New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday he's never faced an easy political race, and he's not very worried about what the polls look like already when the actual voting won't start until February.
"What you need to focus on is what makes you different," the Republican presidential candidate told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program,
in the hours before he would learn if his numbers in those polls would be enough to get him into the first GOP debate, being held in Cleveland on Thursday. Fox News,
which is sponsoring the debate, was expected to announce its decision, which is based on an average of the five most recent national polls.
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But instead of the polls, said Christie, "what you have to offer to the people of the country is what will catch their attention and their imagination over the course of time. And nobody has been more substantive than we have been."
He pointed out in his state, his administration laid out entitlement reform legislation, criminal justice reform, and more initiatives to "last over the test of time much more than any one particular sound bite you might get off at a debate."
Party voters will want to hear what candidates plan to do, said Christie, and "nobody else has laid out more specific ideas on the difficult issues we have so far."
And that doesn't mean launching an attack on Donald Trump, who tops the national polls.
"I think with 10 candidates in this debate Thursday night, the right thing to do is to talk about your ideas and what you want to put forward as a plan for America's future and those are the things you need to talk about," said Christie. "I think focusing on any one particular candidate doesn't make any sense."
He continued that he believes Trump's rise is "a phenomenon we seen often in primary politics," but many candidates will initially do well but all along.
"You can't predict the way it will work," said Christie. "Donald is a friend of mine. I've known him over 13 years. You know, he's someone who is articulate and has a good way at times of presenting himself. We'll see how it goes, it's August. We'll take a deep breath. There is a lot of work between now and when everyone votes."
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