Gov. Chris Christie is planning to strike some familiar New Jersey-centric themes in Tuesday night’s keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.
Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday, Christie said he’ll talk about how a Republican governor and Democratic Legislature worked together to reign in public worker benefits, cap property tax growth and toughen teacher tenure laws.
Christie said it’s important to work cooperatively without compromising your principles. He and Democrats are currently locked in a fight over whether to cut taxes.
Later, over a breakfast meeting with the Michigan GOP delegation, Christie joked, “This is basically going to have to be a 20-minute version of the Gettysburg Address or I’m in trouble.”
Christie told reporters in New Jersey last week that his speech would touch on his family and on those people who influenced him to become a leader.
Christie’s address at 10:30 p.m. will follow a speech by Ann Romney.
The never-dull governor did something he rarely does before a speech. He wrote down a full text. Christie told MSNBC his challenge will be “to be natural and be myself.”
New Jersey Democrats at home criticized Christie ahead of the speech.
Senate President Steve Sweeney, who has been aligned with the governor on all the major initiatives, took issue with Christie’s swipe of California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.
In his remarks to the California delegation, Christie chided Brown’s upcoming ballot initiative on income and sales taxes by saying, “Man, that’s leadership, isn’t it?” Sweeney said the quote is ironic given Christie’s support of putting marriage equality on the ballot in New Jersey rather than agree to legalize it legislatively.
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who is running for re-election in November, was more measured.
“It’s a nice personal honor for the governor and he should be proud that his party gave him the distinction of delivering a keynote speech, but no speech can cover up the reality of what a Romney-Ryan presidency and vice presidency would be,” said Menendez.