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Chris Christie delivers his State of the State address in Trenton, NJ on Jan. 15, 2016.
Julio Cortez—AP

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pushed back on criticism of his record from Sen. Marco Rubio, suggesting the attacks showed his younger rival’s “age and lack of experience.”

In an interview Friday with the Des Moines Register editorial board, Christie, who was beginning a four-day swing through Iowa, said criticism of his changes in position on guns and abortion don’t bother him.

“I’m not going to go back over to the Des Moines Marriott and crawl up into the fetal position because someone is calling me a liar or a flip-flopper,” he said, before bringing up Rubio’s support and then abandonment of the Gang of Eight immigration bill. “I find it ironic. This is the guy who authored the gang of eight bill.”

“He’s showing his age and his lack of experience,” Christie continued. “He hasn’t run against someone like me before.”

Christie sought to set expectations in Iowa, saying he wasn’t campaign for a specific place, but rather to beat Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee in the state, and to use that momentum to succeed in New Hampshire.

“I’m not going to win the Iowa caucuses. How about I make that declaration?” Christie quipped when asked how he’d perform in the state. “But I don’t have to. I just think I’m going to do a heck of a lot better here than most people think.”

“I want to be the governor who does best,” he added.

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