Speaking this evening at the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance fundraiser, former Governor Chris Christie said he’s not going anywhere. In fact, he promised to be more vocal in his criticism of sitting Governor Phil Murphy, whom he teed off on in this room of friendly allies.
“I gave him 15 months of my silence,” he said of Murphy. “So I’m gonna go out and start having some fun.”
He mocked Murphy, who enjoys a Democratic Legislature, which routinely undercuts him.
“Can you imagine if I had a GOP legislature for one week?” Christie said. “On the big ticket items he ran on (state bank, marijuana legalization and millionaire’s tax), he is 0 for 3”.
“And yes, he has raised your taxes…gotta give him that,” said the Republican. “In this state, history repeats itself over and over again”, but the former Gov told the crowd not to lose hope. “Our time will come.
“In the bluest of all blue states”, we haven’t had a two-term Democratic governor since Byrne, he noted.
He praised former Governor Tom Kean, noting he had the greatest re-election victory in 1985.
“When we do what we say we’re going to do as Republicans, the state responds.”
He went on a tirade.
He glossed over former Governor Jim Florio, then went to former Governor Jim McGreevey.
“I invited him to come back to the state of the state address…the Democrats never invited him back …
He looked around, just the two of us, and said it feels like I’ve never been governor.” Christie said “we’re still cleaning up your mess.”
As for former Governor Jon Corzine: “He destroyed jobs and raised taxes for everyone” and “we won because of him. People looked at him and said ‘I can’t.’ I remember saying to Democrats in 2009, ‘you don’t have to switch parties’ just ‘close your eyes and push the button.’
“We got 61 percent of the vote for reelection as a Republican,” he noted of his own re-election bid in 2013.
Pivoting again to Murphy, he told the crowd “don’t be despondent”, adding “it feels like a long time. But its only been 15 months!”
He said conservatives ask him “are you going to come back, please come back”, and honed in on Murphy’s low name recognition over a year into his term .
“When I was governor, there wasn’t anyone in the goddamn state who didn’t know who the governor was,” Christie railed.
Mocking Murphy’s ‘got your back’ line, Christie said “I don’t need you to have my back, buddy, I need you to have my front.”
He mocked the Governor’s oft-used “Period. Full stop.”
“You speak English, I speak English. When you stop, that’s a period. What the hell does that mean??”
He said Murphy is “not one of us”, and compared him to former Governor Corzine, saying “he didn’t live in NJ, he slept in NJ”, swiping at both Murphy and Corzine over their Goldman Sachs roots.
“Now, we’re seeing what its like when he lives here.”
“Let Murphy continue to be Murphy,” Christie said, and the GOP will win.
NJ is a fighter state, he said. “We don’t have a fighter now.”
He told the NJOA crowd to “stand your ground” and stand on the issues.
“Were gonna find out over the next two years who he is,” Christie said. “Don’t let this guy get away with this stuff. Stand up. Despondency gets us nowhere.”
No excuses for the GOP being at arguably its lowest point, following the 2018 elections. “Oh, we’re Republican, oh were in the minority. We were always in the minority!” he said.
“I’m not going anywhere,” added the former governor. “I bought A SECOND house in NJ.”
Listen to the (partial) audio* of Christie’s speech here: