In his Tuesday evening address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey labeled President Barack Obama a “bystander in the Oval Office” who is preparing to “divide our nation to achieve re-election.”
Not limiting his criticism to Obama, Christie said Congress is “at war with itself” because they refuse to abandon “campaign style politics.”
“We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol’s door. The result is a debt ceiling limitation debate that made our democracy appear as if we could no longer effectively govern ourselves,” Christie said Tuesday in Simi Valley, Calif.
“And still we continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office. We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things that are so obvious to all Americans and to a watching and anxious world,” he continued.
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Christie, invited by former first lady Nancy Reagan to deliver a speech at the library, identified specific areas where he claims the president has failed to lead the nation: “The failure to stand up for the bipartisan debt solutions of the Simpson–Bowles Commission, a report the president asked for himself … the failure to act on the country’s crushing unemployment … the failure to act on ever expanding and rapidly eroding entitlement programs … the failure to discern pork barrel spending from real infrastructure investment,” he said.
In 2004, then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama “gave us a window into his vision for American leadership,” Christie said before quoting Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention that year. (RELATED: Christie speech unlikely to dampen presidential speculation)
“Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us: the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of ‘anything goes.’ Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and an Asian America. There is the United States of America,” Christie quoted from Obama’s remarks.
“Now, seven years later, President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election,” said Christie, who repeated that he is not entering the 2012 presidential race. “This is not a leadership style, this is a re-election strategy. Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others.”