NJ Gov. Christie Shows Softer Side Before Budget Address

ABC News(TRENTON, N.J.) -- The office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday released a video teasing some of the issues the governor will highlight in his budget address Tuesday afternoon.

Named “Saving Lives Lasts Forever,” the video shows Christie’s State of the State address last month, as well as the governor who is up for re-election this year greeting constituents in diners, schools, hospitals and other locales.

Christie is also heard saying, “When you are governor, they often ask you if you are worried about legacy. If you are worried about legacy, you are probably focusing on the wrong thing. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be conscious of it.”

“And there are certain things that you do that you know will be temporary,” Christie says. “There are certain things you do that you hope will be permanent. Budgets come and go, taxes go up and down, but saving lives, saving lives that lasts forever.”

The video ends with the words “Recover. Rebuild. Restore.” written across the screen.

It’s a softer Christie than the tough-talking governor we often see. The video shows the possible 2016 presidential contender who’s more like the man seen in the days after Superstorm Sandy slammed into New Jersey, when he was hugging those affected and helping the most vulnerable, than the one known to tell New Jerseyans and Republicans alike to “shut up.”

The video seems to reflect the Christie administration’s more long-term priorities, including education and the economy. And it’s likely we will hear him discuss on Tuesday how he intends to balance the state’s budget amid tight funds and the need to rebuild after Sandy. It’s also possible that Christie will mention how he intends to deal with a possible expansion of Medicaid.

The address comes a day after news broke that Christie, 50, was “not being invited” to next month’s Conservative Political Action Conference, according to a source close to the event. The confab of conservative activists has almost 40 featured speakers, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who’ll deliver his first public address since losing in November.

Officially, CPAC says the schedule is still being finalized. Despite angering members of his own party in the past, Christie is one of the most popular governors in the country. A state poll by Quinnipiac earlier this month found a 74 percent approval rating for Christie, the highest of any New Jersey governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac polling in the state.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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