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Christie said Obama has not succeeded in his promise to bring the country together

The New Jersey governor also defended his 2010 stance on immigration

Washington CNN  — 

Chris Christie said Thursday that under President Barack Obama, America’s racial divide has worsened.

“I don’t think anyone can look objectively at where we sit as a country now and say that we’re better off than we were seven years ago on the issue of race in America with Barack Obama as president,” Christie told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “In fact, I think he’s made it worse.”

Christie also said Obama has not succeeded in his promise to bring the country together, something Obama campaigned on in 2008.

Related: Riots test Obama’s power to heal racial divide

“We all had great hope, all of us, even those who didn’t vote for him – and I didn’t – in 2008, had great hope that the first African-American president would help to heal some of the divides that we have racially in this country.”

Racial tensions have recently spiked at American colleges, including at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Ithica College in New York. The protests at Mizzou led to the resignation of Missouri University System President Tim Wolfe.

On Wednesday, Christie said he had no interest in meeting with Black Lives Matter activists, blaming the group for the murder of police officers.

“I want the Black Lives Matter people to understand: Don’t call me for a meeting,” he said at an Iowa town hall meeting, The Star-Ledger of New Jersey reported. “You’re not getting one.”

The New Jersey governor also defended his 2010 stance on immigration, which supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Christie, who changed his stance earlier this year, attributed his previous position on the issue to being a new governor.

“The fact is that I know now that that’s just not going to work and that we’re not gonna reward people who have come here illegally with citizenship,” Christie said. “I have a real, holistic plan on how to deal with immigration going forward as president of the United States,” he added.

Christie said he would support Ben Carson’s claim that the media is simply picking on him if his answers were “sufficient.”

“If he has answers that are sufficient for the American people, then the issue will go away. If he has answers that are not sufficient for the American people, then they won’t. And that’s what he should do and that’s what every candidate is required to do.”

CNN’s Eugene Scott contributed to this report.