Christie warns against electing a first-term senator

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CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s been an entertaining campaign, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Saturday, “but show time is over. It’s game time.”

With the Iowa precinct caucuses coming up Monday night, Christie made his closing argument by asking about 350 people at a Cedar Rapids bar to think about who they want to be “the person who will represent our nation to the rest of the world.”

He made the case that he’s the candidate best prepared to sit in the Oval Office and better prepared to make the life-or-death decision that face a president than senators who get to choose which problems they will address.

“You don’t get to choose when you’re president,” Christie said, which is something he knows from his experience as the two-term governor of a blue state. “I didn’t get to choose to have Hurricane Sandy to hit my shore. I didn’t choose to inherit an $11 billion deficit on a $29 billion budget. I didn’t choose those things. When you are governor or president, the events choose you and then you need to deal with them.”

Former Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, emphasized Christie’s experience and decision-making ability in introducing Christie at the Chrome Horse.

“There is nobody better prepared to stand on the stage and debate and prosecute Hillary Clinton,” he said. “There is no one better prepared to sit across the table from people like Mr. Putin and restore the United States to its No. 1 position.”

Christie contrasted his experience with a pair of first-term senators also seeking the GOP presidential nomination — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who according to the polls is vying for the top spot in the Iowa caucuses, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who according to the polls, looks likely to finish in third place.

If his criticism seemed harsh, Christies reminded his audience America elected a first-term senator seven years ago.

Obama “hadn’t run a thing before and we give him the most important job in the world,” Christie said. “Please, let’s not do it again.”

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