Class act.

NEW YORK — Gov. Chris Christie said the country is becoming a “paternalistic entitlement society” this morning in a speech at a conservative conference headed by former President George W. Bush.

Addressing Bush and other national Republicans, Christie said he hasn’t seen a less optimistic period in the country in his lifetime.

Bush said the topic of the conference is how to grow the private sector. He introduced Christie by complimenting his “enormous personality” and “belief in the individual,” saying even Texans had taken note of the governor.

“We admire the courageous stance you take,” said Bush, who nominated Christie to be U.S. Attorney.

“I was a proud member of the Bush administration for seven years,” Christie said, later adding that Bush “inspired a whole new generation of conservative Republican leaders.” […]

“I have decided to stay out of the limelight,” Bush said. “I don’t think it’s good, frankly, for our country to undermine the president and I don’t intend to do so. But I do intend to remain involved in areas that I’m interested in.”

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