"We need to have strength and decision-making and authority back in the Oval Office," the New Jersey governor said when he announced his bid

By Tierney McAfee
Updated June 30, 2015 11:50 AM
Credit: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced on Tuesday that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency.

“America is tired of hand-wringing and indecisiveness and weakness in the Oval Office. We need to have strength and decision-making and authority back in the Oval Office, and that is why today I am proud to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America,” he said at a launch rally at his alma mater, Livingston High School, where he was class president for three years.

With his wife, Mary Pat, and family by his side, Christie, 52, spoke without a teleprompter in an apparent nod to his campaign slogan, “Telling it like it is.”

“After seven years of a weak and feckless foreign policy run by Barack Obama, we better not hand it over to his second mate, Hillary Clinton,” he said during the speech.

“I am not running for President of the United States as a surrogate for being prom king of America,” he also said. “When I stand up on a stage like this in front of all of you, there is one thing you will know for sure: I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that’s what America needs right now.”

Starting Tuesday evening, the governor will spend five days in New Hampshire, where he’ll hold at least three town halls, a Fourth of July celebration, and multiple house and diner stops, according to Politico.

Christie has vowed that if elected, he would take on tough issues that others avoid, such as entitlements; reform the country’s “ridiculous tax system“; and “re-establish American leadership around the world.” He has also said he would pass a national energy policy, “one that takes full advantage of all of the resources that we have available to us to help grow our economy and make the world a more peaceful and stable place,” NJ.com reports.

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In a recent preview video titled “Telling It Like It Is,” Christie credited his upbringing and his mother’s personality for his direct, often brash speaking style.

“I know if my mom were still alive, she would say to me, ‘I taught you that in a trusting relationship, you don’t hold anything back. And if you’re going to run for president of the United States, and you’re going to ask these people for their vote, that is the single most trusting thing they can do as a citizen is to give you their support. So you better tell them exactly what you’re thinking and exactly what you’re feeling.’ ”

“And when you ask about my moral compass – that’s it,” he added.