tv Fmr. New Jersey Gov. Christie Shares His Vision for the GOP CSPAN September 27, 2021 7:31pm-8:24pm EDT
republican speaks about his vision for the republican party at an event hosted by the ronald reagan presidential foundation and institute in steamy bali, california. the 2016 republican presidential candidate said his party needs to embrace the truth even when it is painful, and, fight against the biden administration's dangerous policies that only make the government bigger. this speech is 50 minutes.
foundation. i want to thank all of you for joining us this evening. in honor of our men and women in uniforms who protect and defend our freedoms, please stand and join me for the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands among the nation -- one nation under god liberty and justice for all. thank, you please be seated. before we get started there are a few -- i'd like to make sure we recognize some people this evening. i would like to start with governor christie's wife. thanks for coming, mary.
one of my bosses reagan foundation, his wife karen and his son james. andrew, thanks for coming. [applause] we are honored to have all of you with us as the reagan library continues with its series. next month, we will mark the 57th anniversary of the speech in which president reagan -- made that phrase famous. the purpose of our work here at the reagan library and those -- it is what we call the speech. that because the speech set in
motion a chain of events that would launch a remarkable political career lead. and reshape a national political party. nearly six decades later, the republican party law -- this is a party that is still compatible with the fundamental principles from ronald reagan. whether it's domestic policy position. foreign policy views that are non negotiable. what should the republican party stand for? in may, june and july we welcomed speaker paul ryan, vice president mike pence and secretary mike pompeo to offer their answers. and we asked that their answers
to these questions be very direct, knowing governor kristi as i do, i have a feeling the answers will not be a problem. -- the aggressive reemergence of the coronavirus, and public health measures involving our schools. our nations disastrous evacuation with the retreat from afghanistan. i continue to an open in invitation for millions of undocumented once known as illegal immigrants full to cross an open southern border and more so governor kristi -- lord only knows what others
might be confronted with in the future. would i do know is that is a former federal prosecutor who never lost a case and a returning republican governor who never left an election in the deep blue state, you are no stranger to things called tough. here also no stranger to the reagan library. i know you remember when you were here ten years ago during reagan's tenure celebration, a woman way up in the balcony summoned the courage to ask you the obvious question at the time and i remember that moment like it was yesterday you could hear a pin drop. will you run for president, she asked? governor kristi, if you don't mind, i will quote governor christie himself. once you do, he said,
everything that happens in this country you see through the prism -- if it were up to me. i'm sure since you ran in 2016 there has been plenty of times that you faster self that question and now it's not about anyone potential president candidate. personally align from governor christie's favorite, i think he was born to run. but he had plenty of time to decide on that. in the meantime, his timing could not be better, this next book is called republican rescue. hitting the shelves in november. his publisher called it a timely and urgent guide to help
much. [inaudible] i want to thank john for his stewardship of this foundation. i want to thank the members of the board who invited me tonight. thank you for being here. and for all those who unfortunately in this covid world we've been living in since march of 2020, are watching this virtually, this top as well. it's an honor for me to be here again at the reagan library to speak with all of you. it's an opportunity to participate in a time for choosing -- as john mentioned, i've been asked tonight by the board to speak on why i am a republican and when we should stand for as
a party. to discuss our successes, our failures. the important issues for our future and how we can come together, both as a party and as a nation. thanks so much for the small assignment to the board that you've given me tonight. i suggest it's just important for us as we begin this discussion to remind ourselves of who we are as americans. as it is, for us to discuss who we are as republicans. and of those questions lead me to think about my second favorite first lady of the united states. abigail adams. lead the letters between abigail and her husband, john adams are like a diary, detailing who we aspire to be as a nation by showing a sweat motivated our founders to actually create this nation and the first place. as we begin the reflection and
