Washington (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared to set his sights on President Obama Thursday night at a dinner sponsored by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, saying, "We're done with soaring rhetoric."
The Republican governor with a tough-guy reputation never mentioned the president by name but added, "Soaring rhetoric feels good for a little while, but if there's no follow-through, all that's left is the same problems except bigger because we put them off."
Christie's comments were reported by the National Journal.
But Christie, who has quickly become a rising star in the GOP, directed fire at "demagoguery" on both sides of the isle.
"Both parties have within them members who are afraid to step out and afraid to tell the truth because they've seen the demagoguery of the past and what happened to people who got in way of that demagoguery," he said. "It usually was not positive for political future.
Christie, who has drawn praise in conservative circles for his willingness to call for austere budget cuts in New Jersey, added Americans need to accept the idea that "the party is over."
"When you're in this deep a hole, of course you stop digging, but the other part is you need to climb out. And it's always hard, and often not pleasant."