Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech reminiscent of his 2008 campaign, in which he urged Americans to “meet the moment” and “up our game.” At the Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum today, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Obama for not living up to his own standards, and criticized the president for sitting “on the bench” instead:
“I would like to remind the president that today is Dec. 7, 2011, not Jan. 20, 2009, he is way late to the game,” said Christie. “I challenge all of you to search the rest of the speech for any concrete accomplishments that would line up with the words he used. Let’s just use this quote, we need to meet the moment. Mr. President we need a leader who will lead us to the moment…and not be cautious and sit back and wait for someone else to do the hard work but to get out of the chair, and do the hard work yourself to make America a better place.”
“We need to up our game?” Christie continued. “[Obama] has had every opportunity to up his game for the last three years and he has been on the bench.”
Christie has been a valuable surrogate for Mitt Romney on the campaign trail, and recently blasted Newt Gingrich as a career politician. He was careful to avoid taking any shots at the other candidates or make any overt reverences to Romney during his keynote. But he did advise the audience to be cautious about choosing a candidate – noting that the GOP needs to hold its politicians to the same standards it expects from the Democrats.
“We as Republicans must not only challenge the president of the United States [to reach] that standard. He has no hope,” said Christie. “We must also challenge each and every person in our party…to meet that same standard.”
Beyond that, the fact that Christie was tapped for the keynote at the RJC also seems to suggest its supporters may be leaning toward Romney. Christie clearly had a great deal of support from the audience, and there’s no doubt his endorsements are taken seriously by this crowd.