action which i hope is created by the time for choosing series, i think it's really important that we listen to the words of avondale -- abigail to john in a letter from 1776. this quote speaks to the principle of our founding, that we would always be a people who could admit our imperfections while never losing our desire to aspire to be better. abigail adams said, the generations to come who will reap the blessings will scarcely know the hardships and sufferings we have enjoyed on their behalf. separations, bloody wars, charges of treason. and fear of annihilation by the world's largest armies or there everyday realities. now we need to ask ourselves what are we willing to sacrifice to inspire the next
generation of sacrifices? to be built upon them? will we do to ensure that america remains and inspiration tarnished generation. both here at home and all around the world? john mentioned it was no nearly ten years ago, september 27, 2011, that i came to speak at the reagan library at the invitation of my favorite first lady, nancy reagan. i could still remember the incredible thrill i felt when my secretary walked into my governor's office and said, it looks like you have a hand written note from nancy reagan. i said, no it's machines that make it look like that. it's not that. and she handed me the note. and i realized that it was a handwritten note from nancy reagan, inviting me to speak at the library of her husband. the man who was my first vote
for president when i was 18 years old on november 4th 1980. i spoke that night of what's real american exceptionalism was at that moment and when it was not. i don't intend to quote extensively from that speech tonight. that would be cheating. to use that ten -- that speech from ten years ago and get away with it. but as who we are as republicans. what we need to stand for. and what we mean to each other and what we mean to the rest of the world, i think these passages from a than a first term republican governor about where america stood ten years ago are instructive for where we are today. a lot is being said an election season about american exceptionalism. in such statements, is that we are different yet better, in a sense that our democracy, our economy and our people have
delivered for each other. but for american exceptionalism to truly give hope and been example to the rest of the world, it must be demonstrated, not just asserted. if it is demonstrated it will be seen and appreciated. ultimately it will be l emulated by others. they will then be more likely to follow our example and lead themselves. at one time in our history -- our countries innovation, determination, ingenuity and the strength of our democratic institution where there was a crisis in the, world america found a way to come together to help our allies and fight our enemies. when it was a crisis at home we would put aside colloquialism and put the public interest first. we did it through strong presidential leadership. unfortunately, that them -- through our own domestic --
of late. we've failed to live up to our own tradition of exceptionalism. today our ability to effect change has been diminished because of our own problems. our own problems. and our inability to effectively deal with them. that was ten years ago. in the room down the hall. does that not ring even truer today than it did ten years ago? >> how are we going to meet the distant plea of abigail adams to not forget the sacrifices and suffering in georgia to create this most extraordinary nation for us? how do we create a new era of american exceptionalism? how does our party turn the page from our 2020 -- and move our country forward? here are a few thoughts to meet the assignment. how to accomplish these urgent goals.
as republicans, we need to free ourselves from the quicksand of endless grievances. we need to turn our attention to the future and stop wallowing in the past. thewe need to face the realitis of the 2020 elections and learn, not hide from it. we need to discredit the extremists in our midst. the way we've done it before, and we will discuss that a little bit more in a moment. we need you to renounce the conspiracy theorists and the truth deniers, the ones who know better and the ones who are just plain nuts. [applause] we need to give our supporters facts that will help them put all those fantasies to rest, so that everyone can focus with clear minds on the
issues that really matter. we need to quit wasting our time, our energy and credibility on claims that will not ever convince anyone of anything. we need to learn to win, both as republicans and americans again. the only way to push back against policies we know are wrong is to focus on alternatives that the american people will see -- nothing else. nothing else is going to win congress back to republicans in 2022 or the white house in 2024. enough with the wishful thinking and the self delusions. we are also so long overdue to stop wallowing in the past. we need to be the party that embraces truth, the truth. even when it is painful and our except-able. grievances and conspiracy theories always die hard. but they can only live in the
darkness. there are days are numbers once the light shines down on them. i think one of the great things about our country and public life here, is that 24 hour day, seven days a week open marketplace for ideas. life is defined by passion and engagement, that's why it's a thrill for me to be standing here in the arena. as teddy roosevelt called it. delivering insights and having you hear me. i will speak plainly, as john said, boldly, bluntly, and i intend to do so here if you have not told already. not everyone will agree with every syllable i utter. that's fine. i tell the truth as i see it and let the chips fall where they may. we need to talk about issues that are uncomfortable, but scream out for leaders to take them on. we need to go places we rarely
