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

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November 6th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

Christie: 'I don't need to fence mend' with GOP

After a landslide victory in New Jersey Tuesday night, people are casting Gov. Chris Christie as the man that could potentially put the White House back in Republican hands.

But just eight months ago, Time Magzaine dubbed Florida Senator Marco Rubio as the "Republican savior."

Rubio tried to downplay the significance of Christie's win in an interview with CNN.

"Clearly (Christie) was able to speak to the hopes and aspirations of people within New Jersey. That's important. We want to win everywhere and Governor Christie has certainly shown he has a way of winning in New Jersey, in states like New Jersey... so I congratulate him on that," Rubio told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

Catch that? New Jersey, New Jersey, New Jersey.

"The bottom line is that right now ... Chris Christie is the flavor of the month. And he did prove that he could win. And the truth is, he proved that he could win with some of the very demographic groups that Rubio is talking about and has been talking about needing to pull back, like the Latino vote," said Bash.

But there are many Republicans who think Christie has fences to mend and bridges to build with the GOP.

"I understand that everyone is upset because I’ve said some things. But they need to learn that about me. If they are going to hire me to do a job, I’m going to do the job for the people that I’m representing, and they are going to hear it from me," Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper Tuesday.

"I don’t think I need to fence mend, I think people just have to learn who I am," said Christie.

"He built a profile as somebody who was quick to criticize Republicans. If you remember after Sandy, he criticized Republicans as being the ones that were holding it up," said CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Kevin Madden.

"He was so quick to criticize Republicans. And he gained a lot of favor and a lot of love from the mainstream media ... and that put him in a difficult position with a lot of base voters," said Madden.

Christie appealed to regular people by staying on message, and talking about jobs and putting the economy back on track, said former Democratic Senator from Arkansas Blanche Lincoln, now chairwoman of "It's My Business Coalition."

Stylistically, however, if he wants to appeal to the South, "he could add a touch of graciousness," said Lincoln. "It's not going to be translatable everyone across the country. But that's for Republicans to deal with."

For more of political analysis, check out the video above.

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