Showing posts with label Kelly Ayotte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kelly Ayotte. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Chris Christie Acceptance Speech 2013 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO

Chris Christie Acceptance Speech 2013 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO

"Thank you, New Jersey, for making me the luckiest guy in the world," "I did not seek a second term to do small things," he said. "I sought a second term to finish the job. Now watch me do it." "If we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington, DC should tune in on their TVs right now, see how it's done!"


Transcript (provided by the Christie campaign):

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, I stand here as your Governor, and I am so proud to be your Governor.

Born in Newark, raised in Livingston, made my wife from Pennsylvania a real Jersey girl, and raised our family right here in this amazing state, I love just as much as my mother and father raised me to love it.

You see, what people have never understood about us, is that I didn’t any introduction to all of you. I know you, because I’m one of you.

So tonight, first and foremost, I want to say thank you, New Jersey, for making me the luckiest guy in the world.

And the only greatest honor and privilege than being a one-term governor of New Jersey, is to be a two-term governor of New Jersey.

You got to meet my kids again tonight, and Mary Pat and I are so proud of them. Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridgette, I love you all.

And over the last four years, but especially this year, New Jersey got to know what a special first lady they have, I love you Mary Pat.

I spoke to Senator Buono awhile ago. No, no, she congratulated me, it was very gracious. Very gracious, in her congratulations, and I thanked her for a spirited campaign, and for her 20 years of public service to this state.

Now when we came to office four years ago, we stood behind a podium like this, and said that people were tired of politics as usual, they wanted to get things done, and we promised we were going to go to Trenton and turn things upside down, and I think we’ve done just that.

The people of New Jersey four years ago were downhearted and dispirited, they didn’t believe that government could work for them anymore.

In fact, what they thought was that government was just there to take from them but not to give to them, not to work with them, not to work for them. Well, four years later, we stand here tonight showing that it is possible to put doing your job first, to put working together first, to fight for what you believe in, yet still stand by your principles and get something done for the people who elected you. The biggest thing, the biggest thing I’ve learned over the last four years about leadership is that leadership is much less about talking than it is about listening, about bringing people around the table listening to each other, showing them respect, doing what needed to be done to be able to bring people together and to achieve what we needed to achieve to move our state forward.

Now listen, I know that if we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington, DC should tune in their tvs right now to see how it’s done. See, listen, we’re New Jersey. We still fight, we still yell. But when we fight, we fight for those things that really matter in people’s lives. And while we may not always agree, we show up everywhere. We just don’t show up in the places that vote for us a lot, we show up in the places that vote for us a little. We don’t just show up in the places where we’re comfortable, we show up in the places where we’re uncomfortable.

Because when you lead, you need to be there. You need to show up, you need to listen and then you need to act. And you don’t just show up six months before an election, you show up four years before one. And you just don’t take no for an answer the first time no has happened. You keep going back and trying more. Because when I was elected four years ago, I wasn’t elected just by the people who voted for me. I was the governor of all the people.

And tonight, overwhelmingly, those people have said, ‘come on board, it’s fine here, let’s have more people support the governor’ and now we have a big, big win tonight. What people have told me over the last four years is that more than anything else, they want the truth. They want the truth. You know, we don’t always agree with each other in New Jersey. Some folks don’t agree with some of the things I do and certainly they don’t agree with some of the things I say sometimes. But they know, they know they never have to wonder. When they walked into the voting booth today, they didn’t say, ‘hey I wonder who this guy is and what he stands for, what he’s willing to fight for, what he’s willing to do when the chips are down.’

You can agree with me, you can disagree with me. But I will never stop leading the state I love. People across the country have asked me how it is we’ve been able to do what we’ve achieved. And I’m reminded of a story that Pastor Joe Carter of the New Hope Baptist Church told just one week ago today on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. He called what had happened in New Jersey the last year the ‘spirit of Sandy.’ He spoke about people coming together.

He said when the lights went out, no one cared what color your skin was. He said when you didn’t have any food, no one cared whether it was a Republican or Democrat offering you the food. When you didn’t have a warm place for your family because of what happened in the storm, you didn’t care if it was someone who thought government should be big or small. At that moment, the ‘spirit of Sandy’ infected all of us.

Reverend Carter was right. And he prayed that day that the spirit of Sandy would stay with us well beyond the days that the recovery will take. My pledge to you tonight is I will govern with the spirit of Sandy. It’s true of New Jersey and all the people who live here, they’re ready to live that way, too. as you governor it’s never mattered to me where someone is from, whether they voted for me or not, what the of their skin was or their political party. for me being governor has always been about getting the job done first. now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have principles. we have many of them. and we have stood and fought every day to cut taxes, to reduce the size of government spending, to reform pensions and benefits, to reform a broken education system and to make sure that we create opportunity again for New Jerseyans.

And for the next four years, we will fight to make those changes permanent, and we will fight to make them bigger. I did not seek a second term to do small things. I sought a second term to finish the job – now watch me do it.

I want to thank a few people in addition to my family before we go tonight. I want to tell you that I, over the last year have had the greatest campaign team any governor could ever ask for, they ran a flawless campaign and I thank them for it.

And I want to thank my cabinet and my senior staff, who especially over the last year have worked tirelessly with me to help bring back — bring back the great state of New Jersey from the second worst national disaster to ever hit this country.

And I want to thank the second woman, who said yes to me when I asked – New Jersey’s great Lt. Governor, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.

I used to tell folks all the time that I had the greatest job in the world – for a Jersey kid to be elected Governor of the state where I was born and raised.

It’s the greatest job that you could ever have in your life – I loved it every day, I would get up and know that I would have a chance to do something great. I didn’t do something great every day, but I had a chance to do something great every day for people that I would probably never meet.

But on October 29th of last year, that job changed. It’s no longer a job for me. It’s a mission. You see, a mission is different than a job. A mission is something that’s sacred. It’s a sacred trust that was thrust upon me and you on October 29th of last year.

And that mission, that mission is to make sure that everyone, everyone in New Jersey who’s affected by Sandy is returned to normalcy in their life. And i want to promise you tonight, i will not let anyone, anything, any political party, any governmental entity or any force get in between me and the completion of my mission.

You see, for those veterans out there tonight, you know — you know how sacred a mission is. Sacredness of the mission of a soldier is that no one ever is left behind. No one is ever left behind on the battle field. And on the battle field that Sandy turned this state into, New Jerseyans will never leave any New Jerseyan behind.

I’m resolved to complete this mission, not because of me, but because of you. For the last year I’ve had a lot of people ask me for hugs. A lot of people. [inaudible crowd] You’ll get your hug later, brother. And I can tell you this. [Inaudible crowd]. I guess there is open bar tonight, huh?

People ask me for hugs to comfort them. People asked me for hugs to make sure I wouldn’t forget them. People asked me for hugs just to know that the leader of this state cared about them. And people came up to me all the time in the aftermath and said to me, “Governor, where did you get the energy? Where did you get the energy day after day after to do that?” And I told them, “You don’t understand, do you? Those hugs gave more to me than I could ever give back to them. They gave me hope and faith and optimism for our future.

The people of New Jersey have given me much more than I could ever hope to give back to them. They’ve given me hope. They’ve given me faith. And they’ve given me their trust. And it’s with that hope, with that optimism, that faith, and that trust that we together confront the next four years of opportunity for our state.

I know that tonight a dispirited America, angry with their dysfunctional government in Washington looks to New Jersey to say, “is what I think’s happening really happening? Are people really coming together? Are we really working, African Americans and Hispanics, suburbanites and city-dwellers, farmers and teachers, are we really all working together?” Let me give the answer to everyone who is watching tonight – under this government, our first job is to get the job done. And as long as I am governor, that job will always, always be finished.

I think tonight most particularly – and I know my dad and my brother and sister who are here tonight with me share this same view. I think tonight most particularly about my mother.

All of you who have heard me over the last four years know that she was and still is the dominant influence in my life. As I said on the video, as I said on the video, my mom used to say to me all the time, “Christopher, be yourself. Because then tomorrow you don’t have to worry about trying to remember who you pretended to be yesterday.”

Powerful words from a woman who I miss every day. But tonight, tonight I know that my mom is looking down on New Jersey and saying to me — I can feel it – she’s saying to me, “Chris, the job’s not done yet. Get back to work and finish the job for the people of New Jersey.” That’s exactly what I’ll do. I love you, New Jersey. Thank you very much!

- See more at: http://blogs.app.com/capitolquickies/2013/11/06/chris-christies-victory-speech-in-text-and-word-cloud/#sthash.kWvuMzvY.dpuf

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kelly Ayotte Votes to Start Debate on Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill

Kelly Ayotte Votes to Start Debate on Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill. Strong bipartisan vote of 84 to 15 advances important debate Jun 11, 2013.

