For Our 2016 Candidate: Inspiration or Grit?

 

shutterstock_133013534Last night, I was listening to Hugh Hewitt talking to The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis about Mike Pence’s response to the outcry over Indiana’s RFRA law. One of them noted that Pence’s failure (and that of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson) to fight back hurt the conservative cause. Lewis noted that a fighter like Chris Christie would have hit it out of the park. Pence, he said, is an affable guy and a good communicator, but isn’t a fighter. He concluded that if Republicans want inspirational speeches , they should nominate Bush or Rubio. If they prefer a fighter, then Christie or Cruz (and someone else whose name escapes me) should be their choice.

Since Cruz has been a polarizing figure who has not shown an ability to work with other Republicans or accomplish much, I would be inclined to rule him out. Christie has been a fairly successful governor and has helped elect many Republican governors. And because he is a fighter — yet one with a more personable style — I think he would do better in a general election. Christie was able to win reelection in liberal New Jersey with 61% of the vote without changing his positions on abortion or SSM.

If there is anyone else with his abilities (which Walker may also possess), I’m willing to consider him or her.

Your thoughts?

Image Credit: L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com

There are 40 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I want both, I want an eloquent fighter.

    • #1
  2. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Arahant- To me, Christie combines both fight and eloquence, yet fight with affability. Like Gingrich, he challenges the way the media frames issues and questions, but is able to do it with humor and without defensiveness. Granted, his blunt NJ style may not play well everywhere, and he can behave in a way that borders on bullying, but in a debate he is very quick-witted, as he demonstrated in his gubernatorial reelection debate with Barbara Buono – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zE853SlGtE

    • #2
  3. user_428379 Thatcher
    user_428379
    @AlSparks

    Christie is flawed as a social or even a economic conservative, as I pointed out the last time you brought him up.  He’s as conservative as you can get, and be elected to statewide office in New Jersey.  We can do better than that nationwide.

    I don’t even know his stance on RFRA (do you?).  And the way he embraced Barak Obama as well as Bruce Springsteen was noxious.  It’s one thing for a conservative to give due respect to the President of the United States, but Christie went way beyond that.  And though Springsteen couldn’t quite hide his contempt for him, Christie still fawned over him.

    So he’s a fighter.  But he won’t fight against gun control.  He will probably fight for a balanced budget, but low taxes?  Not so much.

    And the Fort Lee bridge closure?  I don’t hold him personally culpable, but the person who engineered it worked directly for him, as an at will political employee (meaning, unlike a civil service employee he could be fired at any time).  I would still hold him accountable for that in judging him as suitable for the presidency.

    • #3
  4. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Al Sparks- “He’s as conservative as you can get, and be elected to statewide office in New Jersey.  We can do better than that nationwide.”

    Are you sure that in a ‘Life of Julia’ Sandra Fluke culture we can elect someone more conservative? As a social conservative, he has been able to hold unpopular stands- pro-life and anti-SSM, without backing down like Pence or Hutchinson. That is both courageous and politically significant, as NJ is more liberal than Indiana or Arkansas, so successfully holding such positions without backing down and still managing a 61% reelection is impressive.

    Further, if entitlement reform  requires the next president to ask for sacrifices, his emphatic style would likely prove politically valuable.

    • #4
  5. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Al Sparks

    Here is his RFRA stance-

    “Well, we should not have a situation where people perceive that anybody will be denied service. But, I can tell you this, I know Mike Pence, and he’s got nothing but love in his heart for people and I just do not believe that in any way Mike Pence would intend for anything that happen in his state on his watch to be discriminatory towards any person,” Christie said in a statement.

    “And so, my guess is that he’ll fix the problem and move on,” Christie said. “Because that’s the kind of guy he is. I will tell you, amongst the governors, there is nobody that I’ve met amongst the governors who is more sincere in his faith and in his love for people than Mike Pence. So, I just don’t believe any of this stuff is true and to the extent that something needs to be fixed to clarify that no one will be denied service for discriminatory reasons, I’m sure that’s exactly what Mike will do.”

