ByÂ JEFF ZELENY, The New York Times
WASHINGTON â€” Gov.Â Chris Christie of New Jersey arrived here Wednesday, opened with a few jokes to an audience not far from the White House and Capitol Hill and then delivered a bipartisan scolding toÂ President Obama and Republicans in Congress, bluntly suggesting they lack courage to confront the nationâ€™s rapidly growing debt burden.
â€œOur country and our states are weighed down by an albatross of irresponsibility,â€ Mr. Christie said, â€œthat we have foisted upon ourselves as leaders and that you as citizens have permitted us to get away with.â€
The assessment from Mr. Christie, a first-term Republican, added another voice to the debate unfolding this week about whether leaders are addressing the long-term budget problems with sufficient seriousness and urgency. He joined what has become a steady procession of Republican governors coming to Washington, offering pointed warnings that tiptoeing aroundÂ Social Security,Â MedicareandÂ Medicaid spending is no longer acceptable. Gov.Â Mitch Daniels of Indiana presented a similar admonition a few days ago, arguing that the countryâ€™s fiscal condition is a new â€œred menace.â€
It remained unclear whether this outpouring of tough talk was a sign of being liberated from the burdens of running for president or, perhaps, providing a test run for how that type of message would resonate with what frustrated voters are craving.
Mr. Daniels is pondering a presidential run, and has suggested that if he gets in, he will focus on fiscal issues over social issues that have long animated his partyâ€™s conservative base. Mr. Christie, a favorite of theÂ Tea Party movement, sought again on Wednesday to quash speculation that he, too, might seek higher office even as his tone, message and evident ambitions made clear that he wants a voice in the national debate.
â€œThe presidentâ€™s not talking about it because heâ€™s waiting for the Republicans to talk about it,â€ Mr. Christie said. â€œOur new bold Republicans that we just sent to the House of Representatives arenâ€™t talking about it because theyâ€™re waiting for him to talk about it.â€
He added, â€œLet me suggest to you that what game is being played down here is irresponsible and itâ€™s dangerous.â€
The speech to a crowded room at theÂ American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research organization, offered a new look at the fissures facing Republicans only two months after they assumed their House majority. Mr. Christie called for raising the Social Security retirement age and drastically overhauling Medicare and Medicaid â€” all choices he said â€œno one is talking about.â€
â€œItâ€™s put-up or shut-up time,â€ Mr. Christie said. â€œIf people who I campaigned for donâ€™t stand up and do the right thing, the next time they will see me in their district is with my arm around their primary opponent.â€
The political air in Washington â€” and in early-voting states across the country â€” is filled with Republicans who are auditioning to become the partyâ€™s choice to challenge Mr. Obama. Yet no breakout contenders have emerged, leaving many party activists to openly pine for Mr. Christie.
Never mind that he insists he is not interested.
To read more, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/us/17christie.html
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.