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted today to start debate on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act - bipartisan immigration reform legislation that includes provisions to secure our border, implement an employment verification system, create a tough but fair means for those who are here illegally to earn legal status, and allow high-skilled and other needed immigrants to work here legally and help grow our economy. On Sunday, Ayotte became the first Republican senator outside of the bipartisan "Gang of 8" to announce her support for the legislation - providing a key vote for the bill.

"Today's vote reflects overwhelming bipartisan support for having this urgent debate," said Senator Ayotte. "We need immigration reform that serves our country's best interests. That means stopping the dangerous flow of illegal immigrants into our country through greater border security, more effective enforcement and a vigorous employment verification program. This legislation also modernizes our legal immigration system to allow high-skilled and other needed immigrants to work here legally and help grow our economy, addressing a critical need I've heard frequently from New Hampshire's business community."


KEY COMPONENTS OF BORDER SECURITY, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, AND IMMIGRATION MODERNIZATION ACT:

Securing the Border:

• The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must create, fund and initiate a border security and border fence plan within six months of bill's enactment.

o The Secretary would be directed to present Congress with a "Southern Border Security Strategy" and a "Southern Border Fencing Strategy" within six months of enactment, to include additional border agents and surveillance and identify where fencing, infrastructure, and technology should be deployed. $1.5 billion would be made available from the fund for constructing additional fencing and $3 billion for the security strategy.

• DHS must achieve 100 percent border awareness and at least 90 percent effectiveness in all border sectors (within five years of bill's enactment)

Stopping the Flow of Illegal Immigrants:
• Employment Verification - ‘E-Verify' - technology must be implemented. Under the bill, all employers will be required to use the E-Verify system over a five year phase-in period. Employers with more than 5,000 employees will be phased-in within two years. Employers with more than 500 employees will be phased-in within three years.

• Employers would face fines and civil penalties for violations of the E-Verify requirements, and possible criminal penalties for extensive and knowing employment of undocumented workers.

• To stop abuse of the existing visas system, DHS must implement an electronic biographic visa exit system at all international airports and seaports by the end of 2015.

• The bill would require DHS to report all visa overstays to the appropriate law enforcement, intelligence, or national security agency, and require that enforcement resources are used to locate the visa overstay and commence removal proceedings.

Earning Legal Status:

• The legislation also includes strict requirements for those illegal immigrants who have been here since before 2012.

o No undocumented immigrant is eligible to apply for temporary status until the border security and fencing plan have been submitted to Congress and the implementation of those plans is underway.

• Before any of these 11 million could earn a green card, they would go to the back of the line, not receive means-tested federal benefits and Obamacare subsidies, and they would be required to pay fines, pay taxes, and pass background checks, learn English, and secure a job.

• The minimum most immigrants would have to wait to earn a green card would be ten years - and 13 years for naturalization. And this timeline is dependent on first meeting border security and employment enforcement measures.

Boosting the U.S. Economy Through Legal Immigration Reform:

• After companies make every effort to recruit Americans to perform particular jobs and can't find any - especially those with expertise in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) - they are forced to look elsewhere.
o This legislation addresses that shortfall and will strengthen our economy.
o The bill expands the highly skilled H1-B visa program from 65,000 up to 180,000 to fill job shortages.

• The bill establishes a new guest worker visa program for lower-skilled workers that ensures the future flow of workers is manageable, traceable, and fair to American workers.

• The bill also allows current undocumented farm workers who have made a substantial prior commitment to agricultural work in the United States to obtain legal status through an Agricultural Blue Card Program.

###

D.C. Office. 144 Russell Senate Office Building. Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-224-3324. Fax: 202-224-4952

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kelly Ayotte Weekly Republican Address 11/17/12 PODCAST VIDEO

Kelly Ayotte Weekly Republican Address 11/17/12 PODCAST VIDEO: 11/17/12 - Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Delivers Weekly GOP Address On Avoiding The Fiscal Cliff


In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) says the looming fiscal cliff represents an opportunity for both parties to change the nation's "irresponsible spending path." Calling for presidential leadership to avoid the tax hikes, and defense cuts that the Pentagon says will hollow out our Armed Forces, Sen. Ayotte says, "One thing is clear: doing nothing is not an option. And any effort to address our fiscal crisis without including entitlement reform can't be taken seriously."

Kelly Ayotte

Published on Nov 17, 2012 by gopweeklyaddress. Category: News and Politics. License: Standard YouTube License.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chris Christie keynote address (speech) Republican National Convention RNC 08/28/12 FULL PODCAST VIDEO TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Chris Christie keynote address (speech) Republican National Convention RNC 08/28/12 FULL PODCAST VIDEO TEXT TRANSCRIPT


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivers Monday night's keynote address to the 2012 Republican National Convention. August 28, 2012 | Tampa, FL. Category: News and Politics. License: Standard YouTube License

FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT:

Transcript of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's keynote speech as prepared for delivery at the Republican National Convention.

This stage and this moment are very improbable for me.

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight.

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother.

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable.

My Mom, who I lost eight years ago, was the enforcer. She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger. Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing. She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day. And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings. She was tough as nails and didn't suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn't afford to. She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish.

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to "Darkness on the Edge of Town" with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore.

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old.

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade.

And I am still her son today, as governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth.

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved.

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.

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say "yes," rather than to say no when "no" is what's required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path.

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.

But tonight, I say enough.

I say, together, let's make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid. We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it.

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey.

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things.

There were those who said it couldn't be done. The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow.

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit. Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy.

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful. Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it.

The disciples of yesterday's politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice.

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn't be surprised.

We've never been a country to shy away from the truth. History shows that we stand up when it counts and it's this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I'm not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America.

Let's be clear with the American people tonight. Here's what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats.

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country's fiscal realities. Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn't add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government.

They believe that the American people don't want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements.

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren.

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don't teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children.

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what's best for our nation's future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.

They believe in teacher's unions.

We believe in teachers.

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it's possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.

It's the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party.

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing.

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, an education system that's failing to compete in the world.

It doesn't matter how we got here. There is enough blame to go around.

What matters now is what we do.

I know we can fix our problems.

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it's possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results.

The people have no patience for any other way.

It's simple.

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses.

Leadership delivers.

Leadership counts.

Leadership matters.

We have this leader for America.

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction. And now he has a running mate who will do the same.

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next president and vice president.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world's greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey.

It's time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real.

This moment is real.

It's a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge.

Not to look around and say "not me," but to say, "Yes, Me."

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo.

I have faith in us.

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history.

There's only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don't get from reading a poll.

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don't follow polls. Real leaders change polls.

That's what we need to do now.

Change polls through the power of our principles.

Change polls through the strength of our convictions.

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation.

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world.

Now it's our time to answer history's call.

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we.

What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we've acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can't?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don't know about you, but I don't want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American century.

I don't want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship.

I want them to live in a second American century.

A second American century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

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.

A second American century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.

This is the American way.

We have never been victims of destiny.

We have always been masters of our own.

I won't be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you.

It's now time to stand up. There's no time left to waste.

If you're willing to stand up with me for America's future, I will stand up with you.

If you're willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you're willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I'm here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling.

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.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Kelly Ayotte introduces Mitt Romney Portsmouth N.H. VIDEO

Kelly Ayotte introduces Mitt Romney VIDEO


Kelly Ayotte introduces Mitt Romney at an event in Portsmouth to talk about commercial fishing and their belief that the Obama White House has stifled it and other small business with too much regulation. After her intro, Romney greets the crowd and recognized certain people in the audience, including former N.H. Gov. John Sununu. No mention by either Romney nor Ayotte about speculation concerning Ayotte becoming Romney's running mate.

Category: News & Politics Tags: Mitt Romney, Kelly Ayotte, Portsmouth, presidential campaign.

License: Standard YouTube License.

VIDEO and TEXT CREDIT: pbriand3 Published on Apr 30, 2012 by

IMAGE CREDIT: by wmurtv Published on Apr 30, 2012 U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte introduces Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Portsmouth. Category: News & Politics Tags: Kelly, Ayotte, Portsmouth, Mitt Romney. License: Standard YouTube License.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Governor Christie to President Obama "What Are We Paying You For?" VIDEO TEXT TRANSCRIPT


Governor Christie to President Obama "What Are We Paying You For?" VIDEO

FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT:

Governor Chris Christie: I believe that the Occupy movement and the Tea Party movement come -- their genesis -- is from the same feeling, which is an anger that government can’t get things done. And so, now, that is the last similarity between the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement. But I believe that the cause for their anger comes from the same place. They look at Washington D.C. and they look at a president who is a bystander in the Oval Office. You know, I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration about the failure of the Supercommittee. And that the President knew that it was doomed for failure so he didn’t get involved.

