Nancy Solomon, Managing Editor, New Jersey Public Radio
Nancy Solomon is the Managing Editor of New Jersey Public Radio.
Governor Chris Christie stuck to Reaganesque themes in his keynote address at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, calling on Americans to create a second American century.
The New Jersey governor stayed away from social issues like gay marriage, abortion or immigration. There was no mention of George Bush. Instead, Christie stuck with safe terrain – Reaganism. “A second American century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have a good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams,” Christie said.
He called for less government spending, sacrifice by seniors to give up entitlement programs, and touted his bipartisan reforms on public employee pensions and teacher tenure.
“They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful,” Christie said. “Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.”
Christie compromised with the Democratically-controlled legislation to make tenure harder to get and harder to keep by tying it to student test scores.
“They believe in teachers unions. We believe in teachers,” Christie said, getting one of his biggest ovations.
He began the speech with the improbability of his appearance on the stage.
“A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.”
Christie returned to that theme toward the end of the keynote. “Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses.”
Christie squeezed in a quick reference to Bruce Springsteen, of course, the Jersey shore, and a common theme of his – that he doesn’t care whether he’s popular and he doesn’t pay attention to polls.