Christie borrows Romney’s key line

TRENTON – As his ally in the presidential race, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, excels in the latest South Carolina GOP Primary polls, Gov. Chris Christie sprinkled his State of the State speech with Romney-speak.

One phrase stood out, as Christie invoked the “politics of envy,” Romney’s oft-repeated characterization of the Democratic Party’s approach.

“The politics of envy have overtaken the imperative of opportunity,” Christie said today in his speech. “Our economy suffers while Washington politicians – in both parties – fiddle. America’s position of strength and leadership around the world deteriorates while our leaders bicker and blame.”

Romney has consistently used the line as a contrasting point between himself and President Barack Obama, and the irony is that in Christie’s next breath this afternoon, he talked about bipartisanship.

“Two years ago at my inaugural, I asked Senator Sweeney and Speaker Oliver to join me in a handshake to demonstrate our commitment to working together – sticking to our principles, but finding common ground for the good of the people,” said the Governor. “Our handshake that day was a symbol, because it could be nothing more than that. Back then, we had nothing to show the people but our good faith and the promise for tomorrow.  Today, no symbolic handshake is needed.  Thankfully, we have shown through our deeds that we are willing to work together.  Substance over form.  Accomplishments over partisanship.  Thank you, Steve.  Thank you, Sheila.”

“So in this year, in 2012, let us continue to show the state and the nation what is possible.  Let New Jersey continue to set the example.  Let New Jersey continue to lead the way.

“And let us do it together.”

"Sit down and shut up!"
—Gov. Chris Christie, to a Hurricane Sandy heckler