Governor Christie to President Obama 'What Are We Paying You For?' VIDEO TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Well then what the hell are we paying you for? It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing exactly? I mean, I will tell you that I think both parties deserve blame for what’s going on in Washington D.C., both parties do. They’re spending more time talking at each other than talking with each other. We all know what the solutions to these problems are, we’ve done them in New Jersey in many areas, but we don’t have the political will to get them done. And in New Jersey, the reason why they got things done is because I called people into a room and said we’re going to solve this problem and I had people of good will on the other side who said they believed it was their obligation, regardless of party, to get done things like pension and benefit reform.

That Mayor Redd can tell you personally how it’s helping her and her budget situation in Camden. Why the President of the United States refuses to do this is astonishing to me. I mean, you know, if he wanted to run for Senate again and just be 1 of 100, I’m sure he could have gotten reelected over and over again in Illinois. When you’re president, it’s kind of what I was talking about before, you know 41, 21 and 1, well he’s the one in Washington. And he’s got to get something done here. And it’s not good enough just to say well, I’ll get it done after the election.

Press Contact: Michael Drewniak Kevin Roberts 609-777-2600 Office of the Governor PO Box 001 Trenton, NJ 08625 609-292-6000

VIDEO CREDIT: GovChristie

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Chris Christie announces he will not be running for President 10/04/11 FULL VIDEO

Chris Christie announces he will not be running for President 10/04/11 FULL VIDEO


Governor Chris Christie takes questions during a press conference announcing he will not be running for President of the United States, while in the outer office of the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Chris Christie announces he will not be running for President 10/04/11

VIDEO CREDIT: governorchrischristie

IMAGE CREDIT: state.nj.us/governor/

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chris Christie Keynote Address Ronald Reagan Library 09/27/11 FULL VIDEO and TEXT TRANSCRIPT


Chris Christie Keynote Address Ronald Reagan Library 09/27/11 FULL VIDEO and TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Full Text of Governor Chris Christie's Speech at the Ronald Reagan Library: Simi Valley, CA September 27, 2011

Chris Christie's Speech at the Ronald Reagan Library: Simi Valley, CA September 27, 2011

Mrs. Reagan, distinguished guests. It is an honor for me to be here at the Reagan Library to speak to you today. I want to thank Mrs. Reagan for her gracious invitation. I am thrilled to be here.

Ronald Reagan believed in this country. He embodied the strength, perseverance and faith that has propelled immigrants for centuries to embark on dangerous journeys to come here, to give up all that was familiar for all that was possible.

He judged that as good as things were and had been for many Americans, they could and would be better for more Americans in the future.

It is this vision for our country that guided his administration over the course of eight years. His commitment to making America stronger, better and more resilient is what allowed him the freedom to challenge conventional wisdom, reach across party lines and dare to put results ahead of political opportunism.

Everybody in this room and in countless other rooms across this great country has his or her favorite Reagan story. For me, that story happened thirty years ago, in August 1981. The air traffic controllers, in violation of their contracts, went on strike. President Reagan ordered them back to work, making clear that those who refused would be fired. In the end, thousands refused, and thousands were fired.

I cite this incident not as a parable of labor relations but as a parable of principle. Ronald Reagan was a man who said what he meant and meant what he said. Those who thought he was bluffing were sadly mistaken. Reagan’s demand was not an empty political play; it was leadership, pure and simple.

Reagan said it best himself, “I think it convinced people who might have thought otherwise that I meant what I said. Incidentally, I would have been just as forceful if I thought management had been wrong in the dispute.”

I recall this pivotal moment for another reason as well. Most Americans at the time and since no doubt viewed Reagan’s firm handling of the PATCO strike as a domestic matter, a confrontation between the president and a public sector union. But this misses a critical point.

To quote a phrase from another American moment, the whole world was watching. Thanks to newspapers and television – and increasingly the Internet and social media – what happens here doesn’t stay here.

Another way of saying what I have just described is that Americans do not have the luxury of thinking that what we have long viewed as purely domestic matters have no consequences beyond our borders. To the contrary. What we say and what we do here at home affects how others see us and in turn affects what it is they say and do.

America’s role and significance in the world is defined, first and foremost, by who we are at home. It is defined by how we conduct ourselves with each other. It is defined by how we deal with our own problems. It is determined in large measure by how we set an example for the world.

We tend to still understand foreign policy as something designed by officials in the State Department and carried out by ambassadors and others overseas. And to some extent it is. But one of the most powerful forms of foreign policy is the example we set.

This is where it is instructive to harken back to Ronald Reagan and the PATCO affair. President Reagan’s willingness to articulate a determined stand and then carry it out at home sent the signal that the occupant of the Oval Office was someone who could be predicted to stand by his friends and stand up to his adversaries.

If President Reagan would do that at home, leaders around the world realized that he would do it abroad as well. Principle would not stop at the water’s edge. The Reagan who challenged Soviet aggression, or who attacked a Libya that supported terror was the same Reagan who stood up years before to PATCO at home for what he believed was right.

All this should and does have meaning for us today. The image of the United States around the world is not what it was, it is not what it can be and it is not what it needs to be. This country pays a price whenever our economy fails to deliver rising living standards to our citizens--which is exactly what has been the case for years now.

We pay a price when our political system cannot come together and agree on the difficult but necessary steps to rein in entitlement spending or reform our tax system.

We pay a price when special interests win out over the collective national interest. We are seeing just this in the partisan divide that has so far made it impossible to reduce our staggering deficits and to create an environment in which there is more job creation than job destruction.

This is where the contrast between what has happened in New Jersey and what is happening in Washington, DC is the most clear.

In New Jersey over the last 20 months, you have actually seen divided government that is working. To be clear, it does not mean that we have no argument or acrimony. There are serious disagreements, sometimes expressed loudly—Jersey style.

Here is what we did. We identified the problems. We proposed specific means to fix them. We educated the public on the dire consequences of inaction. And we compromised, on a bi-partisan basis, to get results. We took action.

How so you ask? Leadership and compromise.

Leadership and compromise is the only way you can balance two budgets with over $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes while protecting core services.

Leadership and compromise is the only way you reform New Jersey’s pension and health benefits system that was collectively $121 billion underfunded.

Leadership and compromise is the only way you cap the highest property taxes in the nation and cap the interest arbitration awards of some of the most powerful public sector unions in the nation at no greater than a 2% increase.

In New Jersey we have done this, and more, because the Executive Branch has not sat by and waited for others to go first to suggest solutions to our state’s most difficult problems.

Being a mayor, being a governor, being a president means leading by taking risk on the most important issues of the day. It has happened in Trenton.

In New Jersey we have done this with a legislative branch, held by the opposite party, because it is led by two people who have more often put the interests of our state above the partisan politics of their caucuses.

Our bi-partisan accomplishments in New Jersey have helped to set a tone that has taken hold across many other states. It is a simple but powerful message--lead on the tough issues by telling your citizens the truth about the depth of our challenges. Tell them the truth about the difficulty of the solutions. This is the only effective way to lead in America during these times.

In Washington, on the other hand, we have watched as we drift from conflict to conflict, with little or no resolution.

We watch a president who once talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has yet to find the courage to lead.

We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol’s door. The result is a debt ceiling limitation debate that made our democracy appear as if we could no longer effectively govern ourselves.

And still we continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office. We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things that are obvious to all Americans and to a watching and anxious world community.

Yes, we hope. Because each and every time the president lets a moment to act pass him by, his failure is our failure too. The failure to stand up for the bipartisan debt solutions of the Simpson Bowles Commission, a report the president asked for himself...the failure to act on the country's crushing unemployment...the failure to act on ever expanding and rapidly eroding entitlement programs...the failure to discern pork barrel spending from real infrastructure investment.

The rule for effective governance is simple. It is one Ronald Reagan knew by heart. And one that he successfully employed with Social Security and the Cold War. When there is a problem, you fix it. That is the job you have been sent to do and you cannot wait for someone else to do it for you.

Chris Christie Keynote Address Ronald Reagan Library 09/27/11 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT in PDF FORMAT

VIDEO CREDIT: GrandCentralPolitics

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chris Christie Meet the Press 06/26/11 FULL VIDEO


Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) on the national debt crisis, NJ's pension plan, the 2012 field and his personal style.

