Republican Presidential Debate

GOP's Christie: I'm the candidate to beat Hillary Clinton

Gov. Christie: I'm tested, ready and mature
Gov. Christie: I'm tested, ready and mature
Gov. Christie: We're going to fight
Gov. Christie: We're going to fight
Gov. Christie: Let the market work
Gov. Christie: Let the market work

Chris Christie said Thursday he's a battle-tested candidate who can take on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and win the White House for Republicans.

Clinton is the "real adversary" in the presidential race, Christie said. "The differences I have with Hillary Clinton are so much broader and more profound than the differences I have with the folks on that stage."

The New Jersey governor appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" the morning after Wednesday night's Republican debate in Colorado. He said the GOP field did a good job on stage talking about the issues, if not playing a bit too much "gotcha."

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Chrisite on Thursday also addressed corporate inversions, responding to questions about a Wall Street Journal report that U.S.-based Pfizer approached Botox-maker Allergan, located in Ireland, about a buyout.

He said the government should not be in charge of trying to ban or stop inversions — that's when U.S. companies buy foreign rivals and move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying higher American corporate taxes.

"You know why we have corporate inversions? We have the worst corporate tax rate in the world," Christie said. "Don't ban corporate inversions or put the government in charge of stopping it. Stop the causes of corporate inversions."

U.S. companies don't want to leave, he continued. "But they're not stupid. And they're not going to pay exorbitant taxes if they don't have to."

He said he doesn't want Washington to have any more control over the economy than it already does. "We've had seven years of central, nearly socialist-type of control of our economy. And we've had lousy growth," he said.

Christie's blunt manner was also on display during the debate as he looked to jumpstart his campaign. He often looked directly at the camera, speaking directly to voters on the issues.

He also scored points on the stage and in the audience for exasperatingly questioning a discussion about fantasy football regulations instead of talking about the soaring national debt and national security.

According to the RealClear Politics polling aggregator, Christie has only 2.4 percent support nationally, with the leaders Ben Carson and Donald Trump each garnering more than 20 percent.