    So his stance is pro-Pence, but cautiously.

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Reagan was also an eloquent fighter.

    • #6
  7. River Inactive
    River
    @River

    Christie is in it for himself. Though he may have succeeded in convincing himself that he’s altruistic, I don’t buy it.  His pandering to Obama in 2012 hurt Romney, and us, badly. Christie didn’t care. And he was double-crossed by the president after all.

    • #7
  8. Ralphie Member
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    What we are looking for is someone with integrity that is appealing to voters.  Regan was not a perfect person, he was the first President that had been divorced, and I think his self depricating humor worked to his advantage.  I have found that most people that can make fun of themselves in public have a healthier personality and usually can stick to their guns.  I don’t think you have to be as combative as Christie, you can stick to your guns without being viewed as a jerk.  No one talks about Jim DeMint, but he is someone I’ve thought had integrity.  The trick is making the opponents snobbery backfire on them.  Gore’s loud sighing is and example.

    • #8
  9. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @EustaceCScrubb

    As I’ve said before here, he’s a lover, not a fighter:

    obama-christie

    • #9
  10. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    I want a candidate who will talk the talk, and promise to fight for Conservative values before the election,  and then capitulate on every point at the first sign of criticism.

    I want a candidate who is a total gullible sap who will believe the Dems when they promise, say, $3 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increase.

    I want a candidate who can reach across the aisle and be easily led to the other side.

    Where, O Where can we find that kind of uniter in the GOP?

    • #10
  11. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    River:Christie is in it for himself. Though he may have succeeded in convincing himself that he’s altruistic, I don’t buy it. His pandering to Obama in 2012 hurt Romney, and us, badly. Christie didn’t care. And he was double-crossed by the president after all.

    I think our side waaaay overstates the benefit President Obama received from Christie’s embrace.

    • #11
  12. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Otherwise, I think it’s still too early to write anyone off or to bet the farm on another. I’m anxious to see some real debates. Personally I’ll be watching closest with Walker, Jindal, and Christie. They’ve all walked the walk (yes, imperfectly – no one is perfect); I’m pretty sure Walker can talk the talk; I’m skeptical that Jindal has much of a rap; I’m unsure whether Christie’s proven communication skills will be overdone. Should be a good one.

    • #12
  13. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    We MUST have a fighter.

    • #13
  14. Mario the Gator Inactive
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    I would like to have a candidate who is both eloquent and a fighter, but if I can only have one, it has to be a fighter.  Conservatives have lost a LOT of ground under Obama and we cannot afford to keep “compromising” given what we have already lost.  We have to forget about playing “prevent defense” in football terms and instead have to go on offense and score some touchdowns for our side.

    • #14
  15. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Pelayo:I would like to have a candidate who is both eloquent and a fighter, but if I can only have one, it has to be a fighter. Conservatives have lost a LOT of ground under Obama and we cannot afford to keep “compromising” given what we have already lost. We have to forget about playing “prevent defense” in football terms and instead have to go on offense and score some touchdowns for our side.

    No matter what there will be some compromise. There has to be. That’s ok, as long as we’re not always the ones compromising one-sidedly. It’s also ok as long as we’re confident that our negotiator has a good compass and keeps us heading towards our goals.

    • #15
  16. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    I listened to the recent podcast last night and I have to say, I found Carly Fiorina to be very impressive.  I have always considered her candidacy to be an ill-advised lark but she was very good in answering some tough questions from the boys – she didn’t dance around the questions to say what she wanted to say.  I’m sure she slipped some stump speech stuff in there but it didn’t sound like a stump speech.  She was also correct that nominating her would take the whole first woman president thing out of Hillary’s arsenal.

    I think we all need to reconsider Mrs Fiorino – she sure sounded like an inspirational fighter to me!

    • #16
  17. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Christie does not have the temperament to be a good President.  I was a supporter, but he has proved that he does not have the temperament to be a governor.

