Chris Christie could be right when he said Americans are anxious about the government in his speech at the inaugural Iowa Freedom Summit on Jan. 24. In fact, Gallup polls reveal citizens have cited the government as the No. 1 U.S. problem for the fourth consecutive month.
The New Jersey governor attributed the public’s alleged anxiety to the economic stagnation of the country. He compared real median household incomes from 1993 to 1995 with those from 2011 to 2013 to illustrate his point. According to Census Bureau report, the real median household income in 1995 was $34,076. This figure would have been equivalent to $52,010.74 in 2013 with inflation factored in. The actual real median household income in 2013? According to the Census Bureau, $52,250.
In a sense, Christie was right when he said Americans are living “just about as well” as they did 20 years ago.
The governor argued the uncertainty was a “product of the failure of leadership,” specifically the White House. He then suggested the remedy to America’s renewal—a renewal of its founding principle of the pursuit of happiness—would be accomplished through truth and a transparency on behalf of those in government.
“What we lack in America today is a national leader who we feel we truly know,” he said.
Christie argued conservatism didn’t need to pander to the public, but rather “it must be able to defend itself” if it wanted to succeed.
“When [conservatives] talk about our values and ideas, people respond,” he said. “I have seen it all over the country.”
He encouraged conservatives to not “abandon” beliefs to compete in blue states.
“I know this because we did it in New Jersey,” Christie said.
He cited his stance on abortion to demonstrate how truth about beliefs could not be a “political liability.”
“When the same political consultants told me that there was no way I could be elected governor of New Jersey as a pro-life Republican … they were wrong,” he said.
The explicit claim of America needing a national leader they “truly know” and his concluding promise to “always stand with you and fight with you and tell you the truth” appeared to point to a possible decision to run in 2016.