New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's announcement Tuesday that he's seeking the GOP presidential nomination is hardly unexpected. In fact, it would have been more surprising if he didn't throw his hat into the ring.

Chris Christie addresses a town hall meeting in Cedar Grove April 23. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

For months, Christie has been laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign, taking positions on key issues, including opposing an easy pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, speaking out against additional gun control measures and opposing any form of legalized marijuana.

Since the end of last year, Christie has discussed many of these things on Townsquare Media's Ask The Governor program.

"I speak differently than most people, I'm very direct, I'm very honest, I'm very blunt, and I'm willing to take the ramifications for my conduct and my actions," he said. "I don't know if that's common in politics, I haven't seen it be that common."

After the recent shooting massacre in a black southern church, Christie called for a new honest dialogue on racism, and an effort to address the underlying issue of fear.

"It's fear on both sides of violence, of rejection, fear on both sides of the differences between us. We need to break down that fear," he said.

He has also portrayed himself as a no-nonsense guy who's not afraid to have America become a no-nonsense world leader.

"There's a big difference in my mind between love and respect, and what we should be shooting for is to have the world respect us," he said. "If they then love us thereafter, that's great and I welcome it."

On strongly supporting renewal of the Patriot Act Christie said "we have this misguided view that if we weaken ourselves, that if we pull back, that people will love us, and they won't. What I believe the majority of the world wants from America is for America to lead and the reason is when we