Governor Chris Christie fired up the Republican National Convention behind party nominee Mitt Romney during the keynote address on Tuesday night.

He recalled his late mother who Chirstie says it was taught him the key lessons of life — including, Christie says, that sometimes it’s more important to be respected than loved. Christie said his mother was the family’s enforcer.

Christie called upon that background and experience as Governor  to rally Republicans around Romney and standing up for “principles.

“We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey. It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House,” Christie told the crowd.” America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.”

He said that Romney will deliver the “hard truths” that America needs to bring it back to greatness.

“Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America. Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy.”

He also compared the “greatest generation” to those hard truths. “I think tonight of the Greatest Generation,” said Christie. “We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world. Now it’s our time to answer history’s call.”

Christie said, “I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. I want them to live in a second American Century.”

Christie brought the crowd to their feet as he sounded themes familiar to New Jersey when he talked teachers and unions.

“We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete. Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom. They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children. They believe in teacher’s unions.”

“Let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up. We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again. We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America. Tonight, we choose respect over love. We are not afraid. We are taking our country back,”