Governor Christie to give Republican convention keynote
New Jersey's blunt-talking, rising-star governor Chris Christie has been chosen to deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention, the party announced Tuesday.
Christie immediately hailed Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney and his newly-named running mate Paul Ryan as "uniquely positioned to make the tough choices necessary to confront our fiscal challenges and get results."
"With Paul Ryan on the ticket this is a team that understands the economic stagnation our country has been facing the last four years and the urgency with which we need to change course," he said in a statement.
Being selected to deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention in Tampa August 27-30 that formally nominates Romney is a mark of Christie's growing prominence in Republican ranks.
Last year, the 49-year-old Christie disappointed many Republicans by saying he would not run for president in the 2012 election because "now is not my time." He had been seen as a credible opponent for President Barack Obama due to his strong governorship of a traditionally Democratic state.
He has served as New Jersey's governor since January 2010.
The governor has "fearlessly tackled his state's most difficult challenges, while looking out for hardworking taxpayers," said national party chairman Reince Priebus, in a statement announcing the choice.
The raucous party meeting -- televised nationally -- is also a chance for party grandees and rising stars try to whip up support with stirring speeches.
Romney is seeking to portray himself as the answer to a US economy struggling with high unemployment.
Democrats are trying to cast Romney and Ryan, known for a controversial deficit-cutting budget plan, as bent on dismantling cherished entitlements like public health insurance and pensions for seniors, while showering the rich with tax cuts.