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Christie delivers keynote at RNC

POSTED AT 12:51 AM ON Aug. 29, 2012  (UPDATED AT 01:08 AM ON Aug. 29, 2012)

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TAMPA, Fla. — In his keynote address to the Republican National Convention Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., called for Americans to “stand up once again for American greatness.”

Christie began his speech by recounting his history and lessons learned from his mother. He tied those lessons to policy.

“Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say ‘yes,’ rather than to say ‘no’ when ‘no’ is what’s required,” Christie said.

To senior Chris Babcock, Christie’s remarks weren’t impressive.

Babcock is president of the IU College Democrats. He said he was surprised by the amount of time it took Christie to mention Romney — 17 minutes, Babcock said. He said the length of time “certainly plays to the fact that he just hasn’t been the most likeable Republican of the bunch.”

IU for Romney Chairwoman and senior Rachel Rapp disagreed.

Rapp said Christie embodied the blue collar, relatable nature many Americans are looking for.

“He was obviously a great person to set the mood for the rest of the convention,” Rapp said.

She added although she’d heard initial fears that Christie’s message would focus too much attention on himself, she didn’t think that was the case.

While Christie’s address was ultimately a call to support Republican Candidate Mitt Romney, many of the day’s speakers focused largely on the theme “We Built It.”

It was posted in bold white on the blue Tampa Bay Times Forum wall, elaborated in videos and celebrated in song during the extended second day of the convention.

The theme made reference to comments made by President Barack Obama during a July 13 campaign speech in Roanoke, Va.

“Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive,” Obama said in the speech. “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Before Christie’s speech, Babcock said the president’s comments were taken out of context.

“I find it interesting that they’re using it early on to set the tone,” Babcock said. “To me, what that shows is they’re willing to say or do anything to help propel Mitt Romney from the underdog status to winning the race.”

But Rapp said, to her, the theme strikes a cord.

“We have all been taught if we work hard, if we are persistent and we stick with our dream, we can succeed,” Rapp said. “If young people don’t believe that they can create their own destiny, then they lose all hope.”

Rapp said Obama’s comments discredit Americans who built their businesses “completely on their own.”

 

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