Chris Christie: Obama's SOTU 'was a campaign speech'

Chris Christie: Obama's SOTU was a 'campaign speech'
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    Chris Christie: Obama's SOTU was a 'campaign speech'

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Chris Christie: Obama's SOTU was a 'campaign speech' 00:23

Story highlights

  • Chris Christie said President Obama failed to strike a tone of unity in his State of the Union address
  • Christie met with House GOP lawmakers in a Capitol Hill home Wednesday morning

WASHINGTON (CNN)Gov. Chris Christie said President Barack Obama's State of the Union address was "a bit disconnected from reality," arguing that it felt like a "campaign speech" and that the President failed to strike a tone of unity.

"I thought the most ironic part of what the President said last night was when he said he ran his last campaign," the New Jersey Republican told reporters in Washington on Wednesday morning. "It sounded to me like a campaign speech last night, like the '04 speech, like the '08 speech."
When Obama said he had run his final campaign Tuesday night, some members of the audience applauded. Obama quickly shot back: "I know, because I won both of them."
    Christie's comments came after he spent two hours in a Capitol Hill row house, meeting with a few dozen House GOP lawmakers, as well as Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.
    "(Obama) had an opportunity to try to unite the country last night and he didn't take it," Christie said.
    Billed an informal meet-and-greet, the event was arranged by Rep. Candice Miller of Detroit, who said she likes Christie's "blunt" style and wanted to provide an opportunity for him to spell out his vision for the future of the party and to meet other lawmakers.
    "I like straight talkers," she said, "In my county ... we like blunt. It sells well there. We want the unvarnished truth. We know what the challenges are. We want someone who can tell us how to solve those challenges."
    Christie, who was also in the area to attend incoming Gov. Larry Hogan's inauguration ceremony in Maryland, said he focused his message on governing.
    "They have an obligation to govern and they need to govern in a way they think is in the best interest of the country," he said, adding that he knew most of the people in attendance.
    After the House members left, Christie spent close to half an hour with Kirk. The senator told reporters that he's been talking to the governor about foreign affairs and they specifically discussed his amendment that would impose sanctions on Iran if the country doesn't agree to a new deal to limit its nuclear weapons program. Kirk is sponsoring the legislation with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
    As Christie prepares for a potential presidential bid, he's been trying to boost his foreign policy credentials. The governor's traveling to the United Kingdom next month, making his third foreign trip since September.
    Miller said Christie talked about national security and the threat of ISIS during the event, but did not offer specifics.
    Rep. Tom Reed, R-New York, said Christie "had a good message about the future" and felt "impressed by his delivery."
    "As he's preparing for his decision, he's definitely evolving into a very creditable, national candidate," he said.
    "One of the things I learned today is that he's clearly committed to the collaborative approach, trying to build networks of influencers, and that's very helpful in this town," Reed continued. "The way you get things done here is you build relationships, and that was part of the effort here."
    Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said the main message he took away from Christie was that "whatever it is you're going to do, you're going to have to win."
    "I've often felt that the country was ready for a big guy with an attitude from Jersey," Dent added.
    Other members who attended included Rep. Patrick Meehan, who co-hosted with Miller, Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey, Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, former Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, and Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey.