NATIONAL HARBOR, MD–Chris Christie returned to the Conservative Political Action Conference this year with something to prove after being on the receiving end of an embarrassing scandal and watching his conservative support slowly dwindle. He had a message for the audience: be pro-life through all of life, and be aggressive against the left.
Noting that Democrats had never had a pro-life speaker at their convention, the New Jersey governor urged the crowd to reframe the way they were encouraged by the media to see the situation: “They are the party of intolerance, not us.” In typical form, Christie joked that he was “shy and retiring,” not one to speak up against the media, and he encouraged those who were, in reality, shy to speak up for the sake of the movement. “We are not going to put up any longer with them defining who we are,” he declared. But that, he continued, required a consistent moral disposition.
“When we say we are pro-life… we need to be pro-life when they leave the womb, as well,” he told the crowd, returning to the key highlights of his inauguration speech in New Jersey earlier this year. In that speech, Christie argued that rehabilitating drug offenders should be a pivotal tenet of conservative philosophy. When the children conservatives save from abortion “fall victim to disease,” Christie told the crowd, “we need to rehabilitate those kids, because every life is precious no matter where they are in society.”
Christie also had some strong words for President Obama’s economic and foreign policies, the latter a topic that Christie has not so often touched. “We are for America being a leader in the world, and we are for a strong national defense, not one that allows other countries to run us over all over the world,” Christie told the crowd, emphasizing that conservatives, not the media, should define who conservatives are. If conservatives do not continue to be a beacon of freedom around the world, “we’re not the only losers,” Christie argued. “The rest of the world loses if we don’t do that.”
Watch Christie’s statements from CPAC below: