Chris Christie, the sometimes abrasive but always entertaining governor of New Jersey, is set to be announced Tuesday as the keynote speaker for the Republicans’ national convention later this month.
Christie, who considered a 2012 presidential bid of his own before endorsing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is already at work on his speech to the convention in Tampa, Fla.
His record of cutting his state’s budget, curtailing public sector unions and dealing with a Democratic legislature with disarming and combative confidence all were expected to be on display as he looked to fire up his party’s base.
The scheduling decision was first reported online by USA Today early Tuesday and confirmed by Republican officials directly involved in convention planning. The Republican officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the formal announcement was not planned until later Tuesday.
“I’ll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we’re in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them,” Christie told USA Today in an interview announcing his speech. He said he will describe his experiences in New Jersey as evidence that “the American people are ready to confront those problems head-on and endure some sacrifice.”
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