go to see people we rarely see. to bring our ideas to new voters horrid thirst thing to be inspired. and in short we want to change the republican party. we need to be unafraid. our party should once again before telling our fellow citizens the hard shoe, thick as you see the democrats will not be defeated without sound alternatives to their flawed ideas. let me make this clear. big calling the other side wrong is not enough. calling them names is immature and it is ineffective pretending we won with a loss is a waste of time and removes credibility. we have to clear out the brush before the fresh planting can begin. that's exactly the job ahead. and it will not be done with
generalities that are vague. slogans aren't nearly going to be enough. the time for snappy platitudes is well past us, and so are the grievances -- that have been spew to us that have stalled our party. we need to be specific to the alternatives to what i consider the radicals, out of touch biden programs that americans and large numbers will rally around for us. we've been in this place before. a place where we were defeated at the presidential level. a place where lies and conspiracy theories, truth deniers were dominating portions of our party. that is the moment when true leadership is indispensable. john mentioned six decades ago, an era where our party faced across wrote, much like the one we face today. it was ronald reagan and william buckley who demonstrated the very best we
have to offer by standing up to the very worst. those two men, the future governor of california and the editor and chief of the national review, which is what they -- worked together to rescue the republican party from heading off the deep end. it is a similar china time of challenge. their courage marked by an uncompromising commitment to the truth paid enormous dividends for our country for the 50 years of -- reagan sketched out a vision for the future of the party that helped republicans elect four presidents, including ronald reagan, captured the house and senate for the first time in decades and set the terms for political debate in america for the next half century. not bad. that is with a couple of leaders with the courage of their convictions can achieve. in this critical moment for our party, when self serving deceit is often in greater supply some
quarters and that kind of courage. it's worth to look back to this history to better understand how we can shape tomorrow. let's go back there for a second. 1962, the american political landscape was not like today. democrats controlled the white house, the house and the senate. today, it was tough being a republican in washington. goldwater, a conservative republican from arizona was thinking about running for president. he had not made his mind up yet. naturally, he went to see the editor of the -- john f. kennedy's approval ratings had hit a high of 83% that spring. for buckley, he hoped -- to run as a strong conservative. but the conversation did not focus on kennedy's poll numbers
are tv, politics. no, buckley used the meeting to warn goldwater about something different. he referred to it as a birch fallacy. the growing influence of an anti communist group called the john birch society. these were not your garden-variety anti communists suspicious of russian and chinese government the way most americans were and quite frankly still are and rightfully so. the burgers could be downright paranoid, at least in terms of conspiracy propaganda that we see in some corners of our country's today. they're threaten the republican party in caused a conservative -- by the early sixties, the john birch society was making inroads and some pretty farfetched claims. the founder was robert welch, former candy company vice president, a political want to be. he led 50 to 70% of the
government was communist control. he said the civil rights movement in the south had been for meant it entirely by communists. his wild theories only intensified over time. he soon saw operatives in moscow -- ran nearly every corner of american life even at high levels of american government. would heart of it and city have? absolutely zero. nothing. but he kept repeating the claims over and over again. so much so that people began. to be believe him. the john birch society had chapters across the entire country, and the backers included civic leaders, i could emirs and prominent business folks. he was hoping goldwater would join him in the fight, but the arizona senator was reluctant for reasons not also might sound very familiar today.
he did not want to alienate the base. when have we heard that before? buckley goldwater agrees to take a stand together, buckley struck first. he wrote a scorching 5000 word editorial. repercussions to himself -- his message was clear. republicans would speak up for the party and our worldview were doom. you don't believe garbage like this. this is not real conservatism. but goldwater were promised to follow shortly thereafter, did so very cautiously. to cautiously. it wasn't long before he found himself descending the -- defending the burgers. answer, ronald reagan. who, like goldwater wrote a letter with sharp critique.