    He’s dangerous.   He will use his power to hurt people and you just can’t have that in a President.

    He also did well in his reelection by giving away the store to Democrats in exchange for their not helping their own candidates.  Who wants that?

    You can’t have a President walking about cursing at people and calling them names.  It’s bad enough we have a governor doing that.  I don’t trust a man of ill temper with the football or the lives of our soldiers. His Jersey tough guy shtick is phony anyway.  Child of privilege.

    Jersey finances aren’t a pretty picture.

    Worst of all, he is a Global Warming knucklehead.

    I wouldn’t give this guy a second look.

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Tommy De Seno:He’s dangerous. He will use his power to hurt people and you just can’t have that in a President.

    So, you sort of missed the last six years? Or do you mean we should prefer not to have someone like that?

    • #18
  19. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ArizonaPatriot

    TeamAmerica:@Al Sparks

    Here is his RFRA stance-

    “Well, we should not have a situation where people perceive that anybody will be denied service. But, I can tell you this, I know Mike Pence, and he’s got nothing but love in his heart for people and I just do not believe that in any way Mike Pence would intend for anything that happen in his state on his watch to be discriminatory towards any person,” Christie said in a statement.

    “And so, my guess is that he’ll fix the problem and move on,” Christie said. “Because that’s the kind of guy he is. I will tell you, amongst the governors, there is nobody that I’ve met amongst the governors who is more sincere in his faith and in his love for people than Mike Pence. So, I just don’t believe any of this stuff is true and to the extent that something needs to be fixed to clarify that no one will be denied service for discriminatory reasons, I’m sure that’s exactly what Mike will do.”

    So his stance is pro-Pence, but cautiously.

    This is a dreadful stance.  We need a defense of freedom of association, not pandering to anyone complaining of “discrimination.”

    • #19
  20. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Tommy De Seno- “You can’t have a President walking about cursing at people and calling them names.  It’s bad enough we have a governor doing that.  I don’t trust a man of ill temper with the football or the lives of our soldiers. His Jersey tough guy shtick is phony anyway.  Child of privilege.”

    I think you are exaggerating his flaws. As Troy Senik has noted, after 8 years of Obama’s dithering indecisiveness, especially in foreign policy, Christie’s toughness, bluntness and decisiveness may have a strong appeal. A coworker of mine is a conservative former Army Ranger who did some campaign video editing for Christie. He met him and came away with a positive impression.

    As for his being a “child of privilege,” that doesn’t mean he lacks a backbone. Of all people, conservatives should be the last indulge in what is tantamount to class envy.

    • #20
  21. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Nick Stuart and Pelayo-

    Nick Stuart

    We MUST have a fighter.

    Pelayo

    Pelayo

    I would like to have a candidate who is both eloquent and a fighter, but if I can only have one, it has to be a fighter.  Conservatives have lost a LOT of ground under Obama and we cannot afford to keep “compromising” given what we have already lost.  We have to forget about playing “prevent defense” in football terms and instead have to go on offense and score some touchdowns for our side.”

    To get elected in our present culture, and to accomplish reforms of entitlement and spending, we will need both a fighter and someone with strong political skills.

    I work at a sports network, and Christie was recently on our network in a bio of Roger Staubach, and I was impressed by how well he came across on tv, which would be important in a general campaign.

    I am open to other candidates, like Scott Walker, but like Ed G above, I’m willing to watch the primary debates before ruling anyone out.

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    If Christie gets the nomination, I’ll vote for him. Of course, I’m a Purple Alien Republican. I’d vote for a purple alien before I’d vote for a Democrat.

    • #22
  23. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Arahant:

    Tommy De Seno:He’s dangerous. He will use his power to hurt people and you just can’t have that in a President.

    So, you sort of missed the last six years? Or do you mean we should prefer not to have someone like that?

    So, you think opposition to Christie is to be pro-Obama?   I didn’t vote for Obama.  I’m not following what you think I missed over the past 6 years.