Chris Christie Meet the Press

VIDEO TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Meet The Press: One-on-one with Gov. Christie (R-NJ):

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chris Christie The Ides of March are coming… and I’m waiting VIDEO


“The Choice” that Governor Christie has laid out for the New Jersey legislature. Overview of this year's budget. Governor Christie's FY 2012 Budget Overview [pdf 1.02MB]

Achieves New Normal in Budgeting By Maintaining Fiscal Discipline and Funding Key Priorities for New Jerseyans

Governor Chris ChristiTrenton, NJ – Advancing his vision for a New Normal in state budgeting, Governor Chris Christie presented a $29.4 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2012 that cuts real spending for a second consecutive year.
The Governor’s Budget proposal includes $200 million in focused tax cuts, provides additional property tax relief, increases school aid and funds a reformed state pension system, while preserving or increasing funding to protect our state’s most vulnerable citizens. The Fiscal Year 2012 Budget marks a departure from the Trenton tradition of budgeting to meet deficit projections that embrace wish-list spending by legislators and assume continuous funding increases that irresponsibly ignore actual revenue sources and the fiscal health of the state.

The Governor’s Budget – which reduces real spending by 2.6 percent from the current fiscal year – hits the reset button on the state budgeting process and starts with the refreshing assumption that budgeting and spending must be reality-based and zero-based. The New Normal means developing a bottom-up approach – establishing priorities and funding them based on revenue that is actually available and predictable versus the old approach of assuming every line item and program will automatically be funded at the same or higher level than prior years.

“The old way of budgeting and thinking must be stricken from our collective minds if we are to successfully emerge from this fiscal crisis with permanently reformed budgeting and spending habits,” Governor Chris Christie said. “This is a new paradigm for state government – a New Normal – that cuts and spends responsibly, incentivizes our local governments to do better with what our taxpayers entrust to them, and causes businesses to feel welcome and want to stay and expand or relocate to our state.”

The Governor’s Budget proposal adheres to necessary spending and budgeting discipline, but also meets New Jersey’s most vital spending priorities. Among those priorities in the budget:

* Increases education aid to every school district in New Jersey by a total of $250 million;

* Fulfills the statutory commitment to make a $506 million payment to a reformed state pension fund, representing the first funding to the defined benefit plans since fiscal year 2009;

* Provides $200 million in job-creating, strategic tax cuts that are responsible and sustainable;

* Doubles funding for the Homestead Rebate to provide direct property tax relief in the form of a property tax credit under the newly named Homestead Benefit program;

* Protects municipal aid and keeps funding at fiscal year 2011 levels to help towns meet the new 2 percent property tax cap (while decreasing by 10 percent the category of Special Transitional Aid to cities, in keeping with the Governor’s pledge to end cities’ reliance on the aid as they adopt best-practices budgeting to improve fiscal and management reforms); and
* Increases and secures New Jersey hospital funding by a total of $20 million, and increases funding for student financial aid by the same amount.

The Governor’s Budget takes all possible steps to maintain the safety net for New Jersey’s most vulnerable and at-need individuals and families. From prescription drug aid for seniors to helping low-income tenants stay in their homes, the Governor’s Budget includes billions of dollars and:

Preserves critical spending and fully funds the fiscal year 2011 increases to the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold Prescription Assistance Programs without increases in co-pays or eligibility – keeping it one of the most generous such benefit programs in the nation;

Allocates $20.4 million to help the developmentally disabled lead richer, happier lives through new community placement and services, and funds day programs and other services; similarly, the budget continues and expands funding for the requirement that the state expand the number of residential and community settings for New Jersey’s mentally ill;

Preserves the current level of support for higher education, after years of cuts, while increasing student aid programs by $20 million and providing $15 million for capital improvements at community colleges;

Provides resources to keep 4,300 low-income citizens in their homes and apartments, including $25 million from the New Jersey Affordable Housing Agency Trust Fund and $9 million from the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; and

Avoids an increase in NJ Transit fares and expands bus service to select growth markets.

The damage caused by years of fiscal mismanagement, coupled with the lingering effects of the national recession, will continue to restrain state spending for years to come. The reality is that the New Normal of the current economic and fiscal climate necessitates more painful choices in how the state allocates finite taxpayer dollars. Facing up to those realities, the proposed budget continues on the path of making difficult, often painful choices in nearly every department. Funding in even worthwhile, popular programs is reduced or eliminated in order to fund priorities.

Governor Christie will continue to insist that the shared sacrifice be spread among state employees as well, including in payment of a fair share of medical costs. By increasing co-payments and premiums to levels still below what federal employees pay, the state will save $323 million that will be used to pay for other critically important programs – and prevent increases in some of the highest sales, income and property taxes in the nation.

Finally, to pave the way for the best possible outcome for our state and its people as we deal with the New Normal and emerge from recession, the Governor intends to better position our businesses and attract new ones with tax cuts, reform and incentives to spur job growth and business expansion. To that end, he proposes a comprehensive but phased-in program of $2.5 billion in job-creation incentives over the next five years. As part of the program, Governor Christie is proposing for Fiscal 2012 tax cuts and reforms resulting in approximately $200 million in savings for businesses.

The package outlined by the Governor increases the state’s competitiveness in a responsible and sustainable manner by providing critical tax reform and incentives across a variety of tax-policy areas, including: loss carry-forward relief for small businesses, a reduction of the S-corporation minimum tax, increasing the credit allowed for research and development investments, exemptions for business software technology reinvestment, increasing funding for economic development programs, and the phasing-out of the Technology Energy Facility Assessment to provide needed relief from New Jersey’s already-high energy costs.

Governor Christie has committed to only putting in place tax cuts and incentives that are paid for within the context of a Constitutionally-balanced state budget. By providing for a phase-in of the program, the fiscal impact rises with the expected expansion of the state’s economy while minimizing the impact on the state budget each year.

The budget proposal, a representation of the Governor’s commitment to maintain fiscal discipline, also outlines a bold reform agenda to take on the big issues facing New Jersey, including the Governor’s comprehensive reform plans to restore fiscal sanity to out-of-control pension and health benefits systems, make 2011 the Year of Education Reform to bring the opportunity of a high-quality education to every child, and the pro-growth, responsible package of tax reforms and incentives to create Jersey Jobs and increase New Jersey’s competitiveness, as outlined above.

Attached to this release is a document providing an overview of this year's budget. an overview of this year's budget. Governor Christie's FY 2012 Budget Overview [pdf 1.02MB]

VIDEO CREDIT: GovChristie

TEXT CREDIT: Office of the Governor

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Governor Christie on CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer 02/28/11 VIDEO TEXT TRANSCRIPT




FULL TEXT Transcript:

