Gov. Chris Christie To Deliver RNC Keynote Speech
The speech is considered the highest profile spot for political figures not accepting nominations at the convention, scheduled this year for Aug. 27-30.
Christie announced the assignment during an interview with USA Today. "I'll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we're in," he said, "and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them."
From the AP:
"As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "He has fearlessly tackled his state's most difficult challenges while looking out for hardworking taxpayers."
Christie, already a favorite among fiscal conservatives for his tough talk and take-no-prisoners persona, will find a national introduction of sorts in Tampa and, perhaps, offer the opening steps toward a presidential run in 2016 if Romney loses, or in 2020. The 49-year-old former prosecutor has shown little sign that his influence is waning and has left the door open to a future White House run of his own.
Responding to a question about a 2016 presidential bid, Christie told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he was "going to need a job" after 2013. He added, "So maybe it will be that. Who knows?"
Maybe four years is enough time for Christie to adjust to the idea of stepping into the White House. He considered a presidential bid for himself in the upcoming 2012 election, but eventually stepped aside to endorse presumptive candidate Mitt Romney. Christie was also thought to be on the short list of VP candidates for Romney's campaign, but had said early on he wasn't "looking for that job."
The AP also reported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce Romney. Check out The Washington Post's gallery previewing all of the announced speakers at this year's convention here.
The RNC announcement caused quite a stir on social media.