New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday delivered a powerful case to the American people for why Mitt Romney should be the next president of the United States.
Without once mentioning the current White House occupant by name, the former federal prosecutor and son of Irish and Italian immigrants called for an to end to "this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office."
The country’s so-called leaders, Christie lamented in his keynote address before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, "have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say ‘yes,’ rather than to say no when ‘no’ is what's required."
"But tonight, I say enough!" he said to thunderous applause.
Christie’s stressed the need for true leadership and a willingness to tell the truth about the difficult choices facing the country. The governor’s tough-love approach and outsized persona, which have made him an iconic figure among conservatives and helped earn him the coveted speaking slot, were on full display.
"Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth," Christie said. "Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth."
Christie cited his tenure as governor of a predominantly Democratic state, over the course of which he has cut taxes, confronted powerful public sector unions, and balanced budgets, as evidence that politicians can be successful by telling the truth and making hard choices.
"Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses," he said.
Such leadership would be required to confront challenges such as closing the federal budget deficit and reforming unsustainable entitlement programs long considered the "third rail" of American politics.
"With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government," he said.
Christie outlined the choice facing the American people in stark terms.
Whereas Republican believe in "telling hard working families the truth about our country's fiscal realities," Democrats believe "the American people don't want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government."
Republicans believe in "telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements" and that America’s seniors "are not selfish."
"We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren," he said. "[Democrats] believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election."
Christie praised Romney as the candidate who will "tell us the hard truths" and make "the tough choices" needed to preserve American prosperity; as the person who could "answer history’s call" at this defining moment in the country’s history.
"What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand?" he said. "Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life? I don't know about you, but I don't want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century."