New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address that launches theRepublican National Convention in two weeks, telling USA TODAY he plans to make an "emphatic" argument on behalf of GOP approaches and shared sacrifice to face the nation's biggest challenges.
The choice of Christie as the keynoter, set to be announced today, puts the spotlight on a rising political star with a combative persona and sharp-edged sense of humor. His budget battles with the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and his blunt-spoken demeanor have made him a hero to conservatives and one of the party's biggest fundraisers.
"I'll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we're in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them," Christie said. He'll cite his experiences in New Jersey as evidence that "the American people are ready to confront those problems head-on and endure some sacrifice."
He also had some advice for Romney and Ryan in their convention speeches, saying they should give Americans "a window" into themselves. "The only path (to victory) is if people conclude they can really trust them, and the only people who can make that case is the candidates themselves," he said.