Chris Christie

Christie to Iowa!

By MIKE GLOVER, AP – Yahoo News

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rallied conservative activists in Iowa late Monday, saying his success in a Democratic state shows his tough-talking, smaller government message resonates with all voters.

Fanning speculation that he’s considering a 2012 presidential bid, the Republican spoke to about 700 people at a fundraiser for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who is challenging the Democratic incumbent for his old job back.

Christie said Republicans must deliver on their conservative promises if they gain power during the November elections. If they don’t follow through, he said voters will send the GOP “to the wilderness, and they are going to send us there for a long, long time.”

“As a party, it is put up or shut up time,” he said.

Voters are willing to accept the political pain of deep cuts in government spending as long as they know the pain is being spread equally, Christie argued. It makes sense to shrink government in tough economic times, and politicians seem to be the last to get that message, he said.

“We lost our way a number of years ago, and we became tax and spend light,” he said. “Less spending, smaller government, less regulation, smaller government — we’re going to be all about that again. We have to step up and stand for those principles again.”

He described former President Ronald Reagan as the last truly successful Republican political leader, because he stuck to those basic core principles “and that’s what we need to be about today.”

After his speech, Christie insisted he wasn’t planning to run for president in 2012 — even though Iowa, home to the nation’s first presidential caucus, is a key destination for those with big political aspirations.

“I’m governor of New Jersey, I’m not going to run for national office,” Christie told reporters. “You have to want it more than anything else in the world, and I don’t. … You have to be ready for it, and I’m not.”

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