Christie: GOP Keynoter, NJ Gov. and Springsteen Fan

Arguments for and against Chris Christie, plus what to expect from his speech

Aug. 28, 2012 — -- Tonight, Republican convention-goers, reporters and voters around the country will tune in to see the much anticipated keynote speech of New Jersey's governor and rising GOP star, Chris Christie.

Christie's speech will, no doubt, get a lot of attention -- something he should be used to by now. A straight talking, no-frills kind of guy, Christie has a great deal of admirers and detractors, both of whom will likely be on display tonight.

What are the arguments for and against the man who many had hoped would be speaking on Thursday night, instead of keynoting tonight?

What Christie's Admirers Say

Christie's admirers say he is to the point, someone who gets things done.

First elected in 2009, Christie has a reputation as a sort of budget cutting machine in the Garden State. In 2011, he used a line item veto to cut $1 billion from the state's proposed budget. He's signed a payroll tax cut that is projected to save New Jersey workers $190 million in taxes. He's battled teachers unions -- asking them to take part in a one-year pay freeze.

To top it all off, the guy's got charisma and relatability working for him.

His openness about his struggles with his weight humanize him.

His decision to keep his family at their house in Mendham, N.J., and not move into the governor's mansion, keeps him from seeming too detached from the folks he's governs.

His die-hard love of a fellow Jersey boy, Bruce Springsteen, appeals to one and all.

Polling shows he's popular in the state, not just within his own party, but with independents, the majority of whom hold a favorable opinion of Christie, according to recent polls.

What Christie's Detractors Say

Those not quite so smitten with Christie describe him as blunt, brash and a bully.

Earlier this summer Christie had a heated exchange with a guy on the boardwalk of the Jersey Shore. The incident was caught on video and it got a lot of attention -- none of it positive.

In March, the governor got into an argument with a Rutgers University law student at an event and called him an "idiot." It was later reported that the student was a former Navy SEAL.

There is a fine line between being frank and being rude, and there is fear that voters may begin to see Christie as the latter.

What Should We Expect to Hear?

Expect about 20 minutes of why Romney should be the nominee, not so much why Obama should be voted out of office. Christie is writing the speech himself, so expect his style of frank candor.

In an interview with USA Today Christie said he plans to tell "some very direct and hard truths to the people in this country about the trouble that we're in."

Finally, expect that after the speech you'll hear a lot people saying that the Jersey boy was born to run ... for office.