Christie: Obama ‘Has Been on the Bench’

By Edwin Mora | December 8, 2011 | 2:10 PM EST

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announces that he will not run for president in 2012, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

( - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in response to the president in his speech Tuesday calling on the U.S. to work together to “meet the moment” and “up our game,” criticized Obama for being “on the bench” and “way late to the game of leadership in America.” 

While delivering the keynote address at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) presidential forum on Wednesday, Christie also said he was unapologetic for previously calling the President Obama “a bystander in the Oval Office.”

“Okay, I would like to remind the president that today is December 7th, 2011, not January 20th, 2009,” said Christie. “He is way late to the game, way late to the game of leadership in America.

“I challenge all of you to search the speech, search the rest of the speech for any concrete accomplishments that will line up with the words he used,” Christie said, later adding, “Mr. President we need a leader who will lead us to the moment.

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“Who will help define what the challenges of meeting the moment means and not be cautious and safe and sit back and wait for someone else to do the hard work, but to get out of your chair and start doing the hard work yourself to make America a greater place?” he asked.

Christie further said, “‘We need to up our game?' I would respectfully suggest that this president has had every opportunity to up his game for three years and he has been on the bench, on the bench.”

The Obama speech that Christie was referencing to is the one that the president gave Tuesday from a high school in Osawatomie, Kan.   

“I called the president a bystander in the Oval Office,” Christie told Jewish Republicans. “I make no apologies for that comment, but our obligation now is to make sure that we nominate someone who will live up to the very standards we're demanding from this president and that we're having judged he failed. That’s our challenges over the next number of months. 

“We have in the White House a president who does not have the first idea of how to use executive leadership or I believe any significant interest in learning anytime soon,” he added.

Christie has come out and endorsed Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president. Romney also spoke at the RJC’s forum along with Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman, who are also seeking the GOP nomination.

The New Jersey governor did not make any references to Romney during his speech. When comparing Romney with Gingrich earlier this month, Christie said that Gingrich “has never run anything.”