New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke softly and carried a big stick as he visited Iowa in a precursor to a potential White House run.
He put aside the "bluster and bravado" that he's known for as he reached out to moderate Republicans on Tuesday, the type he needs to win the state's early presidential primary and eventually the GOP nomination, The Washington Post reported
The Republican governor told the well-heeled audience that the Hawkeye State's GOP Gov. Terry Branstad had reminded him of the chatter that Christie was too blunt and too direct for Iowa voters, The Des Moines Register reported
But Christie said, albeit in rather subdued tones, "I'm not too blunt, I'm not too direct to be in Iowa or any place else in this country. Because what we need now in my opinion in this country more than anything else, is some blunt, direct straight talk."
He went on to say that straight talk is needed
"to fix problems that that we've been avoiding for too long because we care more about the comfort of people's feelings than about telling the truth and fixing the problems that need to be fixed. I'm not going to shrink away from that ever."
And he implied to the audience, who paid $25 a ticket, that they can expect more of the outspoken Christie.
"I know there are times you may see or read something that I've said and say, 'Oh, my gosh, I cannot believe he said that out loud,'" he said during his 40-minute speech at a windowless conference room in a suburban Marriott Hotel.
However, it appears that the "business friendly" audience may have preferred the brash Christie to the softly-spoken one, according to the Post. In fact, Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party, said in a blog that Christie "seemed a little flat."
He wrote: "I couldn't shake the fact that the guy speaking to a room of 60 people in West Des Moines was the same guy who provided the keynote address for the 2012 Republican National Convention."
Whether to tone it down or talk in what some say is an arrogant tone is one of the problems Christie faces as he tours the country in his apparent quest to become the next president of the United Sates.
People enjoyed his tough act in the beginning until he came crashing down to earth with the "Bridge-gate" scandal, bullying accusations, and a downgrade in his state's credit ratings, as well as other problems in his state.
Now, in states like Iowa, Christie wants to quietly force home the point that he's the right choice for 2016 among a string of GOP contenders, especially in light of the fact that he's running a state dominated by Democrat voters.
"Now I came in with someone today, and he said, 'gosh if you ever did run for president, if you ever did become president, how would you be ready to deal with the Congress?'" Christie said at the fundraiser for the Dallas County Republican Party in West Des Moines.
"I said, 'Listen, I've dealt with the Legislature in New Jersey for five years. This is a group of folks who passed a ban on fracking when we have no shale. As folks in Iowa will probably recall, this is a group of people that twice passed a ban on gestational crates for pigs, yet we produce almost no pork.'
"If that doesn't prepare you for the craziness in Washington, D.C., I don't know what would."
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