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POLITICS: PennAve

Chris Christie: My message extends beyond New Jersey

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Fresh off his resounding reelection victory, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Sunday voiced support for reducing gun violence and passing comprehensive immigration reform, brushing off complaints that he isn't conservative enough to appeal to the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

Christie is looking to prove that his centrist brand of politics can appeal to a wider Republican audience, and argued on “Fox News Sunday” that his approach was results oriented rather than dictated by “Washington games.”

“We want to control violence,” Christie said when asked by Fox’s Chris Wallace whether he supported additional gun restrictions. “My focus has been on making sure mental health is done in a much more comprehensive way in New Jersey.”

Christie added that Republicans needed to focus on how to best curtail violence rather than winning political arguments.

“I’m for violence control,” the New Jersey governor insisted. “We need to not pander on these issues.”

On the question of immigration reform, which has stalled in the Republican-controlled House, Christie argued that leaders ought to fix a “broken system” that’s “not serving our economy well.”

When asked whether he was a conservative or a moderate on "Meet the Press," Christie said that he doesn't "get into these labels."

"Judge me by my record," he said.

Christie was given the chance to respond to criticisms from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and other Tea-Party aligned candidates, but the typically brash governor chose not to attack possible 2016 presidential rivals.

However, Christie did take a shot at aides for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Romney campaign staffers recently leaked concerns they had about selecting the New Jersey governor as a possible Romney running mate.

"Political advice from people who ran the Romney campaign is probably something nobody should really give a darn about," Christie said during an interview on ABC's "This Week."

Accused by some conservatives of being too cozy with President Obama, Christie argued that recent Obamacare rollout problems were inevitable.

"Anybody who’s run anything in their lives could see this coming from a mile away," he said.

"The president's biggest problem," Christie added, "is he's got to tell the truth."

"I think it's a failed policy," Christie said of Obamacare on “Meet the Press.”

Christie, who will soon take the helm at the Republican Governors Association, said his immediate goals remain New Jersey-focused. However, he hardly pushed back at speculation over his presidential ambitions.

He also laughed off questions about his weight, which has become fodder for late-night talk shows and will certainly linger if he decides to make a run for the White House.

“If you’re going to be bothered by that stuff,” Christie said on "Fox News Sunday," “then you don’t belong in public leadership.”

Staff writer Zack Colman contributed to this story.

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