New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered his fifth State of the State address on Tuesday with a message that, at times, was directed well beyond the Garden State.
But the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate did not tip his hand on what his future may hold. Instead, Christie assured state legislators that he plans to deliver a sixth address to them this time next year, acknowledging the speculation over whether or not he would resign if he chose to seek the White House.
"I’ll be here in one year," he said to applause from Republicans. "When we’re all here one year from today, our today will be better than our yesterdays, and our tomorrow will be filled with real opportunity."
The Garden State governor highlighted his travels over the past year as the head of the Republican Governors Association, saying that while both New Jersey and America are recovering, there is still much improvement to be made.
He sounded at points like a candidate for national office.
"We are a nation beset by anxiety, and it’s understandable. Economic growth is low by post-war recovery standards. America's leadership in the world is called into question because of a pattern of indecision and inconsistency, he said.
“As I traveled the country over the last year... this anxiety was the most palpable emotion that I saw and felt. More than anger, more than fear -- anxiety,” Christie added. “I saw it on the streets of Chicago and felt it in the suburbs of Maryland. I heard it from farmers in Kansas and from teachers in Colorado. I felt it from veterans in Maine and from workers in Arkansas.”
Still, a large portion of Christie’s message was focused on issues central to New Jersey, like improvements in the troubled city of Camden. But he did not miss a chance to tie it in with a larger narrative.
"We need to renew the spirit and the hopes of our state, our country and our people…A renewal of our commitment to the belief that New Jersey and its people deserve better from us, those they have chosen to lead,” Christie said. “We need a New Jersey renewal and an American renewal.”