Governor Christie on CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, now to the protests, back home protests of a very different kind. These are peaceful protests in Madison, Wisconsin, by union members. That demonstration is moving into its thirteenth day. Yesterday’s turnout of seventy thousand was the largest yet. And yesterday, union workers across the country turned out to support them, these demonstrations over the Wisconsin governor’s plan to reduce spending by ending the collective bargaining rights of teachers and many other public service employees.
Well Governor Christie, you took on the-- the public service unions in New Jersey. But you didn’t talk about ending collective bargaining rights. Do you think Governor Walker out there in Wisconsin has gone too far?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-New Jersey): Bob, let me tell you what-- what went on in New Jersey. My predecessor Governor Corzine stood on the front steps of the Capitol at a public sector union rally and said, “I’ll fight to get you a good contract.” And I thought to myself watching that, who’s he fighting with? Once he says that the fights over. What I believe in is true adversarial collective bargaining. And so, every state is different. I’m not going to micromanage Wisconsin from Trenton, New Jersey. I know Scott Walker. I like him. And I trust him. And I think he believe he’s doing what’s in the best interest of Wisconsin, the same way I’m going to do what I think needs to be done for New Jersey, which is, to reform the pension system and roll
back health benefits for public sector workers, to put them more in line with the rest of the population in New Jersey, to put us on a long-term path to fiscal stability.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, but what about this idea? Do they have a right to collective bargaining?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Now listen. All these rights are legislatively created. They didn’t come down from tablets at the top of a mountain. And so, political things change and go back and forth. And every state is going to make their own determination on that. Wisconsin is in the middle of making that determination. As you know, Bob, there are plenty of states in America where that right doesn’t exist. And so, each state has to make their own determination on that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, is that good or bad for New Jersey? Do you think they ought to have the right in New Jersey to collective bargaining?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: What I’ve said in New Jersey is, as long as it’s fair and reasonable collective bargaining. You know, we can’t have what we’ve had before. You know, Bob, public sector workers, state workers in New Jersey, this past year, were working under a contract from my predecessor Jon Corzine, got seven percent salary increases in a zero percent inflation world. I don’t think the people who are paying the bills think that’s the result of fair adversarial collective bargaining. They want someone in the room representing the taxpayers. And that’s what I’ll be this June, when that contract expires.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you see a danger here that this is turning into some kind of may be not a danger, may be it’s something you would encourage, turning into some kind of national political war, where you have Democrats and the unions on one side and Republicans on the other?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I-- I don’t think it is. I think again, there are so many states that don’t have collective bargaining and there are a lot of states are not having this conflict right now. And so, I think this is really a state-by-state issue. There’s a lot of interest in this right now because of the emotion that’s going on in Wisconsin--strong stand by Governor Walker and a
strong stand by the people on the other side. It’ll be resolved politically in the state legislature in Wisconsin. So, I don’t see it that way. Obviously, it has national interest in story, Bob, but we’ve been taking on the unions in New Jersey for the last year and that’s gotten a lot of attention too. So everybody is doing it their own way.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this. You really came on hard against the teachers’ union. I think everybody in this country on all sides of all this thinks we need education reform that we’ve got to do something to make our educational system better. Do you worry that the stance you have taken has somehow demonized teachers and-- and will raise questions in young people’s minds as to whether they want to go into the profession?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: No, I don’t. In fact, I did quite the opposite. Listen, I think that the teachers in New Jersey, and there’s thousands and thousands of great ones deserve a union as good as they are and they don’t have it. And, I disagree with the premise of your question which is that everybody agrees there should be education reform. It’s everybody, but the teachers union who believes that everything is fine. If you listen to them in New Jersey, they’ll tell you everything is fine. I mean it’s great. It’s great except for the hundred and four thousand kids in New Jersey that are struck in-- stuck in two hundred chronically-failing schools. I mean, you know just because their zip code is in a poor urban center doesn’t mean we should be fighting to change the system that’s failing them. So, no. What I’m trying to do is have a merit-based system for teachers, so that great ones get rewarded and paid more and that the really great ones want to stay in the profession, not only because they love it but because they’re rewarded financially for it. The union, Bob, they protect the worse of the worst. That’s what there for, they make it impossible to fire bad teachers and it’s ruining our education system.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you think of President Obama’s plans to reform education at the federal level by his-- you know let’s reward good teachers. His, you know, the-- the things that Secretary Duncan has outlined. Are-- are you-- generally think he’s on the right track?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I do. And-- and I’ve said that publicly. I think the President has shown some real courage, especially for a Democrat who’s been dependent upon the teachers union nationally for political support to come out for merit pay and race to the top and some of the things he’s done to push reform, I think the President has been on the right track. I’m little concerned about comments I heard yesterday from Secretary Duncan that seemed to be, you know blowing the hornet for treat on that a little bit. And I-- I hope that that’s not an election year ploy for them to cozy back up to the NEA and the ATF, as the President prepares for reelection. But in general, I think the President has been very strong on this. And that’s why you see Republicans agreeing with him on it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You have a reputation as a straight talker I think. Do you believe that the budgetary problems across this country can be resolved without raising taxes?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, let’s take New Jersey, for instance, Bob. We raised taxes and fees a hundred and fifteen times in the last eight years. And we still have one of the worst budget problems in America. And so, I think unless you deal with the underlying structural expense problems and we’ve been dealing with them in New Jersey, you-- there’s no amount of taxation is ever going to keep up with the amount of spending increase that we have. And so, my view is we’ve already done things on the tax side in New Jersey. We have one of the highest top marginal income tax rates one of the highest sales tax rates, one of the highest corporate business tax rates. What we need to get to now is cutting back the size and scope of
government and have those two things meet. For instance, this year in my budget, while we still reduce spending, I added two hundred and fifty million dollars to K-12 education. We’re going to do things that make sense. But we’re not going to continue the spending spree and we’re certainly not just going back to raising more and more taxes. The people in New Jersey have had enough of that. Hundred and fifteen times in eight years, I think they’d given it the office, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know there are some groups, anti-tax groups that ask people, especially people who are running for the Republican nomination for president to take a pledge not to raise taxes. I know you’re not running. I know what you’ve said about running. But it’s-- would you do that? Would you ever take a pledge not to raise taxes?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, listen. If I were running, I guess I’d have to make that decision. But at the end of the day I think what matters much more is what you do and not anything that you sign or-- or that you say. You have to prove and do it. And I think the reason why people in New Jersey are responding to what we’re doing is I’m actually doing in the job,
Bob, what I said I would do. I said if there were income tax increases I would veto them. I did and my veto was sustained. I said I would cut spending in the size of government. We’ve now
cut spending two years in a row--not projected spending, real spending. And we’re taking on the things that they’re not taking on at the federal level--pension benefits and health care. And we’re doing those two things to cut back the cost of that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: One of the things that you have spoken out on is something that a lot of people in politics have not. Here’s what you said at the American Enterprise Institute this week
in Washington.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (February 16): You’re going to have to raise the retirement age for Social Security. Oh, I just said it and I’m still standing here. I did not vaporize into the carpeting and I said it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. You said it.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I did.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Should-- should other people be saying that?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Of course, I mean, listen, you know and I know that the overall majority has a problem on the federal level comes down to three programs--Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid. And unless we go about tackling those three issues, all the rest of the things that the President is talking about and others on Capitol Hill are talking about are minor league issues. Not saying they’re not important. Not saying they’re not, you know, interesting and-- and-- and I might like some of them. But if you don’t deal with those three, those three are
going to eat up everything else. And so, we’ve to start dealing with it. And I think the people of the United States are-- are ready for a frank, adult conversation about it. I’ve seen that in New
Jersey. I’ve done a lot of things that people say I don’t like but I’m glad you’re taking it on because you have to, because we know we’re in trouble. And so, my view on it and the reason I came down and gave that speech was to say to people stop being afraid and stop telling-- selling the people of America short. They’re smart. They know we have to do this.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Governor, let’s take a break here. And we’ll come back and talk about this and some other things, including the government shutdown that may be coming in
this country in-- in-- in Washington. Back in a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we’re back now with Governor Christie. Governor, Congress is back this week and the first thing they’ve got to tackle is some sort of emergency stopgap legislation to
keep the con-- government from shutting down. But I know there are a lot of people in your party, especially on the Tea Party side, who say maybe just let the government shut down. Let’s do not compromise on-- on spending. Do you think it would be a good idea to shut the government down?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I don’t, unless that’s the only way to forward your principles. And I think they’re going to be able to find a way to find compromise that protects the principles
that, you know the folks in my party got elected on and the ones that are important to Democrats. I mean their job is to solve these problems and not just to stand in a corner and hold your breath. So-- and I say that about both sides. So let’s get together. They’ve got a week to figure it out. Let’s get in the room and figure it out. I was a little surprised they took the last week off, to tell you the truth, given that this was looming. Why? I-- I think most Americans wanted to know why they weren’t go to work, but they’re getting back to work tomorrow. So let’s get back to work and let’s get it solved.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what do you say to the Tea Party folks who say, look, I mean, it-- it’s our way or no way. We have simply got to stop this and if it takes shutting down the government, shut it down.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, those are two different things, right? I mean, I think that you can accomplish the goals of downsizing government, of cutting spending, and you can do it in a way that I think Democrats will go along with you on. I mean you have to have some fights. And that’s fine. As you know, I’m not, you know averse to a fight. But I think also you just have to get in a room and start working it out with people. That’s what we’ve done in New Jersey, Bob. Now I have a democratic legislature. And the things that I’ve accomplished with cutting
spending and putting a cap on property taxes, cap on interest arbitration awards, reforming initially for new employees pension and benefits, I’ve done that with a democratic legislature. It means I don’t get every ounce of what I want but we get in a room and we work it out. And that’s what they should do down here.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well--

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: The President should lead on that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Once they get this stopgap measure to keep the government running then they have to take a vote on-- on whether to raise the debt ceiling. What’s your view on that?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: My view on it is that it better be in line also with some real long-term commitments to cutting spending. You’ve got to do both. And-- and I think it’s a good
moment to force that conversation and they should. And-- and I-- I just believe that if the President shows leadership on this, he can bring the parties together. That’s what a president’s for.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let’s talk about-- let’s talk about President Obama. What do you think of the job he’s doing?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Listen, there are some things I like and there some things I don’t like. The spending has been out of control and not as advertised when he ran for
president. And-- and that’s very disappointing to me. I’m-- I’m not a fan of the health care reform. And I think it’s unnecessarily hamstrung states. And I doubt that it’s constitutional. Now
on the other side, as I said before I like what he’s done on education reform. And I think it’s a Nixon to China kind of moment. You know, we need a democratic president to make these
reforms in education to lead the way. I-- I like some of the things he’s had to say in renewable energy because I think we need to find a path to lower our dependence on foreign oil and-- and
we can see what’s going on in the Middle East this week. That it can turn things upside down for us. So I like some of the things he’s been doing on that as well. But, you know, overall, I didn’t vote for him. And I doubt I’ll vote for him next time.

