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Gov. Christie Leads N.J. Pep Rally In Address To Mayors [AUDIO]

Governor Chris Christie speaks at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities 96th Annual Conference Luncheon
(Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Acting less like the bully some people accuse him of being and more like a cheerleader, Governor Christie yesterday led a pseudo pep rally for New Jersey’s image.

He talked of cooperation and didn’t once refer to what he calls the “Do Nothing Legislature,” which is led by Democrats Steve Sweeney, the State Senate President and Sheila Oliver, the Assembly Speaker. That may have been because both Sweeney and Oliver were sitting just a few feet away and Christie did say earlier this week, “It’s harder to hate up close.”

Christie said New Jersey is no longer the go-to punch line for a late-night comedian’s joke nor is the Garden State known exclusively for The Sopranos, Snookie, the Situation or the Housewives. He says there is a prescription for turning New Jersey around.

“First, you have to have bold leadership,” says Christie. “You cannot wait for others to chart a course. We must chart the course ourselves knowing there’s no guarantee of victory, but that the surest guarantee of failure is to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

The Governor says everyone must also work together. He acknowledged disagreements he has had with Democrats on a number of different issues, but says compromise is vital. Christie says he never gets or expects to get everything he wants. He thinks the state is making progress.

“Now is not the time to stop,” explains Christie. “Now is the time to double-down. Now is the time to put our foot down harder on the accelerator. Now is the time, it is the time to make New Jersey greatness a reality again…..We have climbed out of the hole. It is now time to raise the flag high on the flagpole for New Jersey again.”

Asked about Christie’s conciliatory tone, Sweeney said, “I liked it when I saw that he said, ‘It’s harder to hate up close.’ Maybe that’s the reason……It’s all political rhetoric anyway. I don’t take it personally and I don’t think he does either.”

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