Chris Christie’s keynote speech at the Republican National Convention (as prepared for delivery):
This stage and this moment are very improbable for me.
A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.
A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight.
Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.
I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother.
My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable.
My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer. She made sure we all knew who set the rules.
In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger. Mom was the driver.
They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.
Mom also came from nothing. She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day. And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children — her two younger siblings. She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to. She spoke the truth — bluntly, directly and without much varnish.
I am her son.
I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore.
I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment