Over the past few weeks, there were innumerable reports from across the political spectrum that Governor Chris Christie would formally seek the 2012 Republican nomination. On Tuesday night, however, the Garden State governor delivered his widely anticipated, high-profile address on “Real American Exceptionalism” at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. The speech – which had previously fueled speculation that he would announce his candidacy for President of the United States – finally put to rest all the rumors after many months of unequivocal and repeated pronouncements that he would instead concentrate on his job in New Jersey.
While he did not make any formal declarations about entering the race, Christie did however praise President Ronald Reagan for his bold leadership and willingness to compromise with his political rivals during his presidency.
“It is this vision for our country that guided his administration over the course of eight years,” he said. “His commitment to making America stronger, better and more resilient is what allowed him the freedom to challenge conventional wisdom, reach across party lines and dare to put results ahead of political opportunism.”
And like Reagan, Governor Christie stressed the importance of America’s role in the world. He argued, quite pointedly, that if U.S. cannot get its own fiscal house in order, or overcome the political gridlock in Washington, foreign powers would never embrace the democratic institutions that have long brought prosperity to the United States and her democratic allies.
“We pay a price when our political system cannot come together and agree on the difficult but necessary steps to rein in entitlement spending or reform our tax system,” he said.
Furthermore, Christie outlined two important ways to fix America’s longstanding problems: leadership and compromise. In his view, these are the only two ways elected officials can balance the federal budget, reform the pension system, and mitigate the political clout of public sector unions. He argued that in order for lasting changes to take place, as demonstrated in New Jersey, the Chief Executive at every level of government must constantly propose solutions and actively take part in the legislative process.