By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited a Camden middle school to, in effect, take a victory lap as he touted the many changes coming to the city and its troubled school system over his two terms in office.

At the KIPP Whittier Middle School, Christie spent almost an hour insisting the improvements in Camden, from police protection to better schools to a growing economy, all were the result of cooperation from the ground up.

“We built alliances. We listened to each other. We yelled at each other,” the governor said. “But together we unleashed the endless potential of this city and the amazing people that call it home who, for all of these years, have just been hungry for an opportunity to be part of the solution.”

Christie briefly touched on the upcoming election and, without naming anyone in particular, said that talk of turning back on many of the changes made in Camden schools would only hurt the children.

“Parents, teachers and other public advocates cannot allow the progress we have made to slide backwards because of petty, old politics,” he added. “Don’t let it happen.”

The governor heaped praise on many people, including outgoing Mayor Dana Redd and promised to be rooting for Camden from the sidelines when he leaves office in January.