New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rips Obama at Kentucky GOP event

gkocher1@herald-leader.comMay 19, 2012 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn't mince words about President Obama in a Saturday night appearance before Kentucky Republicans in Lexington.

"This country's problems are too serious to spend another day with a bystander in the Oval Office," Christie said at the annual Lincoln Dinner at the Griffin Gate Marriott.

"He is the most ill-prepared person to assume the presidency in my lifetime," Christie said. "This is a guy who literally is walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch to leadership. He doesn't even know where it is, let alone how to operate it."

Christie, 49, is often mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential pick. In October he endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

After touting his efforts to balance the budget in New Jersey, Christie laid into the president.

Obama is "embarking upon a strategy for re-election that pits one American against another, that tells American people who have been successful in life that somehow they should apologize for that success, that tells our middle class and our lower middle class that the economic pie in America has stopped growing, and the only way for them to get more is to take some from others who have already made economic growth happen."

"This president is killing the entrepreneurial spirit in this country," Christie added. "His strategy for re-election is the most divisive, depressing strategy that I've ever seen. It's not leadership, Mr. President. It is a cynical strategy for re-election. I believe the American people will reject your cynicism and send you back to Chicago."

In a statement issued Friday before Christie's visit to Lexington, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, said, "We don't want Romney or his yes men anywhere near our businesses in Kentucky."

"Federal investments advanced by the Obama administration have revitalized manufacturing and helped Ford and GE hire thousands of Kentucky workers," Yarmuth's statement said. "Romney's economic policies wouldn't build on that momentum — they would abandon it. Gov. Christie should save that plane ticket to Kentucky. Working families across our commonwealth can't afford what he and Mitt Romney are trying to sell."

Elizabethown orthodontist Dr. Mike Harris, who attended Saturday's event, was enthusiastic about Christie.

"It was better than great. He is inspiring," Harris said. "What he had to say, I wish everybody could hear it, because we are in trouble in this country. And if we had leaders like that, who would stand up, I think we're ready to follow them."

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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