New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) slammed President Obama as an inadequate leader at a local town hall on Friday, in what appears to be a shift from what had previously been a friendly relationship with the president.
“I know when you look at Washington right now, you shake your head at a president who can’t figure out how to lead, at a Congress that only 11 percent of the people in the last poll I saw approve of the job they’re doing,” Christie said during the town-hall event.
“That’s what happens when you have someone in the executive office who is more concerned about being right than he is concerned about getting things done," he added. "But I’m not going to be that kind of leader of New Jersey.”
Christie has received much criticism from conservatives for praising Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy, and for his positions in favor of gun control and his acceptance of ObamaCare.
Some have suggested he'd have trouble making it through a GOP presidential primary, because the far-right wing of the party typically has a strong impact on the nominating process.
In recent days, however, he's veered to the right, slamming the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage as "wrong" earlier this week.
"I don't think the ruling was appropriate," Christie said, suggesting SCOTUS was substituting "their own judgment for the judgment of a Republican Congress and a Democratic President."
And at the Friday town hall, Christie called himself a "conservative" twice.
He's up for reelection in the blue-leaning state this November, but he leads his Democratic opponent with a hefty double-digit margin in every poll of the race.
Asked on Friday whether he had presidential aspirations, he indicated he hasn't looked past November of this year, quoting advice his mother had given him to focus on the job at hand.
“First thing’s first,” he said.
“She used to tell me that as a kid because she could tell she had an ambitious kid on her hands. Do the job you have to do and the future will take care of itself.”