(CNN) – In a series of wide-ranging interviews Wednesday morning, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sidestepped more questions about his potential interest in a presidential run and pushed for an expansive debate on gun violence.
His comments came one day after the Republican governor gave his annual State of the State address, a high-profile speech that focused almost entirely on recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy.
But Wednesday morning, Christie was eager to talk about more issues, including the ramped up debate on firearms, as well as the upcoming fiscal showdowns in Washington.
The governor in particular argued that any conversation on gun regulations must also feature discussions about mental health illness and violence in video games. Pressed on whether he'd support a federal assault weapons ban–a proposal floating around in Washington–Christie said he couldn't give a strict "yes" or "no" answer.
"It's not that easy," he said on NBC's "Today." "The fact is these are complicated issues, and my point is I'm willing to have that conversation. Now that's a lot more than what other people are willing to say...But you've got to deal with these other issues, otherwise you're just being political."
Video games should especially be addressed, Christie added, arguing they have a desensitizing effect on children. He said substance abuse should also be looked at as a factor in violence, telling a story about a woman on crack who decapitated her own baby.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks New Jersey as having the second toughest gun laws in the country–a point Christie made sure to mention in his interviews. Asked why he never brought up the issue in his big address Tuesday, Christie said everyone has to pick and choose what they're going to say.
"I really thought that given what's happened in our state, that the majority of time should be spent on talking about Sandy," he said on ABC's "This Week," adding they'll have "plenty of time" to talk about other issues.
Asked what strategy the Republican Party should take in the looming debates on debt, Christie argued the GOP needs to "stand firm on getting some real significant spending reductions."
"We've now done what the president wanted us to do. He wanted to raise taxes on the highest earning Americans, and Republicans have now acquiesced to that," he said on NBC. "Now it's time for the president to stand up and say here's what I'm going to do on spending."
Some in his own party blasted Christie for praising President Barack Obama's handling of the aftermath following Superstorm Sandy. The two were complimentary of each other when they appeared together to survey the deadly storm's damage, less than a week before the election.
But Christie said when it comes to policy, it's different. There's no 'bromance,' so to say.
"I don't offer my advice to the president in that way. What I've dealt with the president on is Hurricane Sandy. That's what the nature of our relationship is," he said on NBC.
As for his prospects in 2016, Christie said his focus is his current job–where he has approval ratings over 70%–but conceded he would be more ready in four years than he was in 2011, when he was courted by several donors to run for president.
And while Christie was quick to repeatedly define his state as a model for bipartisan success, given that he works with a Democratic legislature, the governor said 2016 is still too far away.
"Anybody who tries to plan four years from now, you know, is crazy," he said on ABC. "The fact of the matter is I'm going to do the job my mother gave me, which is to do the job that you have right now as well as you can do it. And your future will take care of itself.'"
According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released mid-December, 59% of Republicans said they are very or somewhat likely to support Christie for the GOP nomination in 2016. The only person with higher numbers was Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate in 2012, who had support from 75% of Republicans.
After his high-profile attacks on House Speaker John Boehner last week over a delayed vote on the federal relief package, Christie pushed back against questions that he may have trouble in winning support from party leadership should he decide to run.
"I think that if you have views where you're being effective and you're getting things done for the people, then anybody, not just me, anybody can win," he said on the CBS program, "This Morning."
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.