By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — He’s not a candidate for president just yet, but New Jersey governor Chris Christie is getting closer to making an announcement.

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Today in Philadelphia, he spoke at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, unleashing some verbal broadsides at the Obama administration.

“I want to tell you something, Mister President: what we want back is a strong leader in the White House that can help to lead America and lead the world,” he said.

Christie also took aim at potential primary opponents such as Rand Paul.

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“And what Senator Paul has done to this country has made us weaker and more vulnerable,” Christie said.  “And then he has the gall to cut his speeches from the Senate floor and put them on his web site and raise political money off it?  It’s disgraceful.”

Policywise, Christie  proposed, in his blunt style, raising the eligibility age for Social Security and more money for the military.

It had all the markings of a campaign stump speech.  All that was missing was the official announcement.

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