unlike goldwater, reagan did not mince words. by the time he was ready to announce his campaign for governor he was still warning republicans of what he called a lunatic fringe. his words. it was gaining influence inside the party. he would embrace the groups philosophy as was typical, ronald reagan had a deceptively simple response. quote, it would be my intention if i would see public office to seek the support individuals by persuading them of my philosophy, not accepting there's. everyone got the message. they are not us. reagan would stand up for the truth, not bend to it for political benefit. almost instantly his words were being echoed all over washington. people got it. the top republicans and house and senate called a press conference that reagan and buckley could not have scripted
better themselves. they provided leadership for strength. ten years ago in this library, i told you that real leaders do not follow polls. a change them. reagan's rejection of extremism was an example of that idea. because his election for governor here, track to people who would usually vote republican. he won by nearly 1 million votes. he understood that telling the truth, standing up to lies and pitching up a big tent was winning formula. i believe that that is the advice he would give us today. of course today is a little different. it always is. it's an undeniable truth of history, everybody. but all parties are in peril now and we need to look to pave the path forward. the best way to combat
extremism then is still the best way to combat extremism now. that ideas are still bad ideas. they have to be confronted directly with clarity and confidence, and a commitment to who we are. just like buckley and reagan did 50 years ago. we have to remind ourselves what we stand for. conservatism. strength. faith. decency, integrity, freedom and liberty confidence and most importantly truth. the values that brought many into the republican parties in the first. place the values that service pillars to a conservative agenda -- these people open to remarkable opportunities found only here in the greatest country on earth. the requirement today's politics for getting your
support, to say a bunch of things that aren't true. no thank you. if it requires bending to the will of any one person, whether advocating ideas for the good of all people, then count me out. no man, no woman acquired our worthy of blind faith or obedience. that's not who i am, and that's not who we are as republicans, no matter who we tie our future to a pile of lies. we deserve much better than to be misled by those trying to acquire or hold onto power. we are better than that. let's leave the synnex and extremists both inside and outside of our party and to the far left democrats. we as republicans need to keep being the party of reason and faith, liberty, truth regardless of who is counseling otherwise.
believe me. the truth will win in the end. despite the claims that are swung around us, and i am convinced most of our fellow republicans believe it, too. telling the truth isn't just the moral thing to do but the morality has to be part of the equation even in politics. truth telling is also the smart thing to do. it's what makes other people believe in us. it's what shows them we have something of value to say. it's what convinces the voters to follow us and to join our movement. in practical terms, telling the truth clears the decks and let's get to the obvious issue we matter, telling the truth even when it is difficult is what shows the american people they are in better hands with republicans than they are with democrats. all that has done harm to the nation, to our party and to each
other with the political operatives in the party telling the republican politicians to pander to the liars they say. they are crazy but not to the decree say as little as you can. and whatever you do, don't upset to the conspiracy propagandists, the white supremacists, the wild extremists who are making so much noise these days. bal to the haters on twitter and facebook. if not, they could easily come for you next. if it is the price of admission without the party is always been. as republicans tell the truth about the soviet union during the cold war while people on the left call for a nuclear freeze and acceptance of the evil empire. we said no. the communists in moscow were thugs and still are.
they oppressed their neighbors and their own people and still do and they will come for us if we give them half a chance. remember as ronald reagan said. in the nuclear freeze and capitulation was demonstrably wrong. where would we be if the argument prevails, that is the hard truth well told. republicans not democrats for the freedom abroad. freedom of oppression from high taxes, union abuses and the government regulation. the freedom of worship and opportunity, so many of these other opportunities depend on. those freedoms have helped america become what it is at its best, a strong compassionate nations where individuals are
about to make their own decisions to succeed like they could know where else in the world. over and over it's the republicans who spoken up for the central freedoms. another hard truth well told. it's republicans who tell the truth about fiscal responsibility. not always a cheery topic. while democrats saw political advantage from spending more and more, we've been the ones who said to someone is going to pay for this and it always comes down to hard-working americans. they are the ones that are already overburdened. we've been the party to show mercy on them, the ones to call the spending what it is, unsustainable, irresponsible, undermining to american energy and ambition, unfair to the future generations to be buried in debt and expected to pay those overdue bills. now let's be honest since we are talking about truth. in the last few years we've lost our way on this topic.
