Though he failed to make the main debate stage, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie felt like a frontrunner during the undercard Republican presidential debate on Tuesday as rivals took aim at his record in the Garden State.
"Chris, look, I'll give you a ribbon for participation and a juice box, but in the real world it's about results," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sniped at the debate hosted by Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal. "It's about actually cutting government spending, not just talking about cutting government spending."
Christie, however, tried to remain focused on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, even as his lower-polling rival targeted him.
"It's interesting. I complimented Bobby, imagine how much time he would want if I actually criticized him," Christie said before defending his time in Trenton.
"But you know what? The people out there don't care about any of that," he added. "You know what they care about? They care about who's going to be able to beat Hillary Clinton."
For the first time during the GOP presidential primary, Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee found themselves in the earlier debate. Both became targets for Jindal, who, along with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, has yet to make the primetime debate in any of the four debates.
"Wait until you see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country and how she will drown us in debt," Christie said. "She is the real adversary tonight and we better stay focused as Republicans on her."