What They’re Saying About Christie’s Keynote Speech


Yi! News did not receive press passes to this year’s RNC, so we’ll leave it to the “experts” to let us know how Governor Chris Christie did last night. Here’s what some of them had to say in the hours after the keynote speech was delivered.

  • “Christie’s approach was a marked departure from previous Republican keynote addresses, which have often featured a rising politician willing to blast the Democratic nominee. Christie, for his part, did not mention President Obama by name. Instead, his 2,600-word speech introduced the country to his singular brand, which blends a brusque rhetorical style with a reform agenda…Ultimately, however, the speech was about a philosophy of leadership rather than the ascent of Romney or specific policies. People respond to conservative ideas, he said, but Americans need to elect a president who can communicate those ideas, not only on television but also on Capitol Hill.” – Robert Costa, The National Review
  • “It was a different address than many had been expecting. Christie spent less time selling Romney as a candidate and a potential president, and more time defining the way he sees the party’s future — in strokes related to fiscal conservatism. He mentioned Romney several times in the latter part of the speech, but not for the first 15 minutes or so…It was a reminder that Christie, who many Republicans had hoped would run this time and is a much-discussed candidate for 2016, is still seen as one of the future leaders of a party that believes this is a winnable election, but has hoped for Romney to wage a different, more aggressive campaign.” – Maggie Haberman, Politico
  • “[Christie] did not lash out in personal ways at Mr. Obama, hardly mentioning the president by name. Instead, Mr. Christie reserved his sharp words for a tough contrast between the Republican approach to solving problems and a Democratic approach that he said would continue to fail to turn around the American economy and the country’s broken political system…Primarily, the speech offered a challenge to the country to change course from an administration that he said was letting the nation’s economy drift. He said the status quo must change, and he praised Mr. Romney as the right man to take the country in a different direction.” – Michael Shear, The New York Times’ Caucus Blog
  • “[I]t was Christie who helped inject some much-needed energy into an arena that had been surprisingly subdued through the early evening. He came on stage punching the air. He clapped as he approached the lectern, returning the welcome he received from the delegates as if to say: Wake up, Republicans. He demanded that they stand up, and they did…He argued that it’s better to be respected than loved — which is one way to persuade voters to back a Republican nominee who trails the president in likeability. He said the campaign should be about big things — just what the Romney team has tried to argue at the same time it has been thrown off stride by smaller matters. He called the election a test of whether Americans are ready to hear the truth about the nation’s future and he said he is confident that those who challenge the voters will be rewarded. He said his record in New Jersey proves that point.” – Dan Balz, The Washington Post
  • “Political pundits noted that Christie’s speech was almost entirely about himself, with heavy emphasis on ‘I,’ while many on Twitter wondered if it wasn’t Christie himself who was vying for the White House. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called it ‘an act of political selfishness.’ But a senior adviser to the Romney campaign tells POLITICO tonight that Gov. Christie was right on message: ‘Gov. Christie did exactly what we asked, which was lay out the problems facing the nation and close with Governor Romney as the solution,’ the senior adviser said.” – Dylan Byers, Politico’s On Media Blog
  • “The speech was touching at times, with personal moments that were unquestionably genuine. The delivery was smooth, and the home crowd gave him standing ovations when he hammered home conservative principles. But this was not the home run that Chris Christie had hoped for. The cheer for Anne Romney was louder, and lasted longer. As talented a speaker as Christie is, the town hall is his forum, and improvisation is his game. In this setting, he was good but not great.” – Tom Moran, The Newark Star-Ledger
  • “Christie ended the evening with his powerful and rousing call to American greatness, his summons to us to face up to the truth and to do our duty. Christie’s strong speech framed the choice in this election, and made clear which choice was to be preferred – and he did so, impressively, without appearing at all harsh or mean. In fact, he never mentioned President Obama by name. Christie managed to be at once polemical and positive – no easy feat.” – William Kristol, The Weekly Standard
  • “Christie, who stormed onto the stage clapping like a football coach in the fourth quarter, and delivered a gut-busting rebuke to the nation’s political leadership and to a self-indulgent culture…Christie explained how his mother, who died eight years ago, ‘told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.’ He used that as an analogy for how he thinks the GOP must not shrink from offering solutions to the nation’s biggest problems – debt, deficits and a sagging entitlement state – that might be unpopular. ‘Tonight, we are going to do what my mother taught me. Tonight, we are going to choose respect over love,’ he said.” – Jon Ward, The Huffington Post
  • “These were speeches geared beyond the hall, to suburban women or swing voters, independent voters. Christie really did deliver that message when he talked about principled compromise, when he appealed to people who hate politics right now and hate Washington right now, about what will be said about this generation dealing with the kind of problems the country faces.” – David Gregory, NBC News

Author: R. Byrnes

Ryan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Yi! News.

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