Jersey, I say this: you voted for change. And today, change has arrived.

One thing is clear: the old ways of doing business have not worked.

The era of partisanship and acrimony has not served the people well. Problems have festered while too much of the time of our leaders has been spent assigning blame instead of assuming responsibility. Today, we are taking a new direction. Today, a new era of accountability and transparency is here. Today, I will sign executive orders that will make our finances, our budgeting, and our processes more transparent for all citizens to see. Today, change has arrived.

The era of runaway spending and higher and higher taxes has not worked. We have the largest budget deficit per person of any State in the Union. We have the highest tax rates in the nation. We have the highest unemployment rate in over a quarter century. Our economy is stagnant and our people are suffering under the burden government has placed on them. And we cannot continue to mortgage our future if we hope to improve it. Today, we are taking a new direction. Today, a new era of lower taxes and higher growth will begin. Today, change has arrived.

The era of broken schools and broken streets and broken dreams in our cities has not worked. Too many urban school districts have failed despite massive spending per pupil. Crime is too high, and hope is too low. Today, we are taking a new direction. Today, a new era in which parents have choices, in which charter schools can help young people pursue excellence, in which we work to attract people to cities instead of driving them out, begins. Today, change has arrived.

Many have commented that our problems are large. Some say they are insurmountable.

But I disagree.

As I have traveled this State, I have indeed seen people struggling.

I have seen moms who put their kids on the school bus worried about whether they are getting a 21st century education.

I have seen dads who went to work hoping for a good day but worried that their week might end on the unemployment line.

I have met parents who tuck their children into bed, wondering whether New Jersey can once again be a place where our kids can afford to raise their kids.

But I have also seen something else. All across our State, I have encountered strong and determined mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, students and their grandparents. Accepting the hand they have been dealt -- by the economy, by fate, but also by our own past choices and policies -- but anxious to work, together, to forge a new direction -- to fix the problems we face. So, to all those with hope in their heart, with determination in their soul, and with a willingness to pitch in and work together, I say—keep going; have faith; for today, change has arrived.

The people of our State are nothing if not determined. Families overcoming unimaginable burdens to hold together. Workers training for their second or third career. Students working two jobs to help pay for the hope given to each of them by a college education.

Certainly if they can do that, we can come together to do the people’s work by accomplishing the long overdue task of fixing our State’s problems and governing it with more foresight. By your example, you the people have shown us the path to change.

The greatest thing about New Jersey has always been New Jerseyans themselves. To truly understand this, you need only look at the New Jersey heroes we have with us today.

There is Carolyn B.T. Wallace of Newark. Forty years ago, she and her late husband James founded the international youth organization as a way to help kids in Newark. She has dedicated her life to transforming lives through education and community service.

There is Dave Girgenti of Cherry Hill, who three years ago began the wish upon a hero website. Using the power of the internet, he brings wishers and granters of wishes together. In these three short years, the power of Dave’s idea has made the wishes of 48,000 people come true.

Tammy Evans-Colquitt of Pennsauken created “image and attitude” in the year 2000 to help improve the self-image of disadvantaged men and women in Camden county. She helped women transitioning from welfare to work and men from incarceration to the workplace. Tammy’s hard work has proven once again that no life is disposable and that everyone deserves a second chance.

Jim Benedict of freehold started and runs a lunch kitchen out of St. Peter’s church, serving hot meals to 200 people, three days a week. With no formal funding from Gov’t, Jim calls on the generosity of New Jerseyans to feed the hungry.

Finally, Chip Paillex of Pittstown is the founder of America’s grow-a-row, a non-profit that feeds the hungry by encouraging the donation of fresh produce to food banks all over new jersey. He started in his own garden and last year, over 700 volunteers donated 225,000 pounds of produce to area food banks.

These folks are just a few examples of what New Jerseyans are all about. When faced with tough problems, you choose hard work over giving up. You rise to the challenge, not shrink from it. For all of us on this stage we must now resolve to use all of you as our example. We in office must not shrink from the challenge, we must rise to it.

So today, right now, I ask Senator Sweeney and Speaker Oliver to come and stand with me and join in a handshake of resolve and friendship. In a handshake of commitment to stand for our principles—but to never abandon our duty to serve the people. Let us shake hands as a symbol for our citizens of all that is possible in a future that demands that who gets the credit finally takes a back seat to doing something worth getting credit for. Senator Sweeney and Speaker Oliver—I offer you my hand and my commitment.

