Christie knocks Cruz over national security
© Greg Nash

New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieSocially-distanced 'action figure' photo of G7 leaders goes viral Just 10 percent in NJ poll would like to see Christie run for White House in 2024 Christie says he won't defer to Trump in 2024 MORE took several potshots at Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R-Texas) on Tuesday, suggesting his GOP presidential rival is weak on national security. 

Asked during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if Cruz has made America less safe with his support for reforming the National Security Agency's mass surveillance program, Christie replied, "Sure he has.
 
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"He went for the easy political vote at a time when it looked like it was kind of a popular thing to do. With all those dead Parisians, doesn't look so popular anymore," Christie said. 
 
Christie also suggested Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), another Republican presidential candidate, also made the U.S. less safe by opposing the controversial phone data collection program.
 
The U.S. shifted to a more targeted system over the weekend.
 
Christie, who has stressed the issue of national security, has seen some momentum in the key early-voting state of New Hampshire following the Paris attacks. 
 
The New Hampshire Union Leader's endorsement of him on Sunday stressed that the former federal prosecutor was "right for these dangerous times."
 
A vocal critic of President Obama's foreign policy, Christie also suggested Tuesday that presidential rival Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) shares a similar biography to Obama as a first-term senator seeking the Oval Office. 
 
"As do Ted Cruz and others in this race who have no experience in governing," Christie added. 
 
Christie said that new is "wonderful, it's great, it's shiny, it's untarnished and everybody loves 'new' ... until you need experience, until the really tough moment comes."