New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver "hard truths" during his keynote address at the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month, he told USA Today.
Christie said he is working on his fourth draft of the high-profile 20-minute speech. It will argue on behalf of shared sacrifices to overcome the nation’s biggest challenges, he said.
“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 told USA Today.
Christie will cite his experience as New Jersey governor in demonstrating that “the American people are ready to confront those problems head-on and endure some sacrifice,” USA Today reported.
Christie's selection as keynote speaker was formally announced Tuesday morning.
"As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement to news outlets. "We have an opportunity in Tampa to make clear that if we tell each other the hard truths, tackle the big problems, and make bold choices, we will see America's comeback."
NBC News first reported that Christie had been tapped to deliver the keynote. NBC's Chuck Todd also reported that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another rising GOP star vetted as a possible vice presidential pick, will introduce Mitt Romney at the Republican convention.
Christie’s sharp wit and outspokenness has put the 49-year-old on the path to political stardom. In 2009 he defeated Democrat Jon Corzine to become the first Republican elected governor of the Garden State in more than a decade.
The former U.S. attorney’s record of cutting his state’s budget, curbing public sector unions, and battling the Democratic-controlled state Legislature in budget showdowns has endeared him to conservatives, The Associated Press reported.
Christie considered calls that he run for president himself in 2012, but ultimately endorsed Mitt Romney. He has been a prominent surrogate for the former Massachusetts governor on the campaign trail as was seen as a possible veep pick.
“With Paul Ryan on the ticket this is a team that understands the economic stagnation our country has been facing the last four years and the urgency with which we need to change course," Christie said after Romney selected Ryan as his running mate.
Delivering the keynote speech is seen as a launching pad for politicians with ambitions of higher office. In 2004, Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention and won the White House four years later.
The convention is scheduled to run from Aug. 27 to 30 in Tampa, Fla.