Christie Gives No Hints on GOP Keynote Address

Governor says he never wanted to be vice president during stop on Asbury Park boardwalk

Gov. Chris Christie said on Monday wouldn't give a preview of his keynote address for next week's GOP convention, but did say why he thought he was chosen for the distinction. 

"I think the reason I was picked is because of the job I'm doing here," Christie said during his stop at the Asbury Park boardwalk near Convention Hall to promote the Jersey Shore. 

The governor said he learned he wouldn't be Mitt Romney's pick for vice president during a phone conversation with the presumptive-Republican presidential nominee the night before the official announcement. 

"(Romney) told me that he decided to go in a different direction for vice president," Christie said. 

The governor said he was neither disappointed nor relieved he wouldn't be tasked with making the decision of whether to join Romney's ticket because he never expected to be asked in the first place. 

"I told people all along I didn't want to be vice president," Christie said. "It was always my choice in the end... It's like getting asked out on a date, you know? You don't have to say yes." 

But if he had been asked to join Romney's ticket, Christie said he didn't know what his answer would have been. 

"(I said) I would listen to Gov. Romney if he had things he wanted to talk about — and I did. But in the end he decided to ask Congressman (Paul) Ryan," Christie said. 

Christie also combatted recent reports in the media and criticism from Democratic lawmakers that cited recent jobs figures published by the U.S. Labor Department showing New Jersey lost more jobs in July than any other state. 

"I pick my words very carefully, and I've said right from the State of the State address forward that the New Jersey comeback has begun, not that the New Jersey comeback has arrived, not that the New Jersey comeback has peaked, not that the New Jersey comeback has been realized," Christie said. 

In nine of the last 11 months, Christie said, the state has added private-sector jobs and New Jersey over the last year ranks fourth-highest in job creation. 

He also accused certain elements of the media and "Corzine Democrats" of rooting for failure. 

"You've never seen the Democrats so excited as you saw last week when unemployment went up," Christie said. "You couldn't swing a cat by the tail in New Jersey and not hit an excited Democrat."

The state's unemployment rate last week rose to 9.8 percent, the fourth-highest in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Christie said he spent his vacation last week drafting his keynote address scheduled to be delivered 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

He said he was on his seventh draft. 

"We're working it out. We're almost there," he said. 


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