MANCHESTER, N.H. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday stressed the importance of electing a Republican presidential nominee who can take on Hillary Clinton's political machine, pointing to former President Bill Clinton's scathing criticism of Democratic challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
"They rolled out old Bill last night to go give old Bernie Sanders a beating," Christie told an an Internet company employee town hall with less than 24 hours before New Hampshire's primary. "I woke up this morning, the stuff he was saying about Bernie Sanders last night, man, he was beating him like a rug -- like only Bill Clinton can do. That's what they are going to do."
Bill Clinton on Sunday slammed Sanders at a campaign event in Milford for what he described as inaccurate and sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton.
Without mentioning Sanders by name, the former president unleashed a blistering attack on Sanders' claim of starting a "political revolution," which Clinton said was "hermetically sealed" from reality.
"The online campaign is, 'Anybody who doesn't agree with me is a tool of the establishment,'" Clinton said, mocking Sanders' critique of Hillary Clinton.
Christie brought up the former president's comments after a voter asked if Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was the equivalent of a "Cuban Barack Obama." Christie has been getting a lot of attention after pummeling Rubio for repeating memorized talking points during the New Hampshire GOP debate on Saturday night.
"He is someone who has a lot of talent, not a lot of experience," Christie said as he paced across the room. "You need to have both to be an effective president."
Christie encouraged voters to evaluate candidates during moments like Saturday's debate, when "the lights are really bright and the pressure is really on." He touted his record as governor, asserting that he is the only GOP contender prepared to take on Hillary Clinton in the general election.
"It's not going to get easier after this. Think you're going to run against Hillary Clinton, think that'll be a picnic?" Christie asked rhetorically.
"Let me tell you, they're among, if not the toughest political firestorm," Christie said. "Sen. Rubio can't stand up and repeat the same answer four times. ... God forbid, from a Republican perspective, if he was standing on the stage with Hillary Clinton."
According to HuffPost Pollster, which averages the latest New Hampshire opinion polls, Christie has about 5.4 percent support, compared with Rubio's 15 percent.
"This is not a game and it's not a TV show; it's the real deal," Christie said. "Lives are on the line. You need someone with experience in the White House. I won't be the flashiest guy, but I ain't bad."