    • #23
  24. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Frozen Chosen- “I listened to the recent podcast last night and I have to say, I found Carly Fiorina to be very impressive.”

    She may have some backbone, but she has no political experience, and lost her one campaign in California. She is also, AFAIK, pro-choice on abortion. So I might give her a chance to convince me during the primary debates, but i have serious reservations.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Tommy De Seno:So, you think opposition to Christie is to be pro-Obama? I didn’t vote for Obama. I’m not following what you think I missed over the past 6 years.

    “He will use his power to hurt people and you just can’t have that in a President.” — Tommy de Seno

    What I mean is that Obama and his minions have been doing just that for six years, therefore “can’t” is obviously not the correct word to use.

    • #25
  26. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Tommy De Seno- Not to put words in his mouth, butI think Arahant is saying that Obama used the gov’t to hurt people, so we need someone equally tough.

    • #26
  27. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    TeamAmerica:@Tommy De Seno- “You can’t have a President walking about cursing at people and calling them names. It’s bad enough we have a governor doing that. I don’t trust a man of ill temper with the football or the lives of our soldiers. His Jersey tough guy shtick is phony anyway. Child of privilege.”

    I think you are exaggerating his flaws. As Troy Senik has noted, after 8 years of Obama’s dithering indecisiveness, especially in foreign policy, Christie’s toughness, bluntness and decisiveness may have a strong appeal. A coworker of mine is a conservative former Army Ranger who did some campaign video editing for Christie. He met him and came away with a positive impression.

    As for his being a “child of privilege,” that doesn’t mean he lacks a backbone. Of all people, conservatives should be the last indulge in what is tantamount to class envy.

    I’m certain I’m not exaggerating.  He flies off the handle and calls people names quite recklessly.  He can’t help himself.   Reagan was a man who projected great strength and managed to be eloquent and well-mannered at the same time.   I couldn’t imagine Reagan, or either one of the Bush presidents, cursing at voters, threatening to run after them and calling them names.  No chance.  It’s not needed and obviously undignified.

    Being a child of privilege does not mean that that you don’t have a backbone, and I didn’t infer that.   What I stated explicitly is that his tough guy image, which he’d like you to think was carved on the mean streets of Jersey (there are plenty) is a farce.  He was reared in a town where the median family income is near $200,000 yearly.   Not exactly one of the Garden State’s tougher neighborhoods.

    He’s a rich kid bully posing as a tough guy.  Like all bullies, he hates getting hit and reacts without control when he does.  Then he closes your bridge.

    Obviously, I don’t like him.

    That’s his fault, because I started out liking him very much.

    • #27
  28. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Arahant:

    Tommy De Seno:So, you think opposition to Christie is to be pro-Obama? I didn’t vote for Obama. I’m not following what you think I missed over the past 6 years.

    “He will use his power to hurt people and you just can’t have that in a President.” — Tommy de Seno

    What I mean is that Obama and his minions have been doing just that for six years, therefore “can’t” is obviously not the correct word to use.

    Ok my hair is officially split. Can not/should not.

    I don’t know if Obama goes after individuals with his power.  Christie does.

    • #28
  29. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    TeamAmerica:@Tommy De Seno- Not to put words in his mouth, butI think Arahant is saying that Obama used the gov’t to hurt people, so we need someone equally tough.

    Nope. We need someone a lot tougher and much less vindictive. “Punish my enemies” is great for Conan the Barbarian. Not so great for POTUS. I want the Rule of Law, not the Rule of Man. Obama has been demonstrating the Rule of Man. I want someone charged with corruption whether they are on my side or not, if they are corrupt. I don’t think such should only happen when they start to disagree with me. I want someone who executes the laws, not makes it up on the fly.

    My point to Tommy was as above. His statement did not make sense given that not only can we have a vindictive President, but we have one now. I agree with the intent of his statement, though, that we do not want another. Ever.

    • #29
  30. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Tommy De Seno:Ok my hair is officially split. Can not/should not.

    Appropriate response. I’ll have to remember it.

    • #30

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