Chris Christie is set to deliver the keynote address at the Republican National Convention tonight. But he’ll have one eye on Isaac, which could make landfall just before the New Jersey governor takes the podium.
“We’re all obviously looking very closely at what’s going to be happening in the gulf. And our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and hope that any damage that may happen will be minimal and there will be no loss of life,” he told me on GMA.
Despite the threatening storm Christie said his speech “has pretty much stayed the way it was intended to be.”
Party faithful are expecting a fire and brimstone address from the governor, but Christie wouldn’t say if that’s what they’ll get.
“I’ll be talking about the New Jersey experience and what that means for the country, what it can mean and promise for the country. They’ll be some other stuff I’ll be talking about too. But I’ll be ready when I walk out on that stage tonight,” he said.
“I think that if the American people watch tonight and leave the speech by saying, ‘Yup, that’s him, that’s who I’ve heard about. He seems genuine to me,’ then think I will have done my job for me and if they say I like the vision he’s laid out for the country and for his party for the next four years, then I will have done the job for my party and my country,” he said.
Christie had a tip for Mitt Romney when he takes the stage Thursday: open up to the American people.
“I’ve always said this George…Mitt Romney is going to have to win this campaign. And to do that over the next 70 days he’s going to have to let the American people see who he is, put out a bold vision for the future. Remember, he’s a challenger…Challengers always get a late look,” he said.
Over the weekend Mitt Romney repeated the famous Popeye quote “I am who I am” in several interviews, implying that perhaps he wouldn’t show more of his personal side this week.
Christie disagrees, and credits Rep. Paul Ryan for already bringing out a new side of the presidential candidate.
“I think you’ve seen [Romney] show a lot more of himself even since Paul Ryan has joined the ticket. I think Paul has brought energy to the ticket and he’s brought great energy to Governor Romney after a long and arduous campaign. So I think that the American people are going to see a lot more of him and they’re going to start seeing it tonight with Mrs. Romney,” he said. “Who no one can speak better or more articulately about the man that Mitt Romney is and the leader he’d be for our country than Ann Romney so I think the fun starts tonight, George, and I think the American people are going to start to get a complete picture about who Mitt Romney is and why he’d be a great president.”