Christie to Take Break from Trail for Address to New Jersey

TRENTON (AP) -

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will take a short break from campaigning for president to give his annual State of the State address Tuesday, highlighting what he says are successes while his opponents for the Republican nomination ramp up attacks against his record.

The speech comes at a time when his public support at home is at an all-time low, and as he gains ground in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary on Feb. 9. Christie spent all or part of 261 days in 2015 out of New Jersey, including frequent visits to New Hampshire and dozens of town-hall meetings with voters there.

Rival camps, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio, have ramped up the attacks against Christie.

A new ad from a super PAC funded by Rubio allies says New Jersey residents want to leave the state. It then ticks through the state’s high taxes and low job growth and turns to a scandal where top aides to Christie were charged with shutting down the nation’s busiest bridge as retribution for a mayor who didn’t support his re-election.

The mailing from a super PAC helping Kasich tells voters that Christie talks “tough” but has a “weak record” as an executive.

Christie dismissed his competitors in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, describing the ads and stepped-up rhetoric as “just another day at the ranch for me.”