New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention later this month in Tampa.

The Republican National Committee made the official announcement Tuesday morning.

“As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results. He has fearlessly tackled his state’s most difficult challenges, while looking out for hardworking taxpayers,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “He is a leader of principle and conviction, and I am excited to hear him address the Republican National Convention as our keynote speaker.”

Christie has long been a rising star in the Republican party.

He endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney last year and has been traveling around the country campaigning for Romney ever since.

“American cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is the man to lead America and we need him now,” Christie said last year.

National Republicans were attracted to his hard-charging style and his fiscal conservatism, but Christie said he had a job do in New Jersey.

“For months, I’ve been adamant about the fact I would not run for president,” he said. “My language is clear and direct, my answer has always been no.”

But Christie’s charisma has also come with a dose of brashness that sometimes has him clashing with constituents and reporters.

Yet the combative and sometimes confrontational personality is seen as a plus by some who admire his battles with the Democrats in the New Jersey legislature.

“Chris Christie is a national leader in the Republican Party. His leadership proves how the common-sense principles of reducing spending and cutting taxes works in New Jersey and will work for America,” RNC Chief Executive Officer William Harris said in a statement.

Now, the governor will be selling the national ticket of Romney and Ryan.

“It is an honor to be able to address our party and our nation in just a few short weeks. The challenges we face as a country are great and require the honesty and boldness of the Romney-Ryan team,” Christie said in a statement. “We have an opportunity in Tampa to make clear that if we tell each other the hard truths, tackle the big problems, and make bold choices, we will see America’s comeback.”

The keynote speech is the highest profile spot for someone not accepting the party’s presidential or vice presidential nominations. The slot has launched many political figures, including Barack Obama, who was the keynote speaker at the Democratic convention in 2004. Four years later, he won the White House.

Source: CBS 2 NY


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