The Washington Times - September 19, 2012, 12:27PM

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie struck back Wednesday at critics of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, arguing that the furor over his statement that nearly half of Americans are “dependent upon government” is a media-generated distraction designed to take away from the true issues in this year’s campaign.

During a radio interview Wednesday morning with WKXW-FM in New Jersey, Mr. Christie accused news organizations of jumping on Mr. Romney’s comments made at a May private fundraiser in an effort to help the Obama campaign by shifting focus away from what he considers the president’s “poor performance” and “lack of a plan for the next four years.”

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“Some people in the media should just turn in their media credential and get an ‘Obama for president’ credential, the way they focus on things that people said back last May,” the outspoken governor said.

Mr. Romney has not backed off of his comments at the Boca Raton, Fla. fundraiser, but has said they were “not elegantly stated.”

Video surfaced this week of the event, during which Mr. Romney characterized 47 percent of voters as people who consider themselves entitlement-dependent victims and said his “job is not to worry about those people.”

Mr. Christie said he thinks the GOP nominee simply believes that all Americans “should have skin in the game,” and that the current administration has allowed government to become too large and expensive.

“Everybody should be part of the fair shared sacrifice,” Mr. Christie said. “And [Mr. Romney] wants everybody to be able to have the opportunity to be able to lift themselves up and their families up.”