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The sayings of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

MAYBE you've wanted to say it to an unfaithful spouse. Perhaps you've longed to shout it out to a shiftless co-worker. Or tempted to telegraph it to a disagreeable neighbor.

MAYBE you've wanted to say it to an unfaithful spouse. Perhaps you've longed to shout it out to a shiftless co-worker. Or tempted to telegraph it to a disagreeable neighbor.

"Let me help you pack."

That's what N.J. Gov. Chris Christie said to an overpaid school superintendent who tried to front-load his contract so he wouldn't be subject to Christie's proposed salary cap. When Christie tagged the superintendent the "poster boy of greed and arrogance," the school chief noted that he didn't have to work in Jersey - he could go elsewhere.

And then Christie said what a lot of people were thinking.

Christie simply has a knack for bluntly saying what other people want to - but are often afraid to. And every time the feisty governor does this, he creates a new Christie-ism.

"Let me help you pack" is a Christie-ism that ranks among my favorites. Here are some other classics:

"You punch them, I punch you."

That's the tagline to a story about Christie walking onto the schoolyard (the state capital) and finding that the bullies (the teachers union) had slugged and beaten the schoolkids (the taxpayers). Instead of looking the other way like his predecessors, Christie takes on the bullies and throws them off course.

"Why would I want a less powerful job than the one I have now?"

Christie's tongue-in-cheek take on the notion that he might run for president. In fact, New Jersey's constitution grants the governor far more power than the governors of most other states. As for a presidential bid in 2012, Christie still says, "No way."

"I didn't want to be governor to be something. I wanted to be governor to do something." Christie's self-proclaimed raison d'être. This goes with a story about how he doesn't care if he's re-elected, he simply wants to get things done.

"They've compared me to Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte and all those great leaders of the past that I love." Christie's turn-the-tables response to his critics.

"You want to yell? Yell at me, but don't give her a hard time." His chivalrous answer to a heckler at a rally for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

"In my house, my parents left nothing unsaid." Christie on having an Irish father and a Sicilian mother and being "familiar with conflict."

"This is the crap I have to hear." The governor's retort to public employees who bemoan the fact that they might have to make even a small contribution to their own medical plans.

"Well then, you don't have to do it." Christie's answer to a teacher who complained about the hard work and "low pay" that went along with her job.

"We're a state. We can't print money." Christie's explanation for New Jersey's financial situation ("We're broke.").

This is often coupled with the "money tree" story. The governor says that when he was a youngster and he asked for something new, his mother would tell him that he could have it if he simply went into the back yard and picked some money off the money tree. "You know where that is, right?" she'd say.

"I would feel bad for that poor man or woman." The governor's reference to the person who'd serve as president if Christie agreed to be vice president. Christie forswears any interest in the veep's job, insisting he doesn't do well as anybody's assistant.

Of course, many of the most adept Christie-isms are self-deprecating. In the tradition of Reagan and JFK, these are among the governor's finest:

"I know you didn't elect me for my charm and good looks."

"I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm overweight."

"She said I'm so much better looking in person. I don't get that very much."

As for his outspoken ways, Christie says: "I don't send smoke signals. They know who I am. They know how I feel about issues."

And to a statehouse reporter, he said: "Blunt? Direct? . . . maybe you might say honest and refreshing. Maybe we can see that in your paper tomorrow."

Christie says that "as adults, we're cowards" and, by example, he encourages people to throw off the cloak of reticence and speak up.

So, the next time you want to be "honest and refreshing" with someone, go ahead.

And if you find yourself at a loss for words, just reach for a Christie-ism.

Daniel A. Cirucci is a lecturer in corporate communication at Penn State Abington. He blogs at