New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells national GOP pols to follow his example

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Upshot

Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is still riding high from his ouster of Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009. So high, in fact, that Christie's now doling out tips to his national party, the administration and Congress about how emulate his own success.

"What my win tells... Republicans across the country is that we need to get back to our brand," Christie said on ABC's "This Week." He credited his lower taxes and small government platform as the key to capturing the governorship in a traditionally Democratic-leaning state, in what pundits hailed at the time as an important bellwether election for the GOP.

Conservatives have since embraced Christie as a hero for his tough-love stance against unions and government as well as for his no-holds-barred spending cuts. One of his most significant ongoing battles is with the New Jersey teacher's union, a feud he addressed on "This Week."

"We can’t have one sector of our society sheltered from the ravages of the recession at the cost of the people whom the recession has hurt the most," Christie said. He later added that those who are still receiving benefits in this poor economy need to understand "you pay for this special treatment."

Christie contended that if more political leaders heeded that example, many more budgets would be under control across the country.

And as for consensus building? Christie said Congress should take a look at all he's accomplished while working with a Democratic state legislature.

"They have to find a way to build consensus," Christie said of Congress and leaders in Washington. "I think that’s a challenge for those who are in the majority... If you want to lead and build consensus you can."

Christie believes he's significantly changing his state's political culture for the better--but he noted that New Jersey, often the butt of regional jokes, isn't benefiting from recent blows to its popular image.

When "This Week" host Jake Tapper asked him about MTV's Jersey Shore, Christie replied that it's "negative for New Jersey." And besides, he added, the show isn't even authentic.

"It takes a bunch of New Yorkers -- most of the people on Jersey Shore are New Yorkers -- ... and drops them at the Jersey Shore and tries to make America feels like this is New Jersey." Christie invited anyone curious about the state's beach culture to book a vacation and see for themselves.