By John Toole firstname.lastname@example.org,
ATKINSON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pumped up Republicans along the campaign trail in Derry, Hudson and Atkinson yesterday.
He was in the Granite State to encouraging people to volunteer their time to help Ovide Lamontagne into the governor’s office.
But he also got in a few digs at President Obama.
Christie got a warm welcome from about 200 people at an afternoon rally at Sen. Chuck Morse’s Freshwater Farms off Route 111. Some believe he will spend a lot more time in the state in the future — as a possible candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
But Christie’s main focus was on Lamontagne and r
allying support for his gubernatorial campaign.
Christie asked Republicans to go home, get out their calendars and figure out how much time they can give to the campaign in the next six weeks.
“If you think this ends it, you are sadly mistaken,” he said.
Christie, alluding to his reputation for feistiness, said he is coming back next month and will check up on their efforts for Lamontagne.
“Don’t make me come back to New Hampshire in a bad mood,” he said.
He promised Republicans if they commit time to the cause, Lamontagne will be
“You are going to make the difference,” Christie said.
They will be that difference through their conversations with friends who haven’t decided how to vote, he assured them.
“No one sho
uld be immune from seeing these Ovide buttons,” Christie said.
New Hampshire can’t afford to elect Democrat Maggie Hassan, in Christie’s view.
“See, in New Jersey, we already did the Maggie Hassan experiment,” he said. “We already tried it. So let me give you a preview of what it looks like, ‘cause it’s not pretty.
“For the eight years before I became governor, we raised taxes and fees on the people of New Jersey 115 times,” Christie said. “In eight years, that’s a tax or fee increase every 25 days for eight years.”
New Jersey now has a 9 percent income tax and a 7 percent sales tax on top of that, he said.
“You don’t want to go t
here,” Christie told the crowd. “It is a very difficult place to get out from under.”
Christie said the Democrats have a much different position on government than do the Republicans.
“The Democratic National Convention said this: Government is the only thing we all belong to,” he said. “Now, I want you to really take a minute and think about that, see, ‘cause when you first hear that, it sounds kind of nice. We all belong to something, isn’t that great? I think this: We don’t belong to government. Government belongs to us.”
Lamontagne introduced Christie as “America’s truth teller,” which Christie said he loved.
He echoed Christie’s message against spending and big government.
“Free enterprise creates jobs, not government. The truth is every tax increase, every fee hike takes freedom and liberty and capital away from us,” Lamontagne said. “It funds bigger government and it chokes our children’s future and
While boosting Lamontagne, Christie took a shot at President Obama, too.
“Mr. President, you live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. You are Mister Inside,” Christie said. “And if you can’t change Washington from inside the White House, then get on a plane and go back to Chicago where you belong.”
Former New Hampshire Gov. Steve Merrill joined Christie in endorsing Lamontagne at the rally. So did Kevin Smith, runnerup to Lamontagne for the GOP nomination.
Local Republicans delighted in his messag
“I like the energy,” Republican activist Ginny Busby of Atkinson said. “Republican
s need that energy to achieve our goal of winning.”
Salem Selectman Everett McBride said he came to see Christie, who he predicted will be in the mix for the presidential nomination in the future.
“He was very inspirational,” McBride said.
Linda Dupere traveled about two hours from Campton to hear Christie.
“He is right on,” she said. “I like his attitude and what he has done for New Jersey.”
Gail Gorham of Derry said she came out to support Lamontagne, whom she supported in th
e 2010 U.S. Senate race against Kelly Ayotte.
“I like him because he is a good conservative,” Gorham said.