News & Politics

Chris Christie Prosecutes Hillary Clinton on the RNC Floor

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Speaks at the Republican National Convention, Photo Credit: Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media.

CLEVELAND, OH — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stole the show on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention. His speech focused on the idea of doing what FBI Director James Comey said “no reasonable prosecutor” would do — bring a criminal case against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Christie, a former federal prosecutor, brought the case against Clinton on a number of fronts, focused on her tenure as secretary of State. He went from foreign country to foreign country, explaining how the world has become more dangerous under her leadership.

The governor attacked Clinton right out of the gate, instantly receiving a thunderous response. The audience chanted, “Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!” shortly after he started.

The former prosecutor moved like a current prosecutor, laying out the case against Hillary and asking the audience to judge “guilty or not guilty?” Each time, the audience gave the same response. Christie started with Libya, mentioning Clinton’s push to topple the government of Muammar Qaddafi and the result of such intervention — the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rise to power there. He hit on the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration’s overtures to Cuba, and the Syrian civil war. He even got an excellent jab in about Russia — “the reset button should have been ‘delete’ … she’s good at that!” Finally, the governor hit on the central issue his audience was waiting for, the email controversy. “Let’s face the facts: Hillary Clinton cared more about protecting her own secrets than she cared about protecting America’s secrets.” “And then, she lied about it, over and over and over again,” he added. Christie listed her lies: no classified information on the server, she did not email classified information, all work-related emails were given back to the State Department. The governor left out yet another lie, that she only used one device for email.

As Christie noted, FBI Director James Comey said of each of these assertions, “That’s not true.” Comey may have exonerated her of misusing classified information, but he made a strong case for lying under oath. Next Page: What was the crowd’s reaction to this powerful speech? Here’s the video of Christie being a boss.

Many outlets are running with the story that Donald Trump Jr. stole the show with his speech — and it was indeed a great one. (By the way, the plagiarism alleged by The Daily Show was a false alarm, as this Vox article makes clear.)

But reporting from the floor of the convention, I heard a deafening level of support for Christie’s speech, to match the crowd’s response to Rudy Giuliani on Monday.

More importantly, while Melania’s and Donald Jr.’s speeches centered on family and Donald Trump’s personal life, they touched less frequently on political issues. They also received a deafening response because of their personal nature, rather than their political arguments.

Giuliani and Christie, by contrast, focused on salient political issues — and unleashed their strongest vitriol against Hillary Clinton. This supports the idea that this convention in Cleveland is more about building on Republicans’ fears about Hillary Clinton than about ginning up positive support for The Donald.

While that may or may not be true of the entire Republican pow-wow — it is a humungous event with thousands of people, after all — it certainly was true of Christie’s speech, and it also explains why a governor this unpopular in his own home state would receive such a strong reception at the convention.

Christie’s speech was articulate, disciplined, newsworthy — maybe even masterful. The New Jersey governor reminded the GOP of his fundamental role, the attack dog. In an election pitting two of the least liked nominees in history against one another, can you ever have enough of them?