Bush on Christie: 'I think I'm much better looking'

Story highlights

  • "Well, um, I think I'm much better looking," Bush said to big laughs at a town hall meeting
  • Bush went on to say that Christie is a "great guy," has a "great style" and a "great personality," but insisted that he has more experience in business and in the private sector

Londonderry, New Hampshire (CNN)Jeb Bush is claiming one area where he's superior to rival Chris Christie: He's "much better looking."

Or so he quipped Thursday to a voter at a town hall meeting here when asked to compare himself with the New Jersey governor who is a top rival in the upcoming New Hampshire primary.
"Well, um, I think I'm much better looking," he said to big laughs from the audience at L3 Warrior Systems.
    Bush went on to say that Christie is a "great guy," has a "great style" and a "great personality," but insisted that he has more experience in business and in the private sector, in addition to serving as eight years as Florida's governor.
    He spent several minutes highlighting his record in Tallahassee, focusing on his state's AAA bond rating and a $9 billion surplus upon leaving office.
    "Look, Chris is a great guy. I don't think he could give you ... a record of accomplishment that compares to that," Bush said.
    It was a veiled swipe at Christie's state, which has suffered multiple credit downgrades and struggles with a massive pension fund problem during Christie's tenure. The brash governor says he inherited the state's problems from his Democratic predecessors.
    The two have been sparring this week, with Christie saying earlier that Bush benefited from having a Republican legislature while Christie tries to implement reform with combative Democrats in a largely blue state.
    "He had a free ride during some of the greatest economic times this country has ever seen," Christie told reporters Tuesday night.
    Bush appeared to respond to that line on Thursday.
    "I was (governor for) eight years in Florida, a purple state -- 500,000 more Democrats that Republicans -- where I applied conservative principles and reformed some big things that seldom are reformed," he told the audience.
    On Wednesday, Bush conceded in an interview with The Washington Post that the New Hampshire GOP primary has become a race for second place behind front-runner Donald Trump, with Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio among Bush's chief rivals.