Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christie Taking Questions at Reagan Library

I saw a tweet from W.C. Varones that Chris Christie was speaking at the Reagan Library and that it was being live cast. I tuned in at the end of his prepare remarks to hear him say that we need straight talking leadership to solve our problems. He then took some questions.

He was asked his position on dealing with the problem of educating illegal immigrants. He called for secure borders. He also spoke against in state tuition for children of illegals. In a swipe at Perry he said its not heartless to not subsidize tuition at the in-state level for children of illegal immigrants.

The second question was about him running for President. He joked that the audience wasn't up to standards, since it took two questions to get there. He pointed out the Politico web site on running for President. It seems pretty clear he won't run. Dawn will be happy, W.C. not so much.

The third question was on how to fix federal entitlements; how to wean people off. He responded that in New Jersey, the equivalent are public sector pensions and health care, which were $122 billion under funded when he took office. "I put out a specific plan, not 'I propose to reduce these expenses and if I can come together with the other side, I'll let you know what my proposal is.'" He said that he provided specific details of making employees pay into these pensions and took away COLAs until the shortfall was made up. New Jersey firefighters were unhappy, and he went to their convention, with 4000 of them. "I didn't get the reception you all gave me tonight." There were lots of boos. Christie told the "I understand feel scared, angry and betrayed." Every governor before had made promises to increase their pensions, but had not funded the increases. "Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth." His basic argument was that these promises were empty, but he is making good on them by facing the facts of the situation.

The truth is that medicare, medicaid and social security to a lesser extent, are draining the treasury. Christie said the common sense solution is to reduce benefits, means test, and get people who don't need it to stop taking it so that we can give to those who need it. To which I add, amen. The problem is that every time a candidate says anything real about the subject they get vilified, so they re-think their position. It will take real leadership on this issue to fix it. "Real leaders don't read polls they change polls." This is what draws me to Christie. He is telling the truth about the really big issues that we in the Tea Party have said is the crisis facing America, namely the deluge of debt due to the orgy of spending, including unsustainable entitlements.

Two people implored him to run for President. The second woman was particularly impassioned. "We can't wait until 2016." She literally pleaded for him to run for President, saying to Christie that you're country needs you to run for President. This got lots of applause.

His response, not verbatim, was, "I'm just a kid from Jersey who feels like I'm the luckiest guy in the world to be governor of my state. Anyone who has an ego enormous enough to say please stop asking me to be leader of the free world is incredible. So I am flattered at your request and it is not a problem for me. But your heartfelt request isn't reason enough for me to run. That has to come from inside, and that feeling is not inside of me. Even though I did not meet President Ronald Reagan, he must have felt that he was uniquely called to his moment in history. I don't have that feeling."

My final thought; only a man who feels like this should be President. All the guys with egos that outstrip their talent shouldn't be in the field. Unfortunately this is all mooted by the fact that he isn't running.

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