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N.J. Gov. Christie jabs Obama on budget talks

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has fervently - and repeatedly - emphasized that he is not going to run for president in 2012. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped GOP leadership from trying to change his mind: in May, citing dissatisfaction with the current field of Republicans, a handful of influential Iowa donors apparently attempted to recruit him for the race. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday called on President Obama to be more involved in budget talks with Republicans and said the president should borrow a page from his playbook.

A deal he brokered this week with Democrats on pension payments would not have happened with surrogates in charge, the Republican governor said.

"You can't negotiate through a second person," Christie said on NBC's Today Show, "I didn't have to be dragged in the room."

Christie worked with the Democratic-controlled New Jersey Assembly to pass legislation that requires 500,000 teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers to pay a larger portion of their health insurance premiums based on income. Opposed by the public sector unions, the legislation also raises the retirement age, moves Christie claims could save the state tens of billions of dollars over the next few decades.

"I would not have been able to achieve this for New Jersey without the Senate President Steve Sweeney and the Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Oliver. Everybody came together, put aside party," Christie said.

Everyone needs to take risk and "bring skin to the game," he said.

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