Will Christie’s Blunt Talk Help or Hurt Re-Election?By: Lacy Langley - October 9, 2013
With the New Jersey governor’s election coming up November 5th, and a possible presidential run in his future, Chris Christie has faced a lot of criticism on many issues. His way with words is one of the big talking points, but he makes it clear. He is sticking to his no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is brand of straight talk, and counting on it to further his career.
“I thought that the Republican Party was put into effect to win elections. I didn’t think we were some debating society or some group of academic elites that sit around and talk about big ideas but don’t do anything about them,” he continued. “If you don’t win you can’t govern. And if you can’t govern, you can’t change your state or the country. So we have got to get back to the idea of building a broad coalition.” he said of the current Republican state of being during his first re-election debate on Tuesday.
Christie said of the criticism of his brash talk, “Using direct and blunt language is something I’ve done my whole life. It’s the way my mother raised me,” he said. “I am who I am. And I’m not going to change.”
He is rumored to be seeking the presidency in 2016, but will not confirm nor deny. Of his future, he said, “I am not going to declare tonight … that I am or I’m not running for president,” Christie said. “I won’t make those decisions until I have to.” When faced with skepticism, he later quipped: “I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can do this job and also deal with my future. And that’s what I will do.”
His straight talk doesn’t seem to bother many of prominent people in New Jersey. According to AP, Leaders of the state’s minority community applaud his outreach to groups long ignored by Republicans. For example, Michael Blunt, the Democratic mayor of Chesilhurst, N.J., and a strong Christie supporter said, “He was willing to come to a predominantly African-American community.” He added, “He’s man to man. He talks to you as if you’re his equal.”
Regular everyday voters, even some likely supporters, said Christie’s brash style is refreshing at times, but it may also carry risks.
“I like the fact that he’s firm in what he believes in, but that can turn some people off,” said Mary Ann Vadas, a retiree. She was finishing her breakfast at an Edison, N.J., diner when Chris Christie made a surprise visit Tuesday. She said although she’s a democrat, she’ll probably vote for Christie anyway.
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