- Associated Press - Friday, August 29, 2014

POINT PLEASANT, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie kicked off Labor Day weekend on Friday with visits to the Jersey shore, where he greeted beachgoers, posed for photos and criticized the president’s handling of foreign policy.

The governor spent the morning strolling along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and chatting with fans in Point Pleasant Beach, where he touted how much progress the state has made since Superstorm Sandy.

The potential 2016 contender also weighed in on foreign policy, criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of militants in the Middle East.

Asked about the president’s statement that he didn’t yet have a strategy for dealing with the violent militant group seeking to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East, Christie was quick to pounce.

“That’s not a revelation, is it?” he said. “It’s scary to hear the president say that, but I don’t think that we needed the president to announce that. I think we see what’s happening there, that he doesn’t have a strategy. And that’s really unfortunate for a president in his sixth year to not have a strategy there.”

Christie slapped down questions about what he thinks should be done, saying he wouldn’t discuss foreign policy while standing on a boardwalk.

Christie also declined to weigh in on speculation that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney may decide to run again.

“I’m not going to talk about that stuff,” said Christie, insisting the decision was up to Romney. “I don’t want anybody telling me what I should do or not do and I’m certainly not going to tell Mitt what he should or shouldn’t do.”

Christie has made a tradition of visiting the shore to encourage tourism.

AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts more than 1 million New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend, up 1 percent from last year.