Gov. Chris Christie says he turned around a financially struggling state by shrinking government, enacting business tax breaks and trimming regulatory red tape.

Governor Christie delivers Budget Address (NJTV)

The Republican told a commercial real estate development group in Edison Wednesday that he's made good on the core promise of his first gubernatorial campaign: to be a strong leader.

Christie touted the 5,200 fewer state employees now on the payroll and the $2.3 billion in business tax reductions his administration has provided.

He says that's resulted in two years of the best private-sector job growth since 1999.

The governor is seeking re-election in November.

His likely challenger, Sen. Barbara Buono of Metuchen, is a progressive Democrat.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.