WEST DES MOINES, Iowa--If you're a fan of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, you like his "tough-talking, in your face" style. If you don't, then you probably won't like the way he defended himself before Dallas County Republicans Monday night.
Christie used the words "direct" and "blunt" numerous times talking about his persona. "People talk about me being blunt and direct and outspoken and all of the rest of that," Christie said. "I'm not too blunt or too direct to be in Iowa or anyplace else in this country."
He acknowledged his style can bring criticism. "Some days it will be good. Some days, not so much," Christie said.
Christie spoke about half an hour and took a few questions from the audience.
--He said the Keystone Pipeline would already be under construction if he were already president.
--"I'm not wed to that," he said of the Fair Tax.
--Christie said he has "grave concerns" about the Common Core education standards.
--He doesn't oppose gambling. Of course, his state is home to Atlantic City's vast gaming industry.
--"When you look at the lack of economic growth that can help to raise, not just the wages of the wealthy, but the wages of everyone"--Christie also echoed a new theme of Republicans exploring a president run by talking about making sure the country takes care of the middle class.
But he argued his style may be best to fix what ills the country. "What we need now in this country, in my opinion, more than anything, is some blunt straight talk to fix problems that we've been avoiding for too long," Christie said, "because we care more about the comfort of people's feelings than about telling the truth and fixing the problem."