For my part: I asked to serve as governor to help solve our State’s problems. I asked to serve because I believe we can do it – we can chart a new course and write a better history. I stand here today as governor supremely confident that we are up to the challenge.

Why am I confident? Because we have the tools to grow again. Because we have resources that few other States can match.

In an economy powered by knowledge, we are home to one-fifth of all the researchers and scientists in the country.

In an interconnected world powered by trade, we are home to one of America’s greatest transportation hubs –one of the largest ports in the world, an unparalleled network of highways, and one of America’s busiest airports.

In a time of historic medical innovation, we are the number one home of life sciences in the nation.

In a society that draws strength from diversity, we are one of the most diverse States in the nation – home to mountains and beaches, to cities and farms, and to people of every background, color and creed imaginable. This diversity is our strength.

Now, we must once again be the home for growth. We can become that through the choices we make. Together, we must take the future in our own hands and shape it to our liking. We are not a State of passive observers; we are a State of builders and doers.

Together, we can build a stronger economy. Yes, we will have to cut some programs and transform others to get our budget in balance. Yes, we will have to curb spending in municipal governments where there has been too little control. Yes, we will have to restrain State government, even as we invest to be prepared for the economic competition ahead. But we can do these things—and once again be a home for growth.

Together, we can build better schools that train our students for a brighter future. Yes, we will have to make better use of the resources showered on education. Yes, we will have to hold schools accountable and give people the choice to pursue alternatives to schools that fail. Yes, we will have to reward excellence, and not tolerate failure. But we can do these things—and once again be a home for growth.

Together, we can cut red tape and make it easier for the entrepreneur to create new jobs and the business owner to keep them. With Lt. Governor Guadagno in the lead, we must revisit the complex web of rules woven by various special interests over many years. But that is a long overdue visit if we are once again going to be the home for growth.

Together, we can help our national government be a friend and not a barrier to growth. The era of expensive and sometimes thoughtless mandates from Washington must end. After all, the States are supposed to be “laboratories of democracy”, not guinea pigs for failed federal experiments.

Most of all, together we can restore pride in our State. We have the talent, the natural beauty, the rich history, and the even richer character as a people, to be proud of New Jersey again. It is time to bring our pride back.

If we can do these things, New Jersey can indeed again be a home for growth.

It will not happen overnight, for our problems did not accumulate in a day. They have been decades in the making.

The problems will not be solved if we retreat into a corner, or if we shrug our shoulders in the belief that one person cannot make a difference. This is not a time for just another season of cynicism. With a State in crisis, we must cast aside blame and embrace action. One person can make a difference. I will make a difference. And each of you will make a difference too, if you believe in a better tomorrow. Believe me, I did not come to this office for failure. I came here for success, the kind of success that only comes from putting public service ahead of self-service.

These problems will be solved by the force of our people. By a shared vision, from all of us, that New Jersey can once again be a place where one can find opportunity and a great job. A place to raise a family and find excellent schools. A place to call home with pride and confidence in the possibilities ahead.

For the choice before each of us now is clear: either to work together to move our State forward, or to get out of the way of those who will.

I am not going to pretend to have all the answers myself, because I do not. But I am ready to work with all of you. I am ready to make change happen. And like the people of this great State, I believe that real change can bring us real hope for a better tomorrow.

As for me, I will heed the message I have heard over and over again from our citizens as I have traveled around the State in the last 11 weeks—simply put, they have told me to do what I said I would do. So let there be no doubt in this hall, or in any corner of this State: I will treat that promise to the people of our State just as solemnly as I will treat my oath of office. I will do exactly what I said I would do over the last year, no matter the obstacle or trial.

And to all of you, I ask you to build this better future with me. I ask for your help.

When Abraham Lincoln came to New Jersey in February of 1861, awaiting his swearing in as president of a nation on the verge of rupture, he said while visiting the people of Newark: “Without the people I cannot hope to succeed; with them I cannot fail.”

So today, the time for change has arrived. Today, change is here. And I ask not only for God’s blessing, but for your help.

God bless New Jersey, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

# # #

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Governor-Elect Christie Announces Chairs of Transition Task Force on Budget and Taxes

Chris ChristieTask Force to Get to Work Addressing New Jersey's Fiscal Challenges

Trenton, NJ - Governor-Elect Chris Christie today named two budget and fiscal experts to chair a special Transition Task Force on Budget and Taxes and asked them to get to work immediately on developing recommendations to help address New Jersey's fiscal challenges.
The Governor-Elect named Richard H. Bagger of Westfield, an executive at Pfizer Inc and a former Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and Robert E. Grady, a Livingston native, former aide to Governor Thomas H. Kean and former top official at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as Co-Chairmen of the task force.

