Governor Chris Christie finds himself back in the national spotlight with 5 scheduled appearances on the network and cable news morning shows and the cover of Time magazine.

Governor Christie on cover of Time magazine (Twitter)

The Governor made the rounds with a mix of live & taped interviews following his State of the State address and took questions about gun control and his political future.

NBC's Today Show also tweeted a preview of a Time magazine cover  featuring the headline "The Boss" over a stern-faced Christie, which also titles him the "Master of Disaster" for his Hurricane Sandy efforts and railing against Republican House Speaker John Boehner when he delayed voting on a bill for Sandy financial relief.

Christie told Don Imus on the Fox Business Channel the photo makes him look like a "mob boss."  “I’m reporting Time magazine to the, like, anti-Italian defamation league. I mean, look at that thing. It says ‘boss’ underneath. I mean come on. I can’t wait for that thing to come home for my kids to see it.”

Today host Matt Lauer pointed out the "Boss"  reference is not to his favorite singer Bruce Springsteen but rather an opportunity to "take the reins of the Republican party."

Christie was challenged on his standard answer that he is Governor of New Jersey, pointing out that he seems to be "unhappy" with the party given his attack on GOP congressional leadership. The Republican responded that losing the last two presidential elections shows his party  "need to be thinking about doing something different."

Gun Control

Campaign flyer shown during Governor Christie's interview on Today (NBC)

Christie was asked by Lauer about his 1995 call for a support on assault weapons in New Jersey, recalling his calling his Assembly challenger's wish to repeal the ban as "dangerous, crazy and radical." Christie says he's willing to have a conversation about stricter gun laws, but says policymakers also must address the mental health system, improve access to drug treatment and look at the impact of violent video games. He resisted Lauer's attempt to pigeon-hole him into a straight up "yes or no" answer about a ban on assault weapons calling such an attempt "political" during a short interview.

During the CBS This Morning interview, Norah O'Donnell asked why Christie didn't talk about gun control in the State of the State. "In a half-hour address, you pick and choose what you're going to talk about," and that the ongoing recovery from Superstorm Sandy took precedence. He said that his criticism of Congress paid off because "we have the whole House of Representatives listening to us now."

Fiscal Cliff 2: The Deficit Ceiling

Christie went back on the offensive against Obama and called on the President and Congressional Democrats to offer "real significant spending reductions." Republicans "acquiesced" to the President's wishes for tax increases on the rich according to Christie and added "if he's going to be a credible partner in compromise" he needs to offer up a spedning reduction plan.

Lauer asked that given his "bromance" with Obama following Sandy could he help forge further compromise. Christie says Obama is not seeking his advice on other issues beyond storm relief and he will continue to speak out publicallty that go against White House policy. He invited Congress to come to Trenton to see how compromise works in his dealing with the New Jersey legislature.

Cory Booker Scared Off?

Christie was asked on CBS' This Morning if he thought his high popularity in the polls "scared" Cory Booker off from a Statehouse run. Calling Booker a friend, Christie laughed and said "I think that Cory made the decision that he can best serve the people of this state...running for the United States Senate" in 2014."

Christie also appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe.


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Jason Allentoff & The Associated Press contributed to this story.