LAS VEGAS-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came off the bench ready to drive in runs for his trailing campaign at Tuesday night’s Republican presidential primary debate showing America that he deserved the spot in the starting lineup amongst media powerhitters Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson.
Christie, a former U.S. attorney, has been making a case for himself in recent weeks on the campaign trail, delivering positive messages and policy plans, generally avoiding the circus atmosphere in the race, led by ringmaster Donald Trump.
To this point, the Republican debates have revolved around the theatrics of Trump as he and the other candidates used the national platforms to poke jabs and bicker amongst each other.
This past weekend, another New Jersey native, former UFC champion Frankie Edgar, traveled to Las Vegas to win a fight and showed his peers he’s a legitimate contender. Edgar knocked out his opponent in the first round.
Christie, another Jersey kid, followed in Edgar’s footsteps on a similar pilgrimage a few days later, to show America and his peers that he is a legitimate contender to be the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election. While he didn’t deliver a first round knockout, he went the distance against the heavy hitters.
Christie came out swinging in is opening comments, declaring Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have failed to lead America the way Americans want to be led.
“America has been betrayed. We’ve been betrayed by the leadership that Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have provided to this country over the last number of years. Think about just what’s happened today,” Christie said. “The second largest school district in America in Los Angeles closed based on a threat. Think about the effect that, that’s going to have on those children when they go back to school tomorrow wondering filled with anxiety to whether they’re really going to be safe.”
After rounds of bickering and bantering between the other candidates, Christie brought the debate back to ground level and reminded the others and the audience why they were all on the stage in the first place.
“Listen, I want to talk to the audience at home for a second. If your eyes are glazing over like mine, this is what it’s like to be on the floor of the United States Senate. I mean, endless debates about how many angels on the head of a pin from people who’ve never had to make a consequential decision in an executive position,” Christie said. “The fact is, for seven years, I had to make these decisions after 9/11, make a decision about how to proceed forward with an investigation or how to pull back, whether you use certain actionable intelligence or whether not to. And yet they continue to debate about this bill and in the subcommittee and what — nobody in America cares about that.”
In his closing arguments, Christie rested his case on his experience as the Governor of New Jersey and as a U.S. attorney. During his tenures, New Jersey had a front row seat in the global war against terror, starting with the attack on the World Trade Center and involving a plot to kill soldiers at New Jersey’s Joint Base MDL.
“What they [Americans] care about is, are we going to have a president who actually knows what they’re doing to make these decisions? And for the seven years afterwards, New Jersey was threatened like no other region in this country and what we did was we took action within the constitution to make sure that law enforcement had all the information they needed,” Christie said. “We prosecuted two of the biggest terrorism cases in the world and stopped Fort Dix from being attacked by six American radicalized Muslims from a Mosque in New Jersey because we worked with the Muslim American community to get intelligence and we used the Patriot Act to get other intelligence to make sure we did those cases. This is the difference between actually been a federal prosecutor, actually doing something, and not just spending your life as one of hundred debating it.”
Christie reaffirmed his commitment to halting the flow of Syrian civil war refugees, which has been infiltrated by ISIS supporters and terrorist cells until the President and congress could assure proper and reliable screening processes can be implemented.
“It’s so dysfunctional under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It’s so ineffective. It’s so ineffectual that the American people say, we don’t trust them to do anything anymore. So I’m not going to let Syrian refugees, any Syrian refugees in this country,” he added. “And it was widows and orphans, by the way, and we now know from watching the San Bernardino attack that women can commit heinous, heinous acts against humanity just the same as men can do it.”
While Donald Trump called for a flat-out ban on all muslims, Christie brought the discussion once again back to reality.
“And so I don’t back away from that position for a minute. When the FBI director tells me that he can vet those people, then we’ll consider it and not a moment before because your safety and security is what’s most important to me,” he added.
On the other hand, Christie said his administration’s relationship with the New Jersey muslim community is what has largely spared his state from terrorist attacks and thwarted other attempts.
Christie said he values his relationships with mosques and the muslim community as members of that community have played vital roles in assisting New Jersey law enforcement officials in proactively investigating threats against the public.
Tuesday night’s debate was the final one of 2015, but 7 more are scheduled for 2016. New Jersey’s primary election will take place on June 7, 2016.
Going into the debate, Donald Trump led the polls with 41% while Christie