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A Message From Governor Christie: "I'm Coming"

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Published on Sep 27, 2010

Governor Christie pledges to fight for education reform at the premier of Waiting for Superman premiere in Newark, New Jersey. Saturday, September 25, 2010. (Transcript Below)


You just watched that film and so did I. (inaudible) and you should be too because what we saw on that screen, is not what America was and what America needs to be. And so I'm going to fight, I'm going to fight as hard as I can against those who saw it is not possible. I'm going to fight as hard as I can against those who believe that that is the status quo we're protecting. I'm going to fight as hard as I can, and I'm willing to go down for the fight. But I can no longer live in a state that allows the obscenity of what is happening here. I can no longer, nor would I want to, lead a state that decides that someone who can't teach must stay in the classroom. That a child, who is neglected in one of our schools, must just accept it because of their zip code, because their parents can't afford to send them to a better option. There is nothing more important to the future of our state and the future of our country than this fight, because this is the fight that will define all of the other fights -- the fights for America to remain a dominant force for good in the world, the fights for New Jersey to become once again an economic engine for our region and our country, the fight for us to look in the mirror every morning and continue to define ourselves as a good and decent people. This is the fight. And sometimes the fight will be angry, and sometimes the fight will be loud, and sometimes the fight will draw tears, and sometimes the fight will require embrace. But for those of you who do not have the stomach for that fight, I would ask you to go home today and ask yourselves why. Because if you were not moved by what you just saw and the plight of those children and their families, then I wonder why you're here today.

[Applause]

All I know is this: I would not be standing here today if it wasn't for the fact that my parents had the opportunity to send me to the public schools that gave me the best possible education I could have. In each one of us, there is a certain God-given ability, but that God-given ability will take us only so far. We need someone to nurture it and to draw it out of us. It happens every day in the best schools, and in the best homes, and with the best parents, but it also has to happen by transforming the worst schools by nurturing and loving children who come from not the best homes and by demanding that the teachers, the principals, the administrators, put them first, and not concern for themselves. If we don't do that, then we will continue to play the blame game, we will continue to make excuses, and we will continue to believe we are better than we are. I love the fact that American children have confidence, I only wish that we were given the tools to have that confidence bring the success that confidence has brought to us in the past. And since yesterday when myself, and the mayor, and Mark Zuckerberg announced our partnership, you already hear, already hear, the naysayers. You already hear the people threatening lawsuits, the people speaking out against a true act of generosity, inspired by the hope to make life better for the children of this city.

[Applause]

So I have a message. I have a message for the politicians who have decided that their careers are more important than our children: I'm coming.

[Applause]

I have a message for the lawyers who have made a lifetime out of suing us into failure: I'm coming.

[Applause]

I have a message, I have a message much more important for the parents of the city of Newark who want the very best for their children, a message for the children of the city of Newark who want hope that tomorrow will be better than today, and as that woman put so appropriately, that they just don't want a job, they want a career - I have a message for them too. And it's much better than the messages that I just gave to those other folks.

It's not I'm coming, I pray we're coming.

We're coming. And I appreciate that applause, but it's the easiest part of the game.

The clapping part is easy. It is now time to engage in the fight, it is long overdue, and everybody's got a different role to play in this fight. But let me tell you what mine will be: I will not accept failure as an option, and I would rather lose the election, lose my career...than have to look in the mirror and say that I decided that my career was more important than the future lives of the children of the city where I was born.

And so the folks who want to sue -- I said this to Mr. Zuckerberg yesterday -- tell them get a ticket to the back of the line...

(...)

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