LIVINGSTON, N.J. – Returning to his High School gym, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his run for president today on a center stage surrounded by some of his most loyal supporters still proud of their native son.
It’s the moment his longtime supporters were waiting for, but perhaps a smaller event than they would have expected during the peak of the Christie-mania that occurred after winning a resounding re-election in 2013 as a Republican governor in a blue state.
Christie took the stage with his family, who remained on stage during his entire speech. He emphasized his family ties to the Livingston community and his roots in the American dream.
Once a darling of the Republican establishment, Christie is currently polling poorly in the presidential cycle, but he appeared determined to continue his persona of “truth telling” and bi-partisan cooperation as his preferred method of governing.
“The truth will set us free, everybody,” he said, after launching his “Tell It Like It Is” campaign slogan.
Christie defined his presidential campaign as one “without spin or without pandering or focus group tested answers” and a promised truthful answer to every question.
“What is right is what will fix America, not what’s popular,” he said during his speech, which was delivered without teleprompters or notes as he paced along the small stage looking intently at the crowd.
He also called for compromise, insisting that it was part of governing a country that was increasingly partisan – which failed to properly represent the majority of America in Washington D.C.
“When I hear the media say our country is angry, I know they are wrong,” he said, suggesting instead that they were filled with “anxiety” about the future of their country.
The event was small, but well secured, without the interruptions from protestors that Jeb Bush suffered from during his announcement. More than 100 protestors were pushed away from the event, but they made a stand outside the school grounds.
To emphasize his cross-party appeal, he was introduced by a family friend who was also a public school teacher and a registered Democrat, who praised the governor for his leadership and ideas that were helping people around the state.
That kind of compromise, he argued, was important to the future of the country.
“If Washington and Jefferson and Adams had believed compromise is a dirty word, we’d still be under the crown of England,” he said, promising to work with Democrats who had good ideas to fix America.
He strictly criticized President Obama on foreign policy suggesting that the president “lives in his own world, not in our world” when it came to his popularity around the world.
“After seven years of a weak and feckless foreign policy run by Barack Obama, we better not turn it over to his second-mate Hillary Clinton,” he added.