By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
All but the most ardent Paulbots will be hard-pressed to find something with which they disagree in Governor Chris Christie‘s Saturday address to the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Save Jerseyans, on day after the Paris terror attacks…
The full text of Christie’s speech is below the fold…
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you for having me here today. You know, over 14 years ago on September 10, 2001, I was named United States Attorney for the state of New Jersey by President George W. Bush. The next day, my wife, Mary Pat, did what she had been doing for years. She left her home at 6:00 in the morning, headed to the train station with a train that would eventually bring her to the World Trade Center. She walked through the World Trade Center at 7:30 that morning to her office building, two blocks away from the World Trade Center. It was September 11, 2001.
I took the day from work because I was getting ready to start a new job. I brought my children to school on a beautiful, cloudless day in the state where I was born and raised. When I got home, the first plane had hit the first building and I called my wife. She told me there was nothing to worry about. She could see the fire from out her window. They told her it was a small commuter plane. And that all would be fine. While we were on the phone discussing what our plans were for the day and her making sure that I remembered to pick up the children from school, the second plane hit the second building. Her bosses told her she had to evacuate to the basement of her building immediately and for the next five and a half hours, I didn’t hear from her.
At that time, we had three children, an 8-year-old son, a 5-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. And as the hours passed and the buildings fell and the death toll mounted and I didn’t hear from my wife, I knew two things. One, that when my children came home from school, the first thing they were going to ask me is where’s mom? And the second thing I thought about was what would my life be like without my best friend and as a single parent of three? Fortunately for me and for our children, Mary Pat came out alive. But that night, one of our friends from our parish who she had got a job for after he had become unemployed was not home. The job she had gotten him was in the World Trade Center. We went and sat with his wife and she replicated what was going on all throughout our region that night. She sat and said to us, ‘I’m sure Frank is fine. I’m sure he’s just in the hospital somewhere. I’m sure I’m going to hear from him soon.’ Of course, he never came home. And days later, we went to his funeral and the parish, Jim, is named now in his honor.
You see, for me, being seven years as the U.S. attorney in New Jersey immediately after September 11, terrorism is not theoretical. It’s not something that I discuss in the basement of the Capital in a subcommittee meeting. I went to the funerals. I saw the carnage. And it was my job in the days, weeks, months, and years after that to make sure that it never happened again. I’m honored to have had that job. And honored to be one of the folks who contributed to making sure in the next seven years, it didn’t happen again. And I fear as a nation that we’ve begun to lose our focus, lose our focus on how we felt in the days after September 11, how fearful we were, how at risk we felt. We took for granted the safety and security that was provided by us, to us by a government that understood its first and most important job, was to provide for the safety and the security of the American people.
So I originally thought when I was thinking about this yesterday and coming to speak to all of you that I would do what I normally do. I would get a handheld microphone. I would wander around the stage. I would talk to you about my vision for America’s future and its economy, education, jobs, and our national security. Tell a few jokes and have a good time with you. But I thought last night as I watched the television and the unfolding events that that was not the appropriate speech for someone who’s asking you to be the leader of our country to give on a day like today. And so I took to my thoughts and unusually for me, I put them down on paper. So I hope you forgive me because I think the time is too serious and the moment is too grave to be giving off-the-cuff remarks today. To be giving some canned stump speech that I’ve been giving in Iowa and New Hampshire. I want to speak to you about what’s in my heart, about what I’ve seen based on my experience for the last 24 hours.
We have seen evil visited upon innocent people once again. France is in shock. Still coming to grips with the death of their countrymen. We stand with them and we pray for them in this time of national morning. But our outrage must turn into action and resolve. Now, ISIS warned us that they could commit unspeakable carnage and now they have. For decades now, we have seen that wherever Islamist, Jihadists and their sympathizers go, they leave a hideous and unfathomable trail of despair and destruction.
Lebanon and Kenya, Tanzania and London, Mumbai and Madrid, Baghdad and Aleppo, Manhattan, and Washington, D.C., Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and Fort Hood. And now for the second time in one year, Paris. We must never allow this cult of evil to take hold in our country or to live amongst us. It is the antithesis of what it means to be a free American.
On a day like this, we all see the desperate need for strong leadership. But what does it mean to be a strong president? See, this government was designed and built to protect America and protect American interests and if we don’t get that right, we can’t truly be strong. Always upholding and respecting our constitutional principles, which starts with our sovereignty and our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When terror dawns us, happiness is not possible.
Of course, that means law and order must be respected. And it must be respected to ensure that our way of life continues. Today, we see special interests working to subvert our rule of law at our border, with a lack of drug enforcement and through brazen executive action by this lawless president of the United States.
Rest assured, as president, when I take my hand off the bible, those are not just words that I’ve repeated from the chief justice. My actions will show you that I will always faithfully execute the laws of the United States, not pick and choose the ones I like and ignore the ones I don’t. And I certainly won’t treat the White House as mini congress or do end-runs around the legislative branch. My presidency will never look like a lawless imperial presidency like the one we have right now.
Whether the focus is jobs or whether it’s trade, whether it’s immigration or whether it’s national security, our policies must be based on a clear understanding of how the world really works. Not the naive assumptions of folks uninformed by experience or by history. Even when the right policy is not politically correct or even when the right policy is not popular with the big political donors, a strong person, I, will have the fortitude to follow through and do the right thing for the people who I really work for, which are the people of the United States of America.
I can guarantee you this. I won’t wake up every morning seeking the approval and the applause of the New York Times editorial page or the Harvard Faculty. And one thing I know for sure, I won’t get it anyway. My sole focus if you give me the chance to be your president will be to do the people’s will. By removing government barriers to prosperity, by enforcing our laws, by protecting our homeland and doing those things by preserving our freedom.
Now for the past 15 years, there have been some really good people in Washington who have been trying to do the right things. They have big hopes and big plans and big dreams. But unfortunately for many of them, they didn’t understand what the world is really like. But with my experience as a federal prosecutor, as a governor of a state that I lovingly called unruly, and through my life experience as a husband and a father and a son and a brother, I understand that my sacred obligation as president will be protecting the American interests. Because if we don’t care for ourselves, no one else will. There are all too many people in Academia and in global business that are not really interested in America as a nation-state anymore. They’re interested in building a different global order that will protect their economic interests, their philosophical interests – not in building a strong America that will protect the American interests.
Now, I will not be governed by the public opinion polls. I will not be governed by the United Nations and you can sure as hell bet I won’t be governed by the Washington elites. See, the way I see this is, this nation is our home. This is where our children are born. This is where our grandparents are buried. This must be our top priority and it means more than just paying lip service to securing our borders. It means more than just paying lip service to this issue of immigration. I come at it from a law and order perspective. Our borders must be sealed. Our laws must be enforced and if we did it, we wouldn’t have 12 million people here illegally in this country right now. And worse yet on an afternoon like this afternoon, we wouldn’t be worried about ISIS slipping across our borders to perform unspeakable acts of violence on the American people.
Now, we want our homes to be safe and we want them to be comfortable. We want our homes to be an environment where our families reach their full potential. And this is what we have to have. For our homeland, for our country. The U.S. Government must be returned to being on your side, not working against your interests. Today, that’s just not the case. You know, Ronald Reagan said it best. We’re the drivers of this government, not the passengers. I want to drive this government again in the American interest, not in the interest of the elites that try to make us a global village. National security is not a privilege or an option. National security is a fundamental right that the American president must understand is his first and most important priority. Some people think that any trade deal negotiated by these global economic interests is something we must sign on to.
Let’s be clear – I disagree.
Some people believe that borders are outdated, that they don’t believe in the nation state anymore. They actually really believe in a post-American world, even an anti-American mindset. Most of us utterly reject that. We recoil from it and we must continue to as a people. We have to put the interest of average Americans off of the back burner and onto the front burner, and we have to stop – stop – worrying about first and foremost what others think. But we must first and foremost put the interests of our neighbors, our friends, our children, and our grandchildren, and an American president must go into the oval office in 2017 with that at the front of his mind and I pledge you, it’s at the front of mine.
