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Down But Not Out


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down-not-out_1001590.html?nopager=1The Weekly Standard:

Christie’s formula: patience, confidence, more patience.


Aug 10, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 45


Keene, N.H.

Shirley Paulson showed up to 50-cent wing night at Lab ’n Lager in downtown Keene not for a cheap dozen of the highly addictive garlic jalapeno wings but because she wanted a crack at New Jersey governor Chris Christie.


The 83-year-old Boston transplant raised four kids, outlasted three husbands, and spent 30 years making pitches to “businessmen a lot smarter than me,” as she sold radio ads in this gritty old manufacturing town. So, no, she wasn’t intimidated at the prospect of a confrontation with the sometimes-caustic presidential candidate.


Paulson was here for another reason. She wanted to ask her second-favorite candidate about her favorite. “I have a question for you,” she began, noting in her preamble that America is a “capitalistic society” struggling to match its historical success. “Why do you and all the other presidential candidates think you can do better than a gentleman named Donald Trump, who has been extremely successful and understands what capitalism is about and has done extremely well? And,” she said, picking up steam, “don’t tell me it’s because you have political experience. .  .  . I don’t really want to hear that.”

“Well, I love the fact that you asked the question and tell me what I can answer,” Christie replied to audience laughter.




The key to this strategy, he says, is placing the most challenging set of issues at the center of his campaign. And that means entitlements, which he talked about at length at Lab ’n Lager, standing in front of a red-white-and-blue sign touting his campaign’s slogan: “Telling It Like It Is.”


While Christie has offered detailed plans for reforming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, rival campaigns argue that he’s an imperfect messenger. True, Christie has called for bold entitlement reform for years and in a 2011 speech chastised congressional Republicans for cowardice. Failure to reform Medicare and Medicaid, he said, would lead the country to “ruin.”


But Obamacare presented a dilemma. The federal government offered to cover most of the additional costs incurred by states that expanded Medicaid—at least initially. But the federal support diminishes over time, meaning state taxpayers will have to fund the difference. When the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could not be compelled to participate in expanding Medicaid, Christie was blunt, calling the scheme “extortion.” He said: “It was in a whole bunch of nice words in a bill, but it was extortion. So I’m really glad that a majority of the Supreme Court still supports the proposition .  .  . that extortion is still illegal in the country, even when it’s done by the president of the United States.”


Despite this strong language, Christie opted to expand Medicaid in New Jersey. He said at the time that he saw few other options. Refusing to expand it, he argued, would mean choosing to pass on money available to other states. And as a governor facing a challenging fiscal situation, he couldn’t say no.






Keene NH Townhall Forward to 18 minute mark


Shirley Paulson question at 1:14


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