"Addressing the problems facing New Jersey's economy is my highest priority, " Christie said, "and with these two experienced budget and fiscal experts helping me spearhead our efforts we are able to get to work right away."

The Task Force Co-Chairmen will help develop recommendations to address the fiscal deficit that state experts have estimated at over $8 billion for the coming fiscal year 2011, and to respond to the shortfall in projected state revenues in the current fiscal year 2010. They will recruit additional Task Force members and staff experts to address various components of the State's fiscal emergency.

Bagger served in the New Jersey Assembly from 1993 to 2002 and in the State Senate from 2002 to 2003. He was Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee from 1998 to 2002. He was a former Councilman and Mayor of Westfield. Currently, he serves as Senior Vice President for Worldwide Public Affairs at Pfizer Inc. Earlier in his career, Bagger served as Assistant General Counsel of Blue Cross/Blue Shield and was an attorney with the law firm of McCarter and English.

Grady served as Chief of Staff to former U.S. Representative Millicent Fenwick, as Director of Communications for former Governor Thomas H. Kean, and as Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Associate Director of OMB in the Administration of former President George H.W. Bush. For the last decade, he had been the partner in charge of venture capital investing at The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms. Before retiring this summer and joining Cheyenne Capital Fund, a private equity firm, he served as Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) in 2006-2007 and as a professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business from 1994-2004. ###

For Immediate Release Thursday, November 12, 2009. Contact: Maria Comella 609-341-3000

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Chris Christie Acceptance Speech FULL TEXT VIDEO


UPDATE 11/06/13 - - Chris Christie Acceptance Speech 2013 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO - "Thank you, New Jersey, for making me the luckiest guy in the world,"


New Jersey Governor-Elect Chris Christie (R) Delivers Acceptance Speech - 11/03/09 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

" Ladies and gentlemen thank you so much. Thank you so much all of you -- here tonight. Thank you so much. Thank you so much."

" My -- economy get through this. -- first I want election. They're that good. Now. I want I want Alexia I want to let you all -- I want -- all about."

" I want to -- although. I wanna let you all know that about forty minutes ago. I received -- call of congratulations. From governor Jon Corzine."

" Okay."

" Now. -- Not help please don't."

" C'mon now. -- and the governor's call with gracious. I thank him for -- years of service to the state. He pledged he pledged he pledged a smooth. He pledged a smooth transition. To the new -- administration."

" Okay."

" Now now I'd like to I'd like you'd indulge me in just a few bank --"

" I want to thank you for it. --"

" Like you tells me if you -- I wanna bank. -- Great former Republican governors who stood with me governor Tom -- governor Christie Whitman thank you very much. It. I want to thank. My great friend. And my campaign chairman state senator Joe --"

" It the I want to thank the future of the Republican Party are Republican state chairman."

" And most of all most of all. I want to thank the most important people in my life. My wife Mary pat. -- for my four great children Andrew and Sarah. Patrick in -- it. -- effect -- that bill who is here with me tonight. I think you all know my brother Todd."

" Okay."

" And my sister gone I love them both thank you very much. You know and -- New Jersey New Jersey. Is extraordinary place. Here I am. -- guy who was born in -- forty -- years ago. Two parents two parents struggle to make ends meet brought me home. To a fourth floor walk up apartment on the corner south -- avenue and fourteenth street. At five years later. Five years later they moved this the Livingston because they want our family that the best public education we could possibly have. And everything. That I've been lucky enough to become. The foundation with -- for back. In those schools in those years by great teachers. Have by -- great parents. Who gave us the values that allowed me. To be standing in front of you tonight. At the 55 governor stated --"

" Okay."

" But you go I think -- all before. The selection tonight it's not about me. And it's not back him. And candidly. It's not about many -- you. This election. Was. And is. About the future of the state we love the great state of New Jersey. "

" And I."

" because. Because for me and for most of you. We've already had a great New Jersey life. Great New Jersey life and what we want to do is to make sure that everyone in New Jersey has the opportunity for that great New Jersey life and even more importantly. That our children and our grandchildren. Have the opportunity for that great -- life because. If we continue on the path we're on. That will not be possible. We are in a crisis. The times are extraordinarily difficult. But I stand here tonight. Full of hope. For our future. Full of expectations. And dreams. Not just for my children. But for all the children of New Jersey -- are gonna get to work to make that happen starting tomorrow."