I really do believe that Washington – if properly led and properly reformed and properly run – can and will serve the interests of the people. And I’ll tolerate nothing less as president of the United States. I’ve been through the fire of the most liberal, aggressive media market in America in New York City. I’ve been through the fire of the critics in my state and outside of my state who believe that I’m too blunt and too outspoken and too direct. Well, let me tell you what the world needs right now – a blunt, outspoken and direct president of the United States will who lead the world again.
We’re in a political season, so let’s remember something. New – new can be exciting and attractive. Until, that is, you need experience. Experience in taming the bureaucracy. Experience in facing down one’s adversaries. Experience in formulating policies that can actually work and serve the people. Remember something. This president was new in 2008. And look at what his legacy of inexperience has wrought for our country. A record number of people out of the workforce. A record number of people on disability. Obamacare that’s crushing small business, hiking your premiums and put forward the biggest lie of the first term – ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep him. If you like your insurance plan you can keep it. Your premiums will go down.’ They were all lies and his inexperience and his philosophy have wrought those lies on the American people. His inexperience has more than doubled the national debt. His inexperience has increased, not decreased, racial tensions in this country. And the bumbling and inexperienced foreign policy of he and Hillary Rodham Clinton has put America at risk again like it has not been since that day in September of 2001.
Just think of the things that this president had said in the past few years. He claimed that our borders were more secure than they’ve ever been. He claimed that after Qaddafi and Mubarak were gone, the Middle East would be safer than it’s ever been. He told us al Qaeda was on the run. He called ISIS the J.V. And just hours, just hours yesterday, before they struck in Paris, he told “ABC news” that his strategy was containing ISIS. All of these statements were a lie. He sees the world as he likes to see it, as fantasy. I see the world as it really is and it’s time to have a president who sees the world as it really is, not how he wishes it would be.
Ladies and gentlemen, every candidate for president, every time they run likes to say that this is the most important election in our lifetime. The reason, of course, we say it, is because it’s the most important election to us in our lifetime because we’re running. But let me tell you this. We cannot afford to elect another president who sees America as Barack Obama sees America. We cannot afford to elect another president without the requisite experience and values to effectively govern. This is not a job for on the job training, everybody. We need someone who’s made decisions, who stuck by those decisions and who understands the ramifications not only of action, but of inaction. America is a country of action. It has become a country of reactive inaction. And when I’m president of the United States, America will be a nation of action again and action in the interest of one goal – protecting the safety, security, and freedom of the American people.
It is those truths and those values that are enshrined in our Decoration of Independence and in our Constitution. And at a time such as this, those are the truths that should be self-evident to all of us. Now, there are many in this room who are angry. Angry about the way the government has conducted themselves and you have every right to be. And then you take that anger and you want to use your vote as a chance to send a message about that anger. These times are too dire for that luxury and the threats we are facing are too great for that act of vanity.
I want you to ask yourself a few questions as you consider your vote in 2016. Who among us is really prepared based on their experience and their personality to protect the homeland? Who among us has truly been tested by challenges that will prepare them for the challenges that will greet them when they enter the oval office for the first time? Who among us is the best person to aggressively prosecute the case against Hillary Rodham Clinton and restore the safety and security of the United States of America? The issues that you demand be addressed in this next election.
I want to tell you something. And this comes from the heart. I’m tested. I’m ready. And I know that I can accomplish these things, not because I’ve thought of them, but because I’ve already done them as a prosecutor and as governor. And I would be honored, truly honored, to have your vote and to have the opportunity to restore American strength and security and greatness both at home and around the world. Please go home tonight, turn on your televisions and watch the news. The world is desperate for a strong, secure, smart and tested American president. America needs to assert itself again on the world stage. But we have to start at home. I want your support and your vote because I want to restore American strength and greatness for every American who deserves it. The hour is too late to wait for people to be trained. We need a president who’s ready to serve and I am ready to serve you. Thank you very much.