we've succumbed to the silence of the leaders who think debt is no problem and have no consequences. we need to get back on the path we have traveled as a party and remember the irresponsible spending does have consequences. hard truths. from the rise to the 1960s to the defend the police movement, many republicans have stood up and told the truth about public safety while democrats were swept up in guilt. one needs only look at the latest writing in the nation's cities. they both rationalized and supported. after the summer of 2020, there could be no doubt which party is the party of law and order. we are the ones that said the border must be secured. we are the ones that stood up for police even when it wasn't popular. we said we could have a fair justice system and still keep the streets safe.
criminal justice reform done with the police and the community, not a done to the police and the community. those goals are not and never have been for republicans. the hard truths, well told. it's republicans not democrats have turned the courts back to what the forefathers envisioned, interpreters, not makers of the law. this is far from finished but we made great progress. the judges understand the role getting civil parties and criminal defendants what they deserve, a fair hearing guided by the rule of law not by some political appointees preference or the legal moment, but another hard truth well told and so the question going forward is standing up to that i those that mislead for their own political game worth the risk i believe it always has been and always will be. easy, no, worth it, yes.
here's what we need to do. one we need to stand up against the rise of china. much more to push back against communist china if we show we have the integrity and willingness to tell the truth again but here is what we cannot do, tossing bouquets at murdering the communist dictators is wrong whether it's done by republicans or democrats. this may work with some people but it will never change the behavior of the chinese communist dictator engaged in genocide as we speak. we have to stand up for law and order and the rule of law. let the democrats continue to flirt with the defunding of police. even joe biden recognizes the toxicity of the d defend police
movement. the majority of americans will never buy into that toxic idea most especially citizens in tough neighborhoods and police protection literally a matter of life or death. that's why in camden new jersey i fired the entire ineffective camden city police department in one fell swoop and another based on community policing and citizens engagement. the murder rate is down 70%. since we fired the police department. they are not at odds with each other. but when the murder occurred, they marched together against useless violence. they didn't have riots in the city of camden. they have to be the party that stands up for public safety next
we have to push back against the mainstream media and we are persuasive messengers and the credibility for the falsehoods and the biases of the corporate media. we have a winning message but sometimes we are not being heard. and there is only one way we can credibly tell it like it is. making sure we also push back against the lies in our own party instead of wrecking the credibility. the media are not on our side and never will be. by "the new york times" and philadelphia inquirer at the same time, i know what i'm talking about. only if we tell the truth about everything though will our critique about the liberal media bias be believed by the voters. believe me about this, we need to be the party that questions and takes on the new york
washington media power structure, to stand up for the american people who are working for a living every day instead of those who want to continue to throw out money in order to maintain power. another thing we need to do is support innovation, over regulation. we need to say we are the party that says it's never been regulation. but innovation to solve the most difficult problems. but those principles will be ignored if we spend more time complaining about the past than we do defeating the awful ideas of today's democratic party. do we need more evidence that rising inflation, rising taxes and the horribly botched withdrawal of the troops for afghanistan leaving 13 soldiers dead and thousands of americans and afghan allies now being held hostage by the taliban so
complaining about the past may soothe some bruised egos but we shouldn't be spending our energy as a party today on that. we need to spend it instead on defeating the wrong handed policies that ensure a better future for the country the masks that you are wearing tonight is an indication of what can happen to the society when we are not ready to fight disease. and we need to build a first-class navy that will help to keep the chinese in check in
the south china sea. innovation is how america was built in the overwhelming regulation we need to stand unabashedly for the values in our core american institutions. we do that by standing up against the cancel culture and support the ideas that birth the american democracy life, liberty and the pursuit of happyness supported by the capitalist system that rewards hard work and innovation and encourages people to believe anyone in america is a worthy idea can become the next great business tighten. we've seen it happen but we've got to make sure that it happens for the next generation. most importantly we must give hope to the american people that the government isn't the only salvation. on this, even ronald reagan and bill clinton agreed remember reagan said in the inauguration
