Gov. Chris Christie, anchoring a presidential campaign speech in Florida to the deadly Paris bombings and shootings, said on Saturday that the attacks show America needs strong leadership and his experience meets that demand.
Christie, whose campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has struggled to gain traction in national polls, said he scrapped an initial speech about the economy that also included some jokes after news of the attacks that killed at least 129 people. Christie delivered the 20-minute speech at the Republican Party's Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Florida.
He criticized President Barack Obama for saying the Middle East is safer than it has been and for underestimating the Islamic State group.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
"He sees the world as he likes to see it, as fantasy," Christie said. "I see the world as it really is and it's time to have a president who sees the world as it really is, not how he wishes it would be."
Christie also reflected on 9/11 and his time as U.S. attorney. He said terrorism wasn't "theoretical" for him and that his job was "to make sure that it never happened again."
The governor also said the country needs an experienced leader.
"We're in a political season, so let's remember something. New - new can be exciting and attractive. Until, that is, you need experience," he said.
Christie's rivals for the nomination, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who are leading in polls, lack political experience.