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Another View -- Wayne MacDonald: For Republicans in 2016, it has to be Chris Christie

June 29. 2015 7:33PM

EVERY ELECTION is important and every election has consequences. With every passing cycle, the importance is greater and the consequences are more severe, especially if we make the wrong choice. In 2016, we need to elect a President who can and will reverse the disaster of the last eight years known as the Obama administration.

We need to elect a President who has a proven record as a leader, one who has demonstrated he or she can work with diverse factions, manage with conflicting points of view, meet incredible challenges, and one who also understands that government must show respect in the exercise of its power and deference to the citizens it has been elected to serve. President Ronald Reagan understood these critical aspects of public service and so does Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Today, Christie is announcing that he will be a candidate for President of the United States, and I am proud to support him as the New Hampshire chairman of his campaign.

During my nearly 40 years in Republican politics, I have grown to respect a number of extraordinary individuals who have led our party and our nation. I have admired Ronald Reagan for his strength and optimism, which restored our confidence in America’s future. As vice chairman of John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign in New Hampshire, I got to know firsthand McCain’s courage and willingness to speak the truth even when it was not politically popular. As chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I saw Mitt Romney’s vision for the future of our country.

Reagan’s strength. McCain’s straight talk. Romney’s vision. Only one candidate for President in 2016 has all of those qualities, and that candidate is Chris Christie.

Gov. Christie is no stranger to the Granite State. Supporters of Gov. Romney will remember that Gov. Christie was one of the first governors to endorse him right here in Lebanon. He was also there for our candidates for governor and the entire Republican ticket, dedicating time and resources to help our party grow and succeed.Gov. Christie has a well-known reputation as someone who is willing to tell it like it is. He is not afraid to take on special interests or the “political class.” He is willing to tell hard truths and take on the tough issues this country faces. From his time as a U.S. attorney to his governorship, he has shown the strength and courage our nation needs in our leaders at this pivotal moment in our history.Throughout his career as governor in particular, Chris Christie has delivered conservative reforms to get New Jersey on the right track while having to work with a Democrat-controlled Legislature in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 700,000 voters. He took on the unions to reform teacher tenure, reformed public employee benefits to save taxpayers $120 billion, signed fiscally responsible and balanced budgets that did not raise taxes, and passed pro-growth policies that resulted in the creation of more than 198,000 new, private-sector jobs. Unlike President Barack Obama and even New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, he has demonstrated he can work with the other party to get the job done. Over the last few months, Gov. Christie has delivered four substantive policy speeches addressing the biggest problems facing this country. In Manchester, he spoke about the dire need to address our entitlement reform crisis. At the University of New Hampshire, he also introduced a comprehensive economic growth plan that called for a restructuring of our tax code in order to drive economic growth. In Portsmouth, he called for an expansion of our military forces so that we can restore America’s role of leadership in a world that has grown far more dangerous. He has also introduced an education reform plan to deliver high quality education to every child while also expanding access to affordable higher education.

Along with detailing these specific proposals, he has held more town halls than the rest of the candidates combined — and he does so the New Hampshire way. No scripted questions, no pre-screened participants, just real and honest interaction with the Granite State voters he seeks to serve. I have not seen this candor and accessibility since I worked for Sen. McCain.New Hampshire has a long and proud tradition of independence. We aren’t subservient to the political wisdom of the day, whether it comes from self-styled experts inside or outside of our state. They have never been able to dictate to us who we should choose as our nominee. We work hard to meet the candidates, and once we have we look them in the eye, ask the tough questions and choose the one we feel is best prepared to lead America through dangerous and uncertain times, both at home and abroad.

With America reeling after 6 1/2 years of weak leadership, Putin pressing the limits of aggression, Iran on its way to a nuclear weapon, ISIS beheading Christians, and a crushing national debt, I know it will take Gov. Christie’s strength, determination and experience to restore America’s leadership in the world and ensure that the 21 century is one of renewal and greatness.

Gov. Christie is the person best prepared to lead our nation into the future with strength and determination. I hope that you will join me in supporting him.

Wayne MacDonald, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, is New Hampshire chairman of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign.

Presidential Guest Commentary Chris Christie

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