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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

TRANSCRIPT: 'Inside the Koch Brothers' 2011 Summer Seminar' - Gov. Chris Christie's Keynote Address (Intro by David Koch) | Pg. 6 of 6

[For the full story on this transcript, see
Part 2 of our exclusive special series at
Mother Jones.]

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), Keynote Address
As introduced by David Koch
Koch Brothers' 2011 Summer Seminar
Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort - near Vail, Colorado

Audio recorded June 26, 2011
[PART 6 - Appx 10 mins]

Transcribed by Emily Levy for The BRAD BLOG

< PREVIOUS | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

AUDIENCE QUESTION: Thank you. Uh, I think you're just an incredible leader for a dysfunctional government, I mean…

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Thank you. [laughter]

AUDIENCE QUESTION (con't): …No question about it. I think your skill sets and your examples are what a lot of the northeast states need to do, and and I'm from Texas, but I'm just saying I think that [laughter] the dysfunctional …

CHRISTIE: Yeah, I know, Texas, Texas… [laughter] You guys are great, fabulous, right there. [laughter] Don't mess with Texas. Okay, go ahead…

AUDIENCE QUESTION (con't): …But the question is, what about now the moral issue about the free enterprise, the freedoms that America gives us, that part of it. I know it's going to have to be maybe another, I can understand how you don't run. My gosh, you have enough there to take your good time at, to correct, but you know, where does the next message come from where you say, "All right, let's make sure free enterprise goes. Let's make sure people…You know, I had…northeast people, and I [inaudible] Christmas, I'm sorry…

CHRISTIE: I, I'm [gonna approach?] this guy... Everybody stay seated, but northeast people - let's go! [a bit of cheering] I'm from Jersey, man. Don't mess!...

AUDIENCE QUESTION (con't): …But you know those guys, that, "You know why are you so…Why are you always so, you know, gregarious and happy and so forth?" And he's like, "Well in Texas, we can do things." And this guy was, ya know, stuck in a job but, you know, he didn't have any future… [audience members starts yelling for man to ask "Question! Question!"…] … And the question is…What's the whole point… of where you're going to take free enterprise? I know you're taking this dysfunctional government, you're taking care of that, but where are we going to push the dysfuncti- I mean, the free enterprise system?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen. First of all, there's lots of people from Texas here, right? A few at least? [some whistles and murmurs] So let's dispense with this first. We all love Texas, okay? [one "whoo" in audience] The greatest place in the world, it's wonderful, it's fabulous, it's amazing. We all love Texas. Great. So we dispense with that first. Second… [laughter], dysfunctional government? If you want the free enterprise system to thrive and grow and be available to everybody, then the first thing you have to do is clean out the dysfunctional governments around America. That's the first thing you need to do. Because dysfunctional governments are like the wet blanket on top of free enterprise and opportunity. Because all they do is layer regulation and taxes and burdens on all those people who just wanted opportunities to use their God-given gifts and their ambition and their vision to try to improve their lives and through that, improve the lives of other people. But if you have dysfunctional government that stands in the way, you can't do that.

And so, what's the next step? Well, I haven't gone through the first step yet. The first step is to clean out this dysfunctional government and make it functional. Then once you make it functional, then we can turn New Jersey to the idea of how do we take a functional government and make it an efficient and effective government? It's a step process. I mean, this stuff's been goin' on for decades in my state. Let's remember something. New Jersey's getting' a lot of good publicity lately with the stuff we're doing. I'm thrilled about. But remember, like two years ago we were basically known for The Sopranos, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and, God forbid, The Jersey Shore [scattered laughter and one hoot]. So this is an evolutionary process, ladies and gentleman. [laughter, applause] I'm we're just, we're just getting out from under [inaudible] and The Situation. Okay? This is not easy. Tony Soprano is like right around the corner. So we have to take it step by step.

And one of the things that we risk when we talk about wanting to do great things is to set for ourselves a pathway to failure. Because we set people's expectations too high too soon. Not their aspirations, their aspirations should always be high. But their expectations. And so I think, part of the answer to your question is, I keep folks in New Jersey thinking in a realistic way about this. We've had years of dysfunction, years of over-taxing, years of over-spending. I'm not fixing it in 18 months. I'm making progress towards fixing it. But, it's not there yet. And it's going to take me some time to fix it. But once we get that underway, I will tell you that I think New Jersey, and I'm definitely being parochial here, but allow me a moment of parochialism in a sea of Texas parochialism [laughter], we've got some pretty great assets in New Jersey. We have more Ph.D.s in New Jersey than any state in America. We have a great infrastructure. We have the shore, the mountains, great tourism. We have a lot of great things in our state. One of America's greatest public college[?] systems. It's a great place. But government has just stamped it down. And we need to get government off of it so they can do the natural growth again that will come when people can have that ambition and exercise that opportunity.

So, ya know, in the end, part of realistic and effective leadership in any organization is to always set aspirational goals but also to set in the interim realistic, achievable benchmarks. So we keep people encouraged, feeling good about themselves. Feeling like they're making progress, like they're getting somewhere. And so we've got to be careful in New Jersey not to let this thing get out of control. And that's part of the reason why I'm stayin' there and makin' sure that we finish the job that we started. Because, you know, in politics too often folks see their politicians and they say, "Yeah, they say they want this job but they're always lookin' for the next one and the next one." And ambition is fine, but if ambition causes you to break your word to people, then it's not a virtue it's a vice. [applause]

So I'm gonna get on a plane and go back to New Jersey. And fight the next four days over the budget that we need to pass between now and June 30th. Then they're proposing "The Millionaires Tax" again. You know, I cannot believe how stupid these people are. [scattered laughter] I really can't… They keep… Like, you saw this movie last year! You know how it's gonna end! I'm going to make the pizza joke…I'm it's like…you know how this ends! [laughter] I'm not re-inventing the wheel, it worked last time! Let's do the same damn thing again!

So I'm going to go back and fight that fight. But I please, I really, I beg of you, that you need to be engaged when you leave here. It's great to be engaged when you're here, and we all feel a sense… sitting and listening to Charles' presentation today about the level of crisis that our country's in and the opportunity that's presented to us to be a part of the solution. But sometimes when folks leave events like this, the enthusiasm and the focus fades and we forget our mission. We get distracted by the everyday things that life puts in front of us.

Please, if you leave with just one message from me, if only one message sticks, this is a huge moment of crisis and opportunity for our country. All of you are the people who are going to lead us back to American greatness. If you care enough to do it. I can tell you, if you do, you've got a friend in that fight and I will be waitin' for you in New Jersey to come and fight it with you and every once in awhile get on a plane and come fight it someplace else, too. Thank you all very much. [sustained applause]

KEVIN GENTRY [Emcee]: All right. We're lettin' you all off easy. We're not going to start breakfast tomorrow morning until 7:15. 7:15 breakfast tomorrow morning. [audience members talking] All right, I need just a little bit of help real quick, just a real quick one, two, three. Real quick. One, two three, shhhhh. One, two, three, shhhhh. [audience quiets] That's a special priority because the Governor actually has to leave quickly or he's not going to make the curfew to get out of here on time to fly out. Thank you very much. This will continue, by the way, if you'd like, at the Buffalo Bar, which is obvious by the buffalo head above the bar. Our friends at [inaudible] Trust[?] are going to provide some after dinner cordials and again we don't start tomorrow morning until 7:15, so sleep in. Thank you very much.

[Audience mills about, music plays, recording ends.]

< PREVIOUS | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

* * *

[For the full story on this transcript, see
Part 2 of our exclusive special series at
Mother Jones.]



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