By STEVEN WELCH
TAMPA, Fla. — As Tuesday’s keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention, Gov. Chris Christie, of New Jersey, focused on respect and America’s need for a leader willing to deliver on their promises.
In his opening remarks, Christie shared his view that leaders in America need to respect one another in order to tackle the current problems plaguing the nation. Drawing inspiration from his late mother, he recalled her greatest life lesson taught to him.
“She told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected,” he said. “She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.”
With his remarks, Christie warned the crowd that the country has become “paralyzed by our desire to be loved,” and stressed that now was time to step up and “choose respect over love.”
In outlining the challenges in fixing America, he brought up the changes he’s made in New Jersey, despite being told early on that his plans were impossible. He mentioned those who doubted his ability to cut taxes for the people of New Jersey while balancing the state’s high deficit.
“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,” he said.
Christie relayed the success he’s had in working with unions to reform education, health benefits and the pensions of his state’s retirees. As he went over his state’s accomplishments during his time as governor, he had three words for the people who doubted his abilities.
“We did it,” said Christie.
As he continued his speech, he spoke of some of the differences in beliefs between Republicans and Democrats. He brought up the $5 trillion in debt added during President Obama’s term, saying Democrats believe America doesn’t want to hear the truth; instead they think Americans are “content to live the lie with them.” He said Republicans feel the American people should be told of the problems facing the economy, in order to bring about a solution rather than hide behind lies.
During his speech, Christie gave his support to Mitt Romney, who had received the Republican Party’s nomination earlier Tuesday evening. He stressed that America needs a new leader capable of handling the problems the country is facing, and how he believes Romney is the man prepared to face that challenge.
“We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction,” Christie said. “And now he has a running mate who will do the same.”
In closing his speech, Christie urged Republicans to stand with him in helping to get Romney to the White House, saying the truth will lead America onto the path of success once again.
“Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States,” he said. “And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness.”