Governor Chris Christie Set to Announce his run for the Presidency of the US.
(My how this New Jersey Governor's star has fallen.)
New Jersey governor Chris Christie: according to his constituents, he’s a ‘bully’ and a ‘liar’, with ‘a tongue forked like a serpent’s’.
Tom McCarthy in New York
Tuesday 30 June 2015 08.27 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 30 June 2015 08.43 EDT
As he prepares to unveil his presidential campaign on Tuesday, Chris Christie is promising American voters that he will tell it to them straight – New Jersey-style.
New Jersey has a straight message for American voters, too: run away.
In a state famous for blunt speech, Christie, who has been governor since 2010, has gained notoriety for scenes, invariably captured on YouTube, in which he tells constituents things they don’t want to hear, sometimes insulting them in the process. The scenes define a political brand that Christie now hopes to take nationwide as he joins the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with a “tell it like it is” tour scheduled to begin as soon as he completes his announcement on Tuesday at Livingston high school, his alma mater.
The problem for Christie is that New Jersey’s reputation for sharp speech cuts both ways – and it is a big state with, currently, a lot of Christie detractors. The “tell it like it is” campaign, it appears, could turn into an extended razzing of the candidate.
No sooner was the venue for Christie’s presidential speech made public than Christie’s opponents began planning a protest that organizers predicted would draw a thousand people in an attempt to upstage the governor’s big announcement. The state’s public teachers’ union, a Christie nemesis after years of fighting over pensions and dues, said the choice of venue was gratuitously provocative – and typical.
“Once we heard that the governor was planning on making his presidential announcement at Livingston high school, once the word got out, it really felt like he was just rubbing our faces in it,” Anthony Rosamilia, a union official and teacher at the school, told the Guardian. “He’s been beating us over the head for the last five years. So really, it shouldn’t be a surprise that people are up in arms and looking to protest.”
Rosamilia said that teachers objected to more than Christie’s moves to cut their pensions, delay their retirements and make them pay for healthcare. Like other teachers and public officials interviewed for this story, Rosamilia said that Christie had injected poison in the relationship by making it personal. He compared the fight to the similar struggle between public-sector unions and Republican governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
“I know the Scott Walkers and Chris Christies of the world would like to look at us as terrorists and parasites, but we’re not,” said Rosamilia. “We’re your friends, we’re your neighbors – we’re New Jerseyans. And when New Jerseyans get attacked, we fight back. I mean, if anybody should know that, this governor should.”
One of the most famous Christie smackdowns disseminated on YouTube by the governor’s press team was a 2010 town hall confrontation between the governor and Marie Corfield, an elementary school art teacher. Corfield accused Christie of being unnecessarily coarse in his dealing with educators, and handed him some attitude in the form of a sardonic laugh at his reply.
For a continuation of this article see Link above.