BOB SCHIEFFER: A lot of Republicans, you know are giving hints, indications and so forth that they may or may not seek the Republican nomination to run against Barack Obama. You have said in one of the-- one of your memorable quotes, I’ve-- if I have, I-- I’d have to commit suicide to convince people I’m not running. Well, you may or may not walk back from the ledge on that. What-- you haven’t been all that kind I guess is what I would say to-- to some of the people that do seem to be suggesting they’re going to run. What do you like about the field so far and what don’t you like?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, we don’t have a field yet. First of all, no one has declared. And-- and what I’ve said is let’s judge the complete field once they all get in. You know lots of people can flirt with it, Bob. But you know it’s-- it’s an enormous decision to make the decision to run for president of the United States and enormous personal commitment. When the team that we’re going to field gets in there, then I’ll make my evaluation of them. And I don’t think I’ve said anything uncharitable about any of them. I’ve said some very nice things about Governor Daniels but I’ve said those things because I really believe that Governor Daniels is speaking about the issues that need to be spoken about and has a track record in Indiana that proves he can actually do it. That doesn’t mean I’d endorse Governor Daniels if he ran. But what it means is, I think those are the things that other people who are considering running should be looking at and talking about, to having an honest conversation with the American people.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what you have said is they’ve got to get out here and talk about these things that are going to be the issues, that you can’t finesse it.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: No, you can’t finesse it. And then-- and you have to have unscripted moments. I mean you cannot be blow dried and, you know, poll tested and come out here. That’s not what the American people want. They want somebody who is going to speak straight to them. And they want to ask you questions, so they want unguarded moments. That’s
when they can really judge your character.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Is that-- is that aimed at, say, Sarah Palin who seems to talk to people mostly on her website and-- and not-- and she doesn’t do many interviews?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, I-- I think it’s-- it’s aimed at all of them. But certainly, when I first made that comment, it was in response to a question about Governor Palin. And I think if she wants to prove she’s ready for this, you got to have to have some unscripted moments. Now she may very well be up to it and if she is, good for her, but I think people want to see that. Very-- they’re very much interested in her. So they want to see that about her to make a judgment as to can you trust somebody in the Oval Office who can do that? Unless you do those unscripted moments, I think it’s hard to get the person to pull the lever for you.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): What-- I mean do you think she’s ready?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, listen. She’s got to make that judgment herself. And you know what, Bob, I’ll make my vote in the voting booth privately like every other American.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me-- let me ask you this. Some of the people on the right have sort of poked fun and made fun of Michelle Obama, because she’s been trying to get people to eat better. I know that you have done dieting. You have worked on your weight and so forth. You described yourself as portly. Do you think-- what do you think about this criticism coming
from the right of Michelle Obama, because she’s trying to get people to eat better.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, I think it’s unnecessary. I think it’s a really good goal to encourage kids to eat better. You know, I’ve-- I’ve struggled with my weight for thirty years and
it’s a struggle. And if a kid can avoid that in his adult years or her adult years, more power to them. And I think the first lady is speaking out well. I mean, I don’t want the government deciding what you can and what you can’t eat. I still think that’s your choice. But I think Mrs. Obama being out there encouraging people in a positive way to eat well and to exercise and to be healthy, I don’t have a problem with that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor Christie, thank you so much. I hope you’ll come back to see us.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (overlapping): Absolutely, I will.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We enjoyed having you.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Thank you, Bob.

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

VIDEO CREDIT: GovChristie

For Immediate Release: Date: Monday, February 28, 2011 Contact: Michael Drewniak Kevin Roberts 609-777-2600

Thursday, February 17, 2011

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 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Transcript of Governor Chris Christie’s Speech at the American Enterprise Institute
Thank you very much for the introduction and for the invitation to be here today. I came today because I really think it’s extraordinarily important for those of us who believe that our country is off on the wrong track, to begin the conversation and for New Jersey’s sake to continue the conversation about how we fix the problems that ail our states and our country in a direct and blunt way. And I fear that after watching how things have been going over the last month or two, that we’re missing a historic opportunity. And I will not be someone who will participate in silently missing that opportunity. A month ago, I gave my State of the State speech in New Jersey, and what I said during that speech was that I was not going to do the normal State of the State or State of the Union speech that you see. George Will put it better than I ever could, he said these speeches have become every politician’s attempt to stroke the erogenous zones of every constituency in their jurisdiction. They become these laundry list things that you do for your cabinet so that as they’re sitting up in the balcony, and you mention the Department of Labor, that Commissioner can sit up straight and smile, because at the time his mother is going to see him on TV. I didn’t think it was a good enough of a reason, as much as I love my Commissioner of Labor, to give a speech like that, especially during these times. During these times, as I said in that speech, it’s time to do the big things, the really big things, and I don’t think they’re will be much disagreement in this room and I don’t think there should be much disagreement across the country about what those things are - what they are for New Jersey and what they are for America. For us in New Jersey, it’s three things: it’s restoring and maintaining fiscal sanity; it’s getting our pension and health benefits under control, reformed and have the cost lowered; and it’s reforming an education system that costs too much and produces too little for our society today and for our children’s future. Now if you look at those three issues, these are not in and of themselves Democratic or Republican issues. Each governor across America is confronting the same things that I’m confronting in New Jersey: a decade or more of out of control spending in many if not most states; state taxes that have been raised to new levels; debt loads that are out of control, both for state entitlements and for just general borrowing. Every governor, Republican or Democrat, is facing this problem. If you look at it, just look at our little area of the world. You have me in New Jersey, elected in 2009 as a conservative Republican in one of the bluest states in America, and across the river you have the son of a liberal icon who is saying the exact same things that I’m saying. I defy you to look at the first six weeks of the Cuomo Administration in Albany and discern much of a difference between what Governor Andrew Cuomo is saying and what Governor Chris Christie is saying on these big issues. And it’s not because all of a sudden Governor Cuomo and I have decided that we’re members of the same party, we’re no. But we are confronted with the same problems and these problems and issues are not partisan. They are obvious and long overdue to be solved and so that’s why you see Andrew Cuomo, or for God’s sake, even Jerry Brown in California talking about reducing salaries of state workers by 8-10%. Saying the same things that Scott Walker is fighting in Wisconsin, that John Kasich is fighting in Ohio, that Rick Snyder is fighting in Michigan, that Susana Martinez is fighting in New Mexico.


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

I said to the people of New Jersey when I ran for governor in 2009, that if they gave me the opportunity to be their governor, that not only would the state go on a path towards fiscal recovery, but we would also lead the nation because we would have a one year head start on everybody because of our odd election year. We would have a one year head start on a huge new class of governors that would come in the election of 2010. Now you can imagine how that was received in New Jersey. Now this was a state that during my time as a United States Attorney, was known predominantly for a few things: political corruption, “The Sopranos,” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” and now most regrettably “The Jersey Shore.” Not a place that thought of itself as a national leader in something that would matter for our children’s future. But I believe part of that leadership is understanding, articulating and believing in that which is special and unique about the people that you serve. And having been born in New Jersey and raised there and lived there all my life, I know that if presented with a challenge directly, without any sugar coating, that the people of New Jersey would step up to the plate and answer the call. And after 13 months now as governor, I think we have plenty of evidence that we were right in 2009.

