WHIPPANY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Gov. Chris Christie has traveled to Morris County to sell his budget plans for the upcoming year.

But the potential Republican presidential contender spent most of his town hall-style event Tuesday discussing other topics, including his assessment of what makes a winning candidate and his assertion that rights and liberties come from God, not government.

He said candidates need to be direct and blunt to win over voters. He also criticized President Barack Obama for relying too much on government to solve problems.

Christie also upped his rhetoric on the budget, warning that the state would eventually go bankrupt without an overhaul of public workers’ pension and health benefit systems. He’s proposed a new 401 (k)-style option for new workers and lower health care costs to pay off pension liabilities.

But the New Jersey governor¬†still insists he’s not sure if he’ll run for president.

“Well, we’re in the process of making that decision and I’ll make the decision by the spring, early summer,” he said.

But if you listened to his language, it sounded like he was wooing a conservative audience, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. Twice he spoke about individual liberties and freedoms.

“Those are not given to us by the government, those are given to us by God,” Christie said.

Following the event, Christie did not take any questions from reporters.

He will spend the rest of the week in Pennsylvania, Texas and Michigan.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)