In late June, Gov. Chris Christie flew to Colorado and motored out to Vail, where he gave the keynote speech to a group of wealthy conservative donors shepherded to the playground of the rich and famous by David Koch.
Mother Jones magazine obtained the audio of Christie’s speech, which until the magazine obtained recordings of it, had gone unreported.
The governor had the affluent crowd rolling in the aisles as he regaled them with tales of derring-do in his never ending battle with New Jersey’s Democratic legislature.
The Christie-shtick that drew the most laughs, however, was not when he called the Democrats “stupid” for pushing the millionaire’s tax when they knew he’d wipe it out with one stroke of the veto pen, but when he did a (damn good) impression of former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine wheeling his cot into the governor’s office to wait out the government shut down.
Among the revelations in the leaked audio is Christie’s account of a conversation between him and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver where he said Oliver told him she might not survive the pension and benefits vote about to take place in her house. The bill to reform pension and health benefits for state workers was wildly unpopular in her caucus and Oliver knew she was risking her neck in ramming it through.
At the speaker’s request, Christie said he had lined up enough Republican votes in the lower chamber to keep Oliver in power should her caucus have tried to take her out.
“I said Sheila Oliver is under siege. And she wants to do the right thing. And we cannot be slaves to party or partisanship. She is right on this issue and she is with us on this issue,” Christie said he told Assembly Republicans. “So if they take a run at her on the floor, I need all of you to vote for her for Speaker.”
Several Democratic sources said at the time Oliver was in little actual danger because no potential opponent for the speakership had lined up enough votes to take her out. Nevertheless, according to Christie, Oliver was nervous enough that she sought Christie’s assurance that his party would back her.
Here is the Mother Jones story as well as a link to the audio of the event.
Below is a transcript of Christie’s speech courtesy of Brad Blog.
David, thank you very much for the introduction and thank you all of you for the great welcome. Not just now but throughout the day today. I’ve had an opportunity to meet many of you and to be able to thank you personally for what you’re doing to support folks like me who are out there on the front lines fighting for the principles and the values that we believe in. Believe me, now’s the time, and I’ve heard this repeated many times today, now’s the time when we need to fight even harder because the opponents of what we want to try to maintain in our country are fighting harder than ever. And I’ll state to you why I think it is that they’re fighting even harder than ever as we discuss these issues tonight.
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