Even as he steered clear of Israel and other Jewish themes, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set a harsh tone of attacks on Barack Obama as he keynoted a luncheon by the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“I would respectfully suggest that this president has had every opportunity to up his game for three years, and he has been on the bench,” said Christie, speaking Dec. 7 at a Washington gala that preceded an RJC forum featuring six Republican presidential hopefuls.
“It is not good enough just to read off a teleprompter, Mr. President,” added Christie, who himself considered a run for president. “What you say is important. What you do is definitional.”
Christie described Obama as “a president who doesn’t have the first idea of how to use executive leadership or, I believe, any significant interest in learning any time soon.”
Christie’s talk came a day after Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kan., in which the president invoked Theodore Roosevelt in calling for an extension of a payroll tax cut, calling for the wealthy to pay more taxes, and urging government investment in infrastructure and education.
Christie criticized “the fawning of the liberal media” that covered the speech. Christie said it was “ridiculous” that Obama compared himself to Roosevelt.
“That analogy is so ridiculous and so instructive for what’s wrong with this administration and, as a result, what’s wrong with America,” said the governor.
Christie said Obama sat by during “a loss of prestige for America around the world unlike I’ve seen in 30 years, since the days of Jimmy Carter,” said Christie, according to reports.
At least one conservative blogger felt Christie outshone the Republicans who later took part in the RJC presidential forum.
“The problem with inviting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to today’s Republican Jewish Coalition forum is that he is so much better, as a candidate and a speaker, than the actual candidates,” wrote Jennifer Rubin, who writes the Right Turn blog for the Washington Post. “It was a stunningly effective performance, and among those in attendance caused a bit of regret that he wasn’t one of those running for the nomination.”