And then there were 14 ... on the GOP side only, a presidential field that NJ.com reports was last this big when Abraham Lincoln won in 1860. Chris Christie today threw his hat into the ring by way of an announcement made at Livingston High School, his alma mater and the town where "everything started ... for me." Politico reported that Christie's announcement would be made telepromter-free, as befitting his "Telling it like it is" campaign slogan. He kicked things off with stories of his roots—hard work, not much money—and what his mother told him: "God's given you so many gifts. If you just work hard enough, you can be anything." Ten standout lines from there:
- "Both parties have failed our country."
- "I wake up every morning knowing I have the opportunity to do something great. That's why this job is a great job, and why president of the United States is an even greater job."
- "America is tired of weakness in the Oval Office ... and that is why today I'm proud to announce my candidacy."
- "The lying and stealing has already happened. The horse is out of the barn. We've got to get it back in and you can only do it by force."
- "After seven years I heard the president say the other day that the world respects" America more "because of his leadership. This is confirmation that Obama lives in his own world, not ours."
- "We better not turn [this world] over to his second mate Hillary Clinton."
- "I am not running for president of the United States as a surrogate for being prom king of America. I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that's what America needs right now."
- "And unlike some people who will offer themselves for the presidency, you're not going to have to wonder if I can do it or not."
- He promised a campaign "without focus-group-tested answers. A campaign when I'm asked a question I'm going to give an answer to the question that's asked, not the answer my political consultants told me to give backstage."
- "We are going to tell it like it is today ... the truth will set us free, everybody."
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