When I came into office we confronted a $2.2 billion budget deficit for fiscal year ’10. The one that had five months left. The one that Governor Corzine told me was just fine, cruise path into the end of the fiscal year; Governor, don’t worry about it, everything is fine. $2.2 billion. My chief of staff, in my first week as governor, brought me a sheet of paper that showed me that if I did not act immediately to stop the planned spending, that New Jersey would not meet its payroll for the second pay period in March. Imagine that. The state that has the second highest per capita income in America had so over-spent, over-borrowed, and over-taxed – that it would not meet payroll in March of 2010. So we acted immediately to use the executive authority of the governorship to impound $2.2 billion in projected spending. Without the permission of the legislature. Without compromise because it was not the time for compromise. And without raising taxes on the people of the state who had had their taxes raised and fees 115 times in the eight years preceding my governorship. 115 tax and fee increases in eight years. So we impounded spending and we balanced the budget. And we turned immediately towards this fiscal year that we’re in now. And were confronted with an $11 billion budget deficit on a $29 billion budget. The highest budget deficit by percentage of any state in America. And believe me: the partisan Democrats in my state believed they had me right where they wanted me - he would have to raise taxes. And they put it right down on the table and said they wanted to increase the tax that they love the most – the income tax and specifically they called it the millionaires’ tax. Now of course this leads me to have to give you an aside about New Jersey math. See, when Democrats in New Jersey call it a millionaires’ tax, that’s for anyone who makes $400,000 or over – that’s called New Jersey math. So for businesses or individuals who have $400,000 in income or more, they wanted to raise their taxes, again, from a 9% top marginal rate to nearly 11%. And they told me that if I did not agree they would close down the government. There would be no budget in 2011 without an income tax increase. Now you know, this had happened 4 years earlier in New Jersey under Governor Corzine. They were arguing how much to raise taxes. And the Democrat controlled legislature closed down the government on the Democratic governor because they couldn’t agree on how much to raise the sales tax. And Governor Corzine very famously invited the press into his office, now my office, and there was a cot in the office. I can tell you it’s not normally there. And he said to them, “I’m going to be sleeping in this cot, right over here, until this crisis is averted.” So I knew that these were the same fellows who had been in the legislature when he was there, now threatening to do the same thing. So I decided to call them down early on and advise them that the place was under new management. And what I said to them was listen, if you guys want to pass an income tax increase, you can. That’s fine, I’m going to veto it. And if you want to close down the government because of that, that’s fine. But I want to tell you something – I’m not moving any cot into this office to sleep in here. If you close down the government I’m getting into those black SUVs with the troopers and going to the governor’s residence. I’m going to go upstairs, I’m going to open a beer, I’m going to order a pizza, I’m going to watch the Mets. And when you decide to reopen the government, give me a call and I’ll come back. But don’t think I’m sleeping on some cot. Take a look at me, you think I’m sleeping on a cot? Not happening.

So we stood up, we stood for our principles. We submitted a budget that cut real spending nine percent, year over year. Not projected growth – real spending, nine percent, every department of state government was cut. And we balanced the budget without any new or increased taxes on the people of the state of New Jersey for the first time in eight years. And the budget they called “dead on arrival without an income tax increase” was passed two days early with 99.8% of the line items exactly as they were when I submitted them back in March. With a Democratic legislature. Why? Because we stood up for what we believed in and we made it very clear that we would not compromise on our principles. We’d compromise on things that were not core principle items, but we were not going to compromise on raising taxes on the people of New Jersey. That leads us now to today. And that’s why fiscal discipline is so important. Because just because we went through that once or one and a half if you count fiscal year ‘10 - doesn’t mean we should be self congratulatory, patting ourselves on the back, and take our eye off the ball. This is a problem that took a decade to develop and it’s going to take longer than a year for us to fix it. Fiscal discipline is extraordinarily important not only for New Jersey but for America.

Now we have a whole new way of budgeting in New Jersey. We don’t assume every program will be funded any longer. We don’t assume a certain increase in every budget. The Democratic legislature will come out and say I have some $10 billion or so deficit for this year. That’s because they’re playing in the old playbook, which says that everything I did last year, of course, the next year I’d want to reverse and go right back. That is not going to happen. And it can’t happen if states are going to progress and get out of this crisis. We now have to stick to a new type of approach to budgeting - budgeting from the bottom up. Requiring as I do now of everyone one of my cabinet officers, that they come to me and not tell me what each one of their programs cost and how much they’re willing to cut it. But to say to me which one of your programs are absolutely necessary and how much do you need to fund them - this is how much money you’re getting and whatever doesn’t fit in your equation is out. We have to fund that which we really need, and to do that we have to cut that which is just what we’d like, rather than what we need.

And you’ll hear this debate going on down here now. You’ll have folks tell you that every bit of federal spending is absolutely necessary and laudatory. It’s not. And in fact some of it’s not even laudatory, let alone necessary. But we have to bring a new approach and new discipline to this. And when people say that you can’t tackle these big problems, look at what we’re doing on pensions and benefits. Pensions and benefits are the equivalent of federal entitlements at the state level. They are no different. They have no more vocal constituency at the federal level than they do at the state level. Take my word for it. I rolled out my pension and benefit reform in September on a Tuesday, and then that Friday I went to the firefighters’ convention in Wildwood, New Jersey. 7,500 firefighters at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon - I think you know what they had for lunch. And I rolled out a very specific pension and benefit reform proposal. On pensions: raise the retirement age, eliminate COLAs, increase the amount employees have to contribute to their pension every year. And roll back a nine percent increase that was given to them by a Republican governor and a Republican legislature and they had no way to pay for it. Those four reforms would take our current pension system which is underfunded by $54 billion dollars and in thirty years cut it in half to $28 billion dollars. Real reform getting us on the glide path to solvency. You can imagine how that was received by 7,500 firefighters. As I walked into the room and was introduced. I was booed lustily. I made my way up to the stage, they booed some more. I got to the microphone, they booed some more. So I said, come on you can do better than that, and they did! They did. And then I said to them - I took away the prepared notes I had for the speech – I actually took them off of the podium, crumpled them up and threw them on the ground, so they could see that I would. And I said, here’s the deal: I understand you’re angry, and I understand you’re frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed. And the reason you feel all the things is because you have been deceived and you have been betrayed. And for twenty years, governors have come into this room and lied to you. Promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn’t keep, and just hoping that they wouldn’t be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth? See, there is no political advantage to me coming into that room and telling the truth. The way we used to think about politics and unfortunately the way I fear they’re thinking about politics still in Washington DC. See, the old playbook says lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election. You know, there’s a study that says by 2020, New Jersey is one of eleven states whose pension could be bankrupt. And when I told a friend of mine about that study, he said to me, well wait. By 2020, you won’t be governor. What the hell do you care? That’s the way politics has been practiced in our country for too long and practiced in New Jersey for too long. So I said to those firefighters, you may hate me now. But fifteen years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did, you’ll be looking for my address on the internet so you can send me a thank you note.

Leadership, today in America, has to be about doing the big things and being courageous. That’s what it has to be about. Same thing with health benefit reform, which is an analogy to Medicaid and Medicare here in Washington. And if you think that the public workers in New Jersey hold on any less strongly to the benefits that they get through the government - teachers in New Jersey who pay nothing for their health insurance, nothing, from the day they are hired until the day they die, for full family medical coverage that costs the state of New Jersey $24,000 per family. If you don’t think they’re holding on to that tight, you’re not paying attention. The battles are similar. And here’s the problem. You can’t fix these problems if you don’t talk about them. You cannot fix these problems without talking about them. And I look at what’s happening in Washington DC right now and I’m worried. I’m worried. And I think, you know, I heard the President’s State of the Union speech, and it was two weeks after mine, and he said America was about doing the big things. Now I’m not saying he copied me. I’ve seen some writing about that, that’s not what I’m saying. But I think it’s important to note it because of what he says the big things are. He says the big things are high speed rail. The big things are high speed internet access for almost eighty percent of America or something by some date. One million electric cars on the road by some date. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the candy of American politics. Those are not the big things. Because let me guarantee you something, if we don’t fix the real big things, there are going to be no electric cars on the road. There is going to be no high speed internet access, or if there is you’re not going to be able to afford to get on it. We are not going to be able to care about the niceties of life, the investments that Washington wants to continue to make. That’s not what we need to be talking about. No one is talking about it. And now what this has become, I read, is a political strategy. The President is not talking about it because he is waiting for the Republicans to talk about it. And our new bold Republicans that we just sent to the House of Representatives aren’t talking about it because they are waiting for him to talk about it. Let me suggest to you, that my children’s future and your children’s future is more important than some political strategy. Let me suggest to you that what game is being played down here is irresponsible and it’s dangerous. We need to say these things and we need to say them out loud. When we say were cutting spending, when we say everything is on the table, when we say we mean entitlement programs, we should be specific. And let me tell you what is the truth. What’s the truth that no one is talking about? Here is the truth that no one is talking about: you’re going to have to raise the retirement age for social security. Oh I just said it and I’m still standing here! I did not vaporize into the carpeting and I said it. We have to reform Medicare because it costs too much and it is going to bankrupt us. Once again lightning did not come through the windows and strike me dead. And we have to fix Medicaid because it’s not only bankrupting the federal government, it’s bankrupting every state government. There you go. If we’re not honest about these things, on the state level about pensions and benefits and on the federal level about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, we are on the path to ruin.

