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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 15th, 2013
06:31 PM ET

Analysis: Does the GOP need more or less navel-gazing?

"Stop navel-gazing." That was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's advice to his fellow Republicans, who for months have been talking about revamping the party's image.

At Republican National Committee meeting in Boston Thursday, Christie also took swings at potential rivals for the 2016 Republican nomination, saying, "I'm not going to be one of these people who goes and calls our party stupid."

Many believe Christie's comments were aimed at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, also a 2016 presidential candidate, who once said the GOP has to stop being stupid.

"The point that Chris Christie was trying to make was that we have to be in a party that is about ideas, we have to describe what it is that we're for," said CNN political contributor and former adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign Kevin Madden.

The challenge for Christie will be comments he made about aid for Hurricane Sandy that infuriated the party, when he blamed congressional Republicans for what happened with Sandy aid, said Madden.

"The question for him going forward in 2016 is how far can he put those other comments in the past in the rear view mirror?" said Madden.

CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona said Republicans actually need to do a lot more navel-gazing.

"After the whole review of what Republicans did wrong in 2012, they've gone back to do exactly the same thing and kind of dug in," said Cardona. "Like the ridiculous comments about Latinos and women when they talk about women's issues."

Christie's play for 2016 seems a bit familiar, said senior correspondent for Time magazine Michael Crowley.

"It seems like a set up for a Mitt Romney redux: I know to win, I was elected governor in a blue state, and I'm going to show my record of results in a state where I had an antagonistic legislature. It's the same formula," said Crowley.

"There are going to be a lot of Republicans who say, 'Hey we tried at that and didn't work out for us,'" said Crowley.

For more analysis, check out the video above.

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