" Because tomorrow. Because tomorrow. Together. We begin to take back New Jersey. "

" It. Tomorrow we're gonna take back -- Jersey for our families tomorrow we're gonna take back New Jersey for our friends. Tomorrow we're gonna take back New Jersey for our neighbors tomorrow we're gonna take back New Jersey for the least fortunate among us. Who do not want the government to fix every problem they just want to give a hand up so they can build opportunity for themselves."

" Tomorrow. Tomorrow. We begin. To build that greater New Jersey for our children and grandchildren. Because you see. I want my children. To raise their children. In this state. I want your children to raise their children in this state. So tomorrow. Tomorrow begin the task of fixing our broken state and I tell you. I can tell you I can tell you that they've and I -- Kim and I are ready for the task given the higher ready for the task. Now. I will tell you. The campaign. The camp we went rules seem easy. Compared to the path that lie ahead of the -- Thursday. We know the challenges we face -- over the next four years. Ever work cut out there are no easy answers. These difficult problems. But you know on the campaign throw -- and I really learned. Was that the suffocating taxes. And the government that was out of control. Has -- threatened completely out of touch tomorrow starting tomorrow. We're gonna pick -- up and we are gonna turn it upside down. Now. Over the last week only been on that campaign -- I've met a number of people and I -- tell you about just a few of them you can understand what we really -- front of us. Just today. I met a man from Hamilton with his two children. Who's a small business owner. Who with tears in his eyes told me if you don't win. -- this this is gonna go broke. I don't know what I'm gonna do with my children. We're gonna have to leave the state -- I was born and raised. This election tonight it's about him and his children. This week this week I met a senior citizen for ten -- A man who was nine years old. Who grabbed -- by the -- instead. A minding your sold. You better do everything you said it's not going to be here for years without -- hole to fill it. Tonight that election is about him. And couple weeks ago I met a farmer from violence. Who was a fourth generation. Farmer. In that town. And he's fit to be you know mr. Christie if this continues. I'm gonna have to be the one who gives up the farm that's been in my family for four generations. And -- feel like a break in the heart. Of my father. My grandfather. And my great grandfather. Tonight. That election is this election is about him. We need to make New Jersey more affordable and we need to do it now. And you know. You know -- be naysayers who say that. Kim and I are gonna be able lower taxes. That we're not gonna be able lower spending that we're not -- be able to cut onerous regulation but we're not gonna be able to get government back under control. Well let me tell yeah these were the same people who wait years ago when I became US attorney. Said that you couldn't fight corruption in New Jersey. Well they were wrong then that. And they are wrong now. -- kid a kid and I. Given Iowa -- without regard to party or politics. We will do it without regard to what section of the state you're from. What you're it's your race -- your ethnicity. What's your gender. Without regard to any of that because new Jersey's problems are too big. To any more conduct the petty politics of yesterday. No matter whose idea it is if it's a good one -- and I'll figure out how to get it done."

" Okay."

" Now let me say one more thing about the people of the state of New Jersey. You know you know for you know for years. For years and years and years. The Talking Heads on television. Commentators in the newspapers said you cannot. Win an election in New Jersey. Without being. Personally. Negative without doing smear attack ads on the character of your opponent now it now -- February. In February when -- for governor I said. But I knew that this campaign. Would get into the gutter. And that I would not follow my opponent that -- got -- And I told you then I did not know where that was a winning strategy or losing strategy. But I told you it was my strategy and -- worked too hard I've worked too hard. Over my life. To give away my integrity for any job not even this one."

" Okay. Okay."

" And let me tell you that's. Through bear overwhelming. -- work tonight. The people of New Jersey said no more -- negative personal campaign. --"

" In the face of a thirty million dollar onslaught. That consisted of almost exclusively. Negative personal can't -- campaign against me. My family and my friends the people of New Jersey decided enough is he now."

" And and so now. -- out to all. Of those pundits out there. -- all of those experts on politics. I beg you. Let's turn the page let's put the petty politics of the past behind us and it started a new era of hope. And -- to -- New Jersey. "

" because. I was born here. And I was raised here. And this is the state that I love. And I'll tell you I have known from minute one of this campaign. That we can change New Jersey. So tomorrow. Let's roll up our sleeves. Let's get to work. At the hard task ahead of us what we will know. That at the end of these four years. I promise you one thing. That we will restore. Your hope. And your faith. And your trust. In New Jersey thank you very much."
by Christopher Christie