Please, Gov. Christie, run for president! I so want to talk about how, as you put it, you never even set foot in the Trenton state house until you were elected — even though you were the lobbyist for the Securities Industry Association, the Wall Street trade association, under Bernie Madoff.
Let’s talk about what you achieved, since one of your primary lobbying projects on behalf of Wall Street was to win an exemption for securities fraud from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. Straight shooter! Woo hoo!
Easy enough for just about anyone to remember: Lobbyist Chris Christie worked to remove securities fraud from a consumer fraud act on behalf of an organization run by Bernie Madoff.
Bring it on, I say:
The Republican Party’s long search for a standard-bearer is placing extraordinary pressure on the tough-talking governor of New Jersey to suddenly leap into a presidential race that he has long denied interest in entering.
As the clamor reached a heightened pitch, Gov. Chris Christie arrived Tuesday night at the symbolic heart of political conservatism, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, to deliver a speech on American exceptionalism that some Republicans had hoped would be the opening stroke of a presidential campaign.
Christie gave an impassioned call for strong leadership, accusing Washington of drifting from crisis to crisis without resolution and President Obama of being a “bystander in the Oval Office.” In his nearly 30-minute speech, Christie offered no indication he might offer himself as that strong leader, but didn’t close the door, either.
During an audience question-and-answer session, a woman stood up and pleaded. “I really implore you — I really do. This isn’t funny. I mean this with all my heart,” she said. “Please, sir, reconsider. Go home and really think about it. Please. Do it for my daughter, do it for our grandchildren, do it for our sons. Please, sir, your country needs you to run for president.”
The audience rose to applause and Christie, in an emotional moment, responded: “I feel the passion with which you say it, and it touches me.”
The governor said he was listening to those urging him to run, adding that he was taking it in and “feeling it too.” But he continued, “by the same token, that heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me. That’s what I’ve said all along. I know without ever having met President Reagan that he must’ve felt deeply in his heart that he was called to that moment to lead our country. And so my answer to you is just this, I thank you for what you’re saying.”