America needs to "up our game"? President Obama is still "on the bench," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued Wednesday.
Christie leveled a blistering critique of the president as a failed leader in his luncheon remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition's candidate forum in Washington.
It's not that he objected to Obama's major address in Kansas Tuesday. In fact, he said he thought it was a fine message for the times. The problem was the messenger.
Christie zeroed in on a single line, in which Obama said that America needed to "meet the moment. We need to up our game."
"I would like to remind the president that today is Dec. 7, 2011, not Jan. 20, 2009. He is way late to the game," he said.
Obama's promises in the 2008 campaign have proved hollow, he said. Instead of leading, he said Obama ceded to Congress on a stimulus bill that only fulfilled "liberal fantasies," used "Chicago ward politics" to force through an unconstitutional health law, ignored the recommendations of his own deficit commission, and pursued a foreign policy that has diminished the U.S. image abroad.
"This is a man outside of his depth," Christie argued.
Christie, a GOP sensation since becoming governor in 2010, has endorsed Mitt Romney. But after laying out the case against Obama, he then put forth his own track record in the Garden State as an example of the kind of leadership the nation is "starving" for, a president who will take action regardless of whether it means not winning a second term.
But he did seem to include a jab at Romney's main GOP rival at this point, Newt Gingrich.
"The era of focus-tested blow-dried answers needs to end. But it cannot be replaced by an era of hyperbole and irresponsible answers that just appeals to the anger and fear the American people feel," he said.
Christie was due to fly directly from Washington to Iowa to campaign for Romney in the leadoff caucus state.