Your RNC keynote speaker: Chris Christie’s best moments
By Rachel Weiner,
What will Chris Christie say in his Republican National Committee convention keynote speech?
We don’t know (sorry). But the New Jersey governor is one of the most prolific politicians on YouTube. So we can look at some of his greatest rhetorical moments for some hints.
Most of Christie’s greatest hits (which his office often records and promotes) had to do with his state’s long fight against teachers’ unions — a topic that will likely come up at the RNC.
In one of Christie’s most famous “YouTube moments,” he told a teacher at a town hall asking about layoffs and cuts to simmer down.
“I stood here and very respectfully listened to you; if what you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time I talk, well then I have no interest in answering your question,” he said to applause.
The long, detailed response that followed was not as fiery. But supporters loved Christie’s case for why the teachers’ union needed to compromise and sacrifice — the video got over a million page views.
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In a more confrontational town hall exchange, Christie told a teacher that if she didn’t like the pay, “You don’t have to do it.”
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At a 2010 meeting in Camden County, Christie mocked claims that cutting teachers’ health benefits hurt students. “Now, do you really think that your child is now stressed out and unable to learn because they know that their poor teacher has to pay 1.5 percent of their salary for their health care benefits?” he asks, to laughs. “This is the crap I have to hear.”
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Christie also tangles with the press. He called a Star-Ledger columnist who asked about his “confrontational tone” the “thinnest-skinned guy in America” and added, “if you think that’s a confrontational tone, you should really see me when I’m pissed. … I love when people say they don’t want to have argument. That’s what we were sent here for.”
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And in a more expansive speech at the George W. Bush Presidential Center earlier this year, Christie said he had “never seen a less optimistic time in my lifetime in this country” because of government overreach. “We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society,” he said. “That will not just bankrupt us financially; it will bankrupt us morally.
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And finally, something Christie almost definitely won’t say in Tampa: “Get the hell off the beach.”
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