(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wouldn’t say definitively whether or not he was considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination Tuesday, instead referring audience members at a speech in California to an online video that compiles his past denials.
Christie’s response was a stark contrast to past replies to the same question, which until now he has answered with a resounding “no.”
Responding to another audience member’s plea for him to enter the race, Christie had a similarly vague response.
“It’s extraordinarily flattering,” Christie said. “But a heartfelt message is not a reason to do it. The reason has to reside within me.”
Christie made the comments following a foreign policy speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The speech will likely do little to quiet the increased speculation the New Jersey governor is rethinking an entry into the GOP race.
Christie peppered his address – titled “Real American Exceptionalism” – with the kind of language generally incorporated into a GOP stump speech: pushing his record as a strong leader, slamming President Barack Obama for lacking such a record, and evoking the memory of one of the most popular presidents of the past several decades, Ronald Reagan.
Christie even waded into a current hot-button issue on the GOP campaign: illegal immigrants receiving in-state tuition at public universities. Two GOP candidates, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, sparred over the issue at last week’s GOP presidential debate.
Christie jumped into the fray Tuesday.
“I need to be crystal clear,” Christie said. “I want every child that comes to New Jersey to be educated. I do not believe that we should be subsidizing through taxpayer money, their education.”
Christie continued, “From my perspective, that’s not a heartless position, that’s a common sense position.”
At the debate, Perry suggested that other candidates “had no heart” for slamming his policy in Texas of allowing children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition.
In his speech, Christie reserved his harshest words for the president, warning that Obama’s reelection campaign could tear the nation apart.
“President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve reelection,” Christie said. “This is not a leadership style, this is a re-election strategy. Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others.”
Christie continued, “What happened to State Senator Obama? When did he decide to become one of the ‘dividers’ he spoke of so eloquently in 2004? There is, of course, a different choice. That choice is the way Ronald Reagan led America in the 1980s.”
Christie also used the event to tout his own record as governor of New Jersey, telling the audience that he had worked through divided government successfully.
“In New Jersey over the last 20 months, you have actually seen divided government that is working,” Christie said. “To be clear, it does not mean that we have no argument or acrimony. There are serious disagreements, sometimes expressed loudly Jersey style."
Christie continued, “We identified the problems. We proposed specific means to fix them. We educated the public on the dire consequences of inaction. And we compromised, on a bipartisan basis, to get results. We took action.”
Christie’s speech comes amid reports the New Jersey governor is receiving renewed pressure to run for president from prominent Republicans who aren’t satisfied with the current crop of GOP presidential candidates.
Christie has vehemently denied all previous suggestions that he is interested in becoming president, saying the timing isn’t right for him or his family.
"It's got to be something that you and your family really believes is not only the right thing to do at that time in your life, both for you and your country. And for me the answer to that it isn't,” Christie said last week at Rider University.
In June, Christie told CNN’s Piers Morgan, "I'm 100 percent certain I'm not going to run."