NEWARK – In the city of his birth, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie launched his campaign for governor this morning, vowing if elected to wage an aggressive battle against wasteful and parochial politicians, special interests and bloated state spending.
“I have the experience and the determination and the will to make the tough decisions that are necessary to make the right decisions,” Christie told a room packed with enthusiastic Republican supporters here at the New Jersey Center for the Performing Arts.
Christie said he would restore trust in government, make use of the line item veto, relentlessly market New Jersey to forge a new jobs base, and budget “like you do at home.”
“Our government taxes too much, borrows too much and spends too much,” said Christie. “We have a government that refuses to be held accountable for how they spend our money.
The man who spent the first years of his life in a walk-up apartment at the corner of 14th Street and South Orange Avenue before his parents moved Christie’s family to Livingston, said he wants to be governor because he loves New Jersey.
“I was born here and I was raised here,” said Christie. “I love New Jersey and I am not ready to give up on New Jersey yet.
“The Wall Street philosophy has ruined our state’s finances,” he added, in a dig at Gov. Jon Corzine, former CEO of Goldman Sachs. “There is no wizard with a magic wand who’s going to fix our problems.”
Projection of strength in the face of what Christie alluded to as finger-in-the-wind leadership provided the fulcrum of his remarks and first-look slogan presence today as he repeatedly promised that as governor he would say “no” to the entrenched special interests that have sapped the state of much of its vigor.
His campaign poster promised “Strong leadership now,” words writ large on a big black “Chris Christie” campaign bus parked in front of NJPAC.
The candidategave a nod to what he anticipates will be a hardnosed campaign and big dollar effort from the other party.
“They will spend unlimited money. They will try to tag me with insults. They will try to scare you, and they will try to scare me, and they will try to divide us by scaring each other,” Chrisite said.
Among those party diehards inattendance today were state Sen. Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., (R-Union), Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany), state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris), Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, and Cape May Republican Party Chairman David Von Savage.