New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday he will stick with his signature style and may “stray a little” from the teleprompter during his keynote address at the Republican National Convention today.
Christie told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in an interview set to air Tuesday morning that he finds working off of a prepared speech on a teleprompter “less natural” than his more informal, off-the-cuff style.
“I don’t use text almost ever,” Christie said on the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, according to a “Morning Joe” transcript. “So most of the time I think about what it is I want to talk about and then I get up there and I talk about it. Now, with the time restrictions here and obviously the different stage, they want you to work off a text and that’s fine.”
The New Jersey governor said the challenge he sees for himself during the high-profile speech is to “be natural and be myself.”
“Gov. [Haley] Barbour saw one of my folks yesterday on the floor here and he said ‘Tell Chris: ‘Be Chris.” And I think that’s what I’ll do. Tomorrow if that means I stray a little off the prompter every once in a while – you know. That’s the way it goes,” he said.
Christie’s wife Mary Pat told the hosts she’s “not nervous at all” about her husband’s performance on Tuesday.
“Excited, but not nervous,” she said. “He’s cool as a cucumber.”
And Christie added that when Tuesday night rolls around, he’s “going to be like that horse in the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.”
“Lots of people have asked me if I’m nervous. And I say no because I know I won’t be. I won’t be nervous, I’ll be anxious. I’ll be ready,” Christie said, according to “Morning Joe.”
“I’m going to be banging up against that gate waiting to get out here and do it. But that won’t be about nerves,” he added.