Gov. Chris Christie, the “Trenton Thunder“, has lent his star power to yet another reform-minded Pennsylvania Republican challenger. Gov. Christie came to Fairless Hills, Pa. this afternoon to support Mike Fitzpatrick.
At a $500 dollar per plate tented fundraiser outside of Silvi Concrete, a third generation family business, Christie spoke
to a crowd of more than 200 about his experience in the Garden State — only a few minutes drive away over the Delaware River — and what would be needed to elect Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 8th district.
Introduced briefly by former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, whom Battle ‘10 spoke with afterwards, Gov. Christie delivered a candid message laying out the challenges facing the neighboring states and the nation.
“Today’s a good day, good karma for me to be here, because it was nine months ago today that I was sworn in as governor of New Jersey,” Christie told an audience seated at fine linen tablecloths, some dotted with yellow toy cement mixing trucks.
“The last nine months have shown us that not only will people tolerate you making difficult decisions, [but] they want you to, and most importantly, the are tired of being pandered to,” said Christie.
“They want to be treated like adults. We know we’re in bad shape. We know our economy is tough. We know that people are out of work. We know we’ve spent too much and borrowed too much and taxed too much over the last decade. We know we attended a party that now needs to be cleaned up,” said a solemn Christie.
“You know, when I arrived in the governorship and I saw the shambles that the state’s finances we in, I said to folks, ‘I feel like the guy who got an invitation to a party, and … when I walked into the party, there were nothing but a bunch of drunks on the floor passed out, and a bunch of empties laying all over the place,’” Christie said to laughter. “Well you know, you’ve got two choices when that happens. [Either] run out the door and try to find a new party, or stay there and clean up.
And as the boom and roar of lumbering concrete trucks coming and going competed for the ear of the audience, an impassioned Christie underscored which choice he saw Mike Fitzpatrick making. “Our destiny,” he told those assembled, “will be determined by people like me and Mike staying and cleaning up the mess that they’ve left for us to clean up. That’s what we’re gonna do.”
Christie also spelled out what he saw as the four “core principles” of responsible Republican governance: “less spending, smaller government, less regulation, and lower taxes.”
“With 14 days to go, it’s put up or shut up time for our party. If the American people turn to us — as I believe they will — for leadership in the congress and in statehouses throughout America, it’s time for our party to make the tough decisions that need to be made to stick to [our] four core principles.
“I’m confident that Mike Fitzpatrick knows that, and that’s exactly what he’ll do when you send him back to the floor of the House of Representatives,” Christie promised the crowd. “He will stand up for his congressional district and he will stand against crazy spending, out of control debt and even higher taxes. He will say no to these things, not because he wants to say ‘No’, but because he’s right for saying no.”
Gov. Christie drew parallels between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two recently blue states that seem to be returning to traditional battlegrounds.
“A year ago right now, 14 days out from our election in New Jersey, our polls were in absolute dead heat between me and Jon Corzine,” said Christie. “He was the incumbent. We have 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans in New Jersey. Jon Corzine outspent me 3-1 with $30 million dollars of his own money.”
“We had not elected a Republican statewide in 12 years, and we still have not elected a Republican United States senator since 1972. Now, those look like long odds, and they were, but over the last 14 days in New Jersey, people like you decided, ‘No, we’re not giving in to this.’”
Christie defeated Corzine on Nov. 3 of last year by a margin of 3.6 percent.
“I want to be sitting across the river on Election Night in Princeton,” Christie said, “and I want to be watching on TV, and I want to see that big check mark at the bottom of the TV as that crawl goes by next to Mike Fitzpatrick’s name.”
That check mark, explained Christie, will “say that a previous wrong has been righted, that a mistake in judgment has been fixed, and that with Mike Fitzpatrick’s leadership for this congressional district and for our country, once again we’ll be on the track to pride, prosperity, growth, and a greater America for our children and grandchildren.”
“If you do your part,” closed Christie, “he’ll do his.”
Silvi Concrete is an example of the kind of traditional sweat and muscle small business that still powers a significant portion of the Bucks County economy. Located along a winding, tree lined manufacturing alley dotted with barbed wire security fences, trucks came and went every few minutes during the luncheon.
John Silvi spoke with Battle ‘10 about his hosting of the Fitzpatrick fundraiser.
“I’m third generation Bucks County, born and raised about three and a half miles from where this office is,” said Silvi. “I’ve known Mike as a personal friend for probably 30 years now. It’s about having somebody who has the same ideals and beliefs that you have.”
“Taxes are very much an issue,” Silvi told Battle ‘10. “Things like healthcare, the ‘reform’ was just a debacle. When Congress touted it, they said they were going to reduce the cost of health care. Our cost of health care is scheduled to go up 40 percent — that’s four zero percent — in 2011.”