That remark was a likely dig at Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), with whom he had a recent high-profile spat. The governor had criticized Paul and other libertarians for having “esoteric debates” about national security instead of focusing on preventing attacks like 9/11.
Paul eventually sought to end the debate inviting Christie to sit down and have a beer, a call the governor said he had no time for.
Christie has regularly butted heads with fellow Republicans and received criticism for publicly embracing and praising President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy days before the November election. That move was seen by some conservatives as hurting GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Christie, though, said he agreed with the party’s principles and wouldn’t undercut the Republican Party.
“I’m not going to be one of these people who goes around and calls our party stupid,” he said, a likely jab at another potential 2016 rival, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.). “We need to stop navel gazing. There’s nothing wrong with our principles.”
In January, Jindal drew attention when he said the GOP had to “stop being the stupid party.”
Christie has declined to speculate about whether he would run in 2016, saying only that he is focused on his reelection campaign for the governor’s office.