it isn't the solution, it is the problem. fifteen years later bill clinton declared a state of the union unionthe era of big government s over. well it is a major backsliding on that point in the last decade. we need republicans like ronald reagan again and we need more democrats that will recognize what bill clinton recognized rather than advocate for joe biden and the dangerous policies that only make the government bigger and more dominant in every aspect of our lives. we have to show big government not only the republicans can do this. we have to show the big government is the road to less freedom, less liberty and less prosperity. remember everybody, by definition, when government is bigger, you are less free. we don't have to change the policies to win again. the policies for the opportunity
to capitalism will attract latino voters and even greater numbers if we cannot go directly to them. and the governorship i won 50% of the latino vote in a blue state in 2013. our support for law and order and terminal justice reform with both the community and police would lead to greater support in the cities our support for school choice and parental choice in public education will win back many of the suburban voters we lost in 2020 when they thought we didn't have their backs or the backs of their children during the crisis. we will keep everyday americans by standing up to its trade abuses and bringing a central manufacturing back to the united
states. making the phrase america first means something and not just idle talk making sure we never get held hostage that's the beginning if we pull together and we fight together for the country's future. finally, we have to reject those that try to lure us down the rabbit hole and over to the group of the authoritarianism. authoritarian dictators are not
strong leaders to be admired. they are bullies hoping to fool the crowd just one more time we need to fight the expansionist extremism but we cannot do it by quietly capitulating to the untrue extremism of our own. we do it by telling and becoming the truth tellers in america and believe me much of america is hoping that is what will emerge on the political scene for retired country tired of politics. we need to once again have the courage of our convictions to feel the spirit of ronald reagan in this room and urging us to follow his example from 60 years ago. be unafraid. telling the truth allows us to get onto the issues that matter the most.
we lost two senate seats that created the calamity that we are living with right now. there is no other way to see it. that's what the facts are. telling the truth even when it's difficult is what shows the american people they are in better hands with republicans than they are with democrats so we started tonight with abigail adams about the hopes and fears for the future of america as it was being fought for and founded. so, to be fair it's only right to end with a quote from the second president of the united states, john adams. he is my favorite of the founders. i like him more than washington,
jefferson, franklin, hamilton despite the great play. i am an adams guy that i want you to jump to the conclusion it's not because he was known to be cranky and a little bit overweight. [laughter] i love john adams because he was the heartbeat of the revolution. he was the soul and the voice. the april 206th 71777 he wrote to his wife about their worries for the future as the war for independence grew longer and bloodier. he decided to write to her to send a message to us. in fact he told her in the letter that this particular passage he was writing for prosperity. he knew he was writing for history that someday someone
would read this letter he wanted them to hear it directly from him and this is what he wrote. you will never know how much it costs the present generation to preserve for you your liberty. i pray you will make a good use of it. i shall repent in heaven that i ever took half the pains i did to preserve it. we need to look inside of ourselves right now as a nation, as a party, as a people and ask ourselves this simple question is adams repenting in heaven right now because of what he sees us doing as a country to each other and to others around the world?
if it is because of what we are failing to do, the bigger question is what do we have to do to become 21st century patriots and a world that has come to depend on american exceptionalism as the right that guides them to their freedom. you know in your heart that adams would expect of us at a minimum, the truth. and most especially the hard truths. our party should demand that the truth be told so that we can win back the hearts and minds and confidence of the american people. if we do that, our nation and party will once again be that shining city on a hill that president reagan saw when he lost in 1989.
not those that leave us temporarily satiated but permanently diminished that's the kind of republican i am and will continue to be. that's what we demand of each other once more again so thank you for inviting me. god bless each and every one of you. be healthy and god bless the greatest country the world has ever known, the united states of america. [applause]