No Pandering from Chris Christie in Pitch to Social Conservatives

“Thank you for having me and thank you for what you do,” Christie said concluding his speech at the Faith and Freedom conference in Washington, D.C., omitting the characteristic "God Bless America" sign off voiced by many speakers at the conference today.

It was one more demonstration that Christie doesn’t pander to grassroots audiences and he doesn’t try to pretend that he is one of them. Instead, his speech felt like a 2016 stump speech delivered to a wide audience.

After Christie took the stage, he began his speech telling a story about how he worked with New Jersey Democrats to address the state’s fiscal woes.

It’s his selling point for 2016: that he is willing to work and compromise with people to get things done.

But Christie took pains to remind the audience that going into negotiations, he still had principals.

“You do not enter a principled compromise with someone that you don’t believe has principals,” Christie said.

Far from engaging activists with an emotional pro-life message, Christie reminded them of the importance of tolerance -- pointing out that their favorite party was the party that allowed pro-choice politicians.

Christie highlighted his pro-life positions but reminded the audience that “pro-life” meant “whole-life” -- and that every life is precious.

It’s a frequent theme that Christie has painstakingly developed during his political career in New Jersey, highlighting the importance of helping people beat drug addiction.

Christie also recalled writings from John Adams, of the solemn American commitment to leave the country better off for the next generation.

“If that’s a fight you are willing to engage in, that’s a fight I’m willing to engage in,” he said.

That’s hardly a moving emotional speech for values voters, but it’s the sober non-pandering message that Christie is sharing across the nation.


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