Christie: GOP shouldn't condescend to women

(CBS News) A new CBS News poll shows President Obama with a 10-point advantage over Mitt Romney among women, but New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie said his party shouldn't have to shift its message to win over women voters.

"I think there's a fallacy about having to cater to a particular sector of the electorate," Christie said on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday. "I think it's condescending to women to say we have to have a different message for women than we have with men."

Christie said that as governor of New Jersey, he's won over women voters "by letting them know: here's where I am, here's where I stand." A new Rutgers University poll shows that women voters are split on Christie, with 44 percent who say they have a favorable opinion of him and 44 percent who have an unfavorable opinion. The governor has a stronger rating among men.

Romney, meanwhile, has consistently lagged behind Mr. Obama among women voters in what is otherwise an extremely close presidential contest. The Obama campaign has tried to maximize its advantage among women by attacking Romney's positions on women's reproductive health rights. Romney, in turn, has recently fine-tuned his message for women, talking about women business leaders and the way his Massachusetts health care reforrms helped women.

Christie said on CTM that in order to gain the support of voters overall, Romney just "has to be himself."

"What people are starving or more than anything else from our political leaders is authenticity," he said. "They just want to know who that person is, really is inside."

The new CBS News poll shows that by 13 points, voters think Mr. Obama better understands their problems than Romney. In order to improve that, Christie said voters must think of Romney, "Ok, now we know him and trust him."

"For the American people, they haven't been introduced yet to Mitt Romney," Christie said. "This next 70 days is going to be Mitt Romney -- if he chooses to -- opening up... People will see things and hear things from him that will open their eyes."

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