- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed in his element Monday during his visit to a downtown Keene bar.

He rattled off statistics in support of his plans to reform Social Security. He echoed a television ad his campaign released in which he accuses President Barack Obama of lying about the details of the accord limiting Iran’s nuclear program. He bought a guy a beer.

And, standing under uncharacteristically bright lights in Lab ‘n Lager to a packed crowd of about 75 people, he got to compare himself to Donald Trump.

The question came from Shirley Paulson of Keene, who asked from the back of the room why she should vote for Christie over Trump, one of a long list of Republican contenders for the presidential nomination.

Trump has already established himself as a successful capitalist and businessman, Paulson said.

But Christie said Trump’s business skills “are not transferable.”

“What he does in the business world could not be replicated in the world of government or in the world of international relations,” Christie said. “You cannot fire the speaker of the House or the Senate majority leader because you don’t get what you want.”

Paulson, 83, noted that Trump, who faces Christie and 14 other Republican candidates for the party’s nomination, has been drawing attention to himself with proposals such as building a wall across the entire U.S. border with Mexico.

Christie had his response ready.

“I thought we were talking about actually governing a country and not getting attention,” he said. “If the goal here is to find the person to be president of the United States who can get the most attention, he’s going to win hands down. If it is the person who can most effectively govern our nation and deal with the world, I suggest to you that … I’d be better at it than he would.”

Dan P. Fagan of Winchester said he and his wife moved to New Hampshire from New Jersey six years ago, tired of a long string of Democratic governors and high taxes.

Fagan said he was fascinated by how Christie was elected in 2009 in heavily Democratic New Jersey, and wanted to know how the Republican governor would replicate that success on a national scale.

“I want to hear … what’s different about you that could get Democrats to vote for you,” he said before Christie’s remarks Monday. “Explain to us how you did it, and do it again.”

Christie attributed his success to his predecessor, Jon Corzine, being a “God-awful governor” and to his own straightforward style.

“(You do this) because you absolutely believe you can make a difference in your country,” Christie said. “I feel good about my chances.”

Christie spoke and answered questions for about two hours, addressing voters with a jocular tone. When one man asked if Christie would buy him a beer, the governor took out his wallet and gave the man some cash.

“When Trump comes, get $100 off of him,” Christie joked before finishing his remarks and shaking hands for several minutes.

Christie visited Audrey’s Cafe in Marlborough this morning and later stopped at Lindy’s Diner in Keene.

From there he is scheduled to speak at a town hall-style meeting at noon at Salt Hill Pub in Newport.

Martha Shanahan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1434, or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MShanahanKS.


(c)2015 The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.)

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