VINELAND – Addressing the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce at the Ramada Inn today, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie said he has no intention of lifting his foot off the accelerator in what is likely to be his last 11 months in office as the feds’ top cop in New Jersey.
"One hundred and twenty-five times we have charged people and 125 times we have met the burden," said Christie of his prosecution of public corruption since 2002. "The people who criticize our office can’t back it up. Our record speaks for itself."
The Republican U.S. Attorney acknowledged that the end of President George W. Bush’s presidency would probably mean the end of his own tenure, but in the meantime he wakes up everyday still thrilled by his job.
As always, he acknowledged he can’t do it without the public, and called on the crowd of about 100 people to help him and his office of 149 attorneys.
"As a reformed politician, I will tell you the only thing a politician understands is defeat, they understand it acutely," said Christie, veteran of a failed Assembly campaign in the 1990s; and a prospective gubernatorial candidate in 2009.
Bad politicians need to be voted out of office so the ones left standing get the message, said Christie, a tough task perhaps for those accustomed to a bad situation.
"Our unofficial state song if the song of cynicism," said the U.S. Attorney. "We get caught up in the sense that ‘someone else should fix the problem,’ and ‘wake me up when it’s over.’ I understand that in New Jersey we pride ourselves on having a hard edge. That’s ok. We’re stuck between New York and Philly. Maybe it’s inevitable. But we need to take our state back."
The message was simple: vote. Get involved Stay involved.
"We have no more solemn obligation than to leave this place better than it was left for us," said Christie. "We know our parents and grandparents met that test. If we don’t meet that test, what will our children say to us?"
While taking some questions from the audience, Christie told the crowd he is very encouraged by how new state Attorney General Anne Milgram is fulfilling her role as a crime fighter.
"The AG you have now is one of the most outstanding people I have met in law enforcement," said Christie. "She’s a straight arrow. She’s smart. She’s as good as you’re going to find, and she’s only 37 years old. She’s going to do a fabulous job as your AG."