The drumbeat supporting the idea of a presidential run by New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie keeps rolling on. Conservative commentators Rich Lowry and John Podhoretz lauded Christie’s night speech Speech in columns they wrote afterward.
“It was an extraordinary night out at the Reagan library,” Lowry wrote at NationalReview.com
. “I have never seen a crowd so literally desperate for someone to run for president . . . The governor seemed moved by the entire experience. His speech was plain-spoken rather than eloquent, but benefited from Christie’s emphatic and sincere delivery.”
Christie put focus on pragmatism, Lowry said. “ ‘Leadership and compromise’ was his mantra in one section.”
Republicans in Congress received some implicit criticism, Lowry wrote. “If he ran and were the nominee, we’d obviously see some of the same dynamic as Bush in 2000, with Christie distancing himself from congressional Republicans and running as ‘a uniter.’ He touted his bi-partisanship in New Jersey.”
Despite Christie’s emphasis on bipartisanship, “it was a savage attack on President Obama’s leadership,” Lowry said. “’In New Jersey . . . the Executive Branch has not sat by and waited for others to go first to suggest solutions to our state’s most difficult problems.’ . . . As an outsider with strong leadership qualities of his own, Christie is ideally suited to pursue this line of argument.”
Christie created a clear persona: “he’s the truth-teller who cares above all about getting things done,” Lowry wrote. “From this speech you’d conclude that if he runs he’s going to be less timid than Romney but less rigid than Perry. And, on this night at least, the conservatives at the Reagan library ate it up.”
As for Podhoretz, he wrote in the New York Post
, “Coming as it did after Rick Perry’s disastrous performance in last Thursday’s debate, a big speech by a rising star seemed well-timed.”
The speech was “beautifully delivered and plain-spoken, considerably less combative than his famous YouTube performances — a talk about the virtues of finding common ground,” Podhoretz said.
“Christie is a Republican governor with a Democratic Legislature. And he said, proudly, that ‘our bipartisan accomplishments in New Jersey have helped to set a tone that has taken hold across many other states. It is a simple but powerful message — lead on the tough issues by telling your citizens the truth about the depth of our challenges.’”
The course Christie presented for a presidential campaign was “one that would seek to appeal to those primary voters who want a government that can function, not just the most ideologically conservative government imaginable,” Podhoretz wrote.
“Were Christie to run, therefore, he wouldn’t be running to fill the hardline-conservative slot now held so shakily by Rick Perry. He would be running on his own star power and with his own message to conservatives: I get things done, and I would agree with you most of the time -- pretty much.”
Podhoretz called the speech a “brilliant performance.”
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