Christie: GOP needs warmer tone toward Hispanics
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Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) said Wednesday that Republicans could strike a warmer tone towards potential new recruits.

“My party, quite frankly, has been guilty in some respects of speaking in a way that doesn’t sound very welcoming to new members,” Christie said at a Latino Coalition luncheon in Washington D.C., according to The Washington Times.

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“Any club that you might want to join, even if you agree with all the principles of that club, if the club doesn’t sound like it’s welcoming, you’re not going to come,” he added.

Christie’s remarks come as he weighs a possible presidential campaign in 2016.

He touted his past success with Latino voters on Wednesday as proof that the GOP can make in-roads with new voting blocs.

“I think having it happen in New Jersey is even greater encouragement to the rest of the country, because if Latinos in New Jersey voted 51 percent for a Republican governor…after four years as governor, that tells you that if [we] change the way we interact with each other, if we change our…perspective, even when we disagree, that we can bring people together,” Christie said of his gubernatorial reelection in 2013.

Christie argued on Wednesday that he improved his standing with Latino voters by listening to their concerns and then addressing them.

This approach, he added, also earned him more reelection votes from African American and female voters too.

“Whether it was a school in a predominantly Latino neighborhood, whether it was an African-American church or whether it was a business owned by an Asian-American, I learned a lot, and I know it helped to make me a better leader,” Christie said.

“If you want to be a leader in this country, you need to first reach your hand out and change the tone of our national conversation, and give all people who care about this country a meaningful seat at the table,” he added.

Christie also told listeners on Wednesday that he had stopped supporting a pathway for illegal immigrant citizenship after researching the issue further.

That stance now seemed like “an extreme way to go,” he added, according to The Washington Times.

Christie then noted that it was unlikely illegal immigrants in the U.S. would ‘self-deport,” an apparent reference to language used by 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney during that election cycle.

Christie has not yet publicly decided on a White House bid.

Should he run, he would enter one of the most crowded GOP presidential fields in recent memory.