And you know now - I hear people saying - we’re going too fast, we’re going too fast. We need to slow down a little bit. I hear the same thing in New Jersey. In New Jersey, all the time the Legislature says, the legislature is a deliberative body, we need to study the governor’s proposals. You know, I never worked in Trenton before I became Governor and they do speak a different language in state capitals and in this capital. They speak different languages. So you need to get - when you become governor, and no one tells you this - but you need to get your English to Trenton dictionary. Because the language in Trenton is just much different. See, when a legislature - and I don’t care whether this is the Congress or whether this is the state legislature in New Jersey. When they say we need to study the executive’s proposal, you think because you speak English, that means they’re really going to take some time, consider it and then act. No, no. What that means in Trenton, and what I suspect it means in Washington also, is this: it means we are going to drag our feet for as long as we can until we hope it dies a natural death because God knows we don’t want our fingerprints on it for murdering it, but we also don’t have the guts to do it. That’s what ‘study’ means in government parlance. So in New Jersey they call me impatient, they call me lots of other things too. But they call me impatient among other things. Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s time for some impatience. I think it’s time for some impatience in America. Because if you think we’re moving too slow, think about these statistics. The deficit stands at $1.6 trillion dollars, the Social Security system is going to be insolvent in 2037, and the Medicare system is expected to run out of money in 2017. So I’m impatient? Because I want them to act now. Because I want our healthcare system to be secure for the future. Because I want our retirement system to be secure for the future.

See, one of the things that the public sector unions don’t understand about my approach in New Jersey is that they think I’m attacking them. I’m attacking the leadership of the union. Because they’re greedy and they’re selfish and self-interested. The members of that union are being ill-served by the leadership of that union. And so what I say, what I’m doing, is to save your pension, to save your healthcare for the rest of your life, and yeah, you’re going to have to take a little less. That’s the way it goes, we’re in difficult times and there were promises made that couldn’t be kept. But it’s no longer time to wait. And leadership in my opinion is not about waiting. You know, I get four years as governor of New Jersey and I don’t have time to wait. And anybody who leads a government, whether it’s in another state or in America, has a defined period of time to act. And now I understand that this political strategy in Washington is all about waiting out until 2012. That’s five years away from Medicare insolvency. What’s the excuse going to be then? You know, these are hard things to do. They are hard things to do, but they’re not impossible to do and here’s what politicians fear. What politicians fear is you do these things, like say what I just said, and you’ll be vaporized into the carpet politically. That’s what they’re afraid of.

But look at what’s happened again in New Jersey and New York. I was elected with forty-nine percent of the vote, in a three way race in November of 2009. The first Republican elected to statewide office in twelve years in New Jersey, but not with a majority. Forty-nine percent of the vote, and when I started to say we were going to cut K-12 education funding by more than a billion dollars, we’re going to cut municipal aid by more than half a billion dollars, we’re going to cut every program that we can find in government and balance without raising taxes - I had everybody telling me, Governor you can’t do it. Your approval ratings will go in the toilet. People love these programs. And what I said to people was, you know what, I’m going to try an experiment here. Let’s start treating the people of New Jersey like adults. Because if you think they don’t know that we are in deep trouble, than these are not the people I knew growing up. These are tough, smart, self aware people who understand that we’ve dug ourselves a hole for more than a decade and we’re only going to get out by climbing, and climbing is hard, really hard. But it’s time to do it. And what’s happened? After thirteen months of fighting and arguing and pushing and impatience, my approval rating is at fifty-four percent. No disaster - in fact - more popular today than I was the day I was elected, and that’s in a state that is as Democratic as any state in America for a Republican governor. But if you really want to see eye-popping numbers, look across the river. At the person who was recently characterized as my soul mate –I wonder how he feels about that. Governor Andrew Cuomo - in a poll that just came out two days ago - his job approval is at seventy-seven percent. Seventy-seven percent. And all he’s talked about is cutting spending, not raising taxes, addressing entitlement programs, Medicaid, pensions, taking on public sector unions, capping school superintendent pay, the hard things. The things that people tell you will lead to political ruin, they don’t. Politicians make this mistake all the time. They run last election next time. They think that what happened before will happen again. And they don’t look around them to see that the times have changed. Our country and our states are weighed down by an albatross of irresponsibility. That we have hoisted upon ourselves as leaders, and that you as citizens have permitted us to get away with.

The last example of that is education reform and all I’ll say about this is that in my state, where we spend $17,620 per pupil per year - the highest in America, $24,000 dollars per pupil in city of Newark, $28,000 dollars in Asbury Park - and we have 104,000 students trapped in two hundred failing schools across New Jersey. And the education establishment says , don’t worry help is on the way. And the help that’s on the way is more money, more money. Well more money is not going to solve this problem until we take on the issues that are really causing the problem. And until we as Americans are willing to do that final tough thing, which is to look the teachers’ union across America in the eye and say to them, you do not represent the best the teachers have to offer, you often represent the worst. And it’s time for us to honestly say that we can separate the teachers from the union. We have great teachers in New Jersey, working hard and making a huge difference in the lives of many children, but we don’t have enough of them. And one of the reason why we don’t have enough of them is because the bad teachers who remain with lifetime tenure are crowding out opportunity for the good ones, and then when you have reductions, the last ones in are the first ones out because all that matters is seniority and not talent. And so we send a new generation of teachers, good enthusiastic teachers, away because we have built a system - as Michelle Rhee put better than I could - that cares more about the feelings of adults than it cares about the future of our children. I will not take responsibility for that approach. I will not take responsibility for leaving a generation of children behind in America. I won’t do it. And we need to speak out and say it’s time to fix that system. Tell me where else in America - well really there’s two places - left in America where there’s a profession where there is no reward for excellence and no consequence for failure. Of course we all know the first one is weathermen. It doesn’t matter, it’s going to snow six inches, it snows eighteen. Well I said it was going to snow, what’s the difference? And they’re right back on TV the next night. Unfortunately, the second one is teaching. Because the great teacher, the only reward they get is the psychic reward of knowing that they’ve done a great job for the children in their classroom. And the teacher next door, who’s a lousy teacher who doesn’t care, gets paid the same as the teacher who stays late and comes early, the same as the teacher who communicates with parents, the same as the teacher who feels it’s his or her personal responsibility to lift each child up to the next grade. That’s not what America is. America is built on rewarding excellence and having consequence for failure. So we need to deal with that issue as well, not only in every state but in America.

You know there’s a lot of talk now about partisanship and the negative angry tone in some of our political debates. And there is a time and a place for partisanship, I absolutely believe in that. And so did our founding fathers, they believed in partisanship. They believed in vigorous debate and so do I. You know, it’s the nature of our country, based on our founding, to have principal disagreements among people of good will, and I’m not disagreeing with folks just for the sake of disagreeing. And I’m not fighting for the sake of fighting. I fight for the things that matter. I save my energy for the fights of consequence. And as a result, some people say I’m too combative. Some people say I’m too much of a fighter. Well, I’ll tell you I’m fighting now because now is the time that matters most for New Jersey’s future and for America’s future. We are teetering on the edge of disaster. And I love when people talk about American exceptionalism, but American exceptionalism has to include the courage to do the right thing. It cannot just be a belief that, because we are exceptional, everything will work out ok. Part of truly being exceptional is being willing to do the difficult things, is to stop playing the political games, stop looking at the bumper pool of politics and to step up and start doing the right thing. This is the new era that we newly elected officials have inherited. Whether we like it or not, that’s the story and we have two choices: to either stand up and do the right thing, to speak the truth and speak it bluntly and directly, or to join the long parade of leaders who have come before us and failed. And maybe people won’t remember us, maybe they won’t pin the responsibility for failure on us because there’s been so much failure around us, but I did not run for this job for failure. I ran for this job for success. For success, not just for me personally and my children, but success for my state. And hopefully, to provide an example for the rest of the country that you can do the difficult things. See, it seems to me that what America is really all about is about a group of people who came from every corner of this earth because they wanted a chance for greatness. That’s what has made us the greatest country on Earth. Our calling for greatness at this time is to confront these issues, to say them out loud, and to stop playing around and to not waste another minute.

You know, the World War II generation was called ‘the greatest generation’ and they were because they put their lives on the line to protect our way of life. And they’re called the greatest generation because we judged them. We judged them in the aftermath and we found them to be great, by any objective measure. Let me guarantee you one thing: we will be judged too. We will be judged by our children and our grandchildren - that at this moment of crisis, what did we do? Did we bury our heads in the sand? Did we surround ourselves with our creature comforts and believe that just because we’re America everything’s going to be ok? Or will our children and grandchildren be able to say that at this moment of crisis, we stood up and did the hard things that made a future of greatness possible for them. Believe me, we will be judged. I know the way I want that judgment to turn out for me, and I know in the hearts and the minds of most New Jerseyans and Americans, I know how they want that judgment to turn out for them. So it’s time for us to get to work, to find our greatness again. And I believe we will find our greatness through doing the big things, the really big things that will lead America to another century of exceptionalism and not a century of settling for second best. That’s what this fight is about. If you’re willing to join me, I’m willing to join you and that’s what I came down here today to talk to you. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

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

For Immediate Release: Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011 Contact: Michael Drewniak
Kevin Roberts 609-777-2600