In front of a spirited crowd that packed the Tampa Times Forum Tuesday night, Chris Christie gave a solid speech. He echoed Mitt Romney’s programs, which consist of substantial budget cuts, tax cuts, and entitlement reform.
Christie pressed on the notion of what he called “principled compromise,” which is exactly how I think Mitt Romney will govern if he wins the election. In a very sharp dig at President Obama, Christie emphasized true leadership, not just governing in accordance with the polls. His line of a “second American century” — which is a Marco Rubio line — is fabulous. Basically, he means we are not going into decline.
This particular passage from Christie’s speech caught my attention:
They said it was impossible — this is what they told me — to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in the eight years before I became governor; that it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time with an $11 billion deficit. But three years later, we have three balanced budgets in a row with lower taxes. We did it.
He is saying you can reduce taxes, you can reduce spending, you can grow the economy, and you can have a balanced budget. And that it has been done before, in New Jersey. It’s a prediction of what Mitt Romney is going to do.
But I don’t think Christie did as good a job of setting the table as Ann Romney. She was the star of the night. She gave a brilliant speech about her life with Mitt Romney, about their love, and about how they grew up without silver spoons in their mouths. She described her work with, and empathy for, those less fortunate. Her description of Mitt as the man who “will not fail” was a terrific line.
I must confess, Ann Romney stole the show.