Some excerpts from Chris Christe’s powerful speech:
Let me be clear with the American people tonight. Here is what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats. We believe in telling hardworking families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities, telling them what they already know, the math of federal spending does not add up.
With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of this government.
Want to know what [the Democrats] believe? They believe that the American people want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties. They believe the American people need to be coddled by big government. They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them. They are wrong.
We believe in telling our seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements. We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren. Our seniors are not children….
Now, we believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed, to put students first so that America can compete, that teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. We believe — we believe we should honor and reward the good ones, while doing what’s best for our nation’s future, demanding accountability, demanding higher standards, and demanding the best teacher in every classroom in America.
Get ready. Here is what [the Democrats] believe. They believe the educational savages will only put themselves ahead of children, that self- interest will always trump common sense, they believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, lobbyists against children. [The Democrats] believe in teachers’ unions . We believe in teachers….
Make no mistake about it, everybody. The problems are too big to let the American people lose. The slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, and an education system that is failing to compete in the world. It doesn’t matter how we got here. There’s enough blame to go around. What matters is what we do now.
See, I know. I know we can fix our problems. When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than they worry about winning reelection, it is possible to work together, achieve principal compromise, and get results for the people who give us these jobs in the first place.
The people have no patience for any other way anymore. It is simple. We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something….
We have to tell each other the truth, right? Listen, there is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country. I have traveled all over the country, and I have seen this myself. These feelings are real. This moment is real,and it is a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if America’s greatness is over. They wonder how those who have come before the before us had in the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge, not to look around and say “Not me”, but to look around and say “Yes, me.”
Now, I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo. I have faith in us. I know.
I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be tonight. I believe in America and her history, and there’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. You see, Mr. President, real leaders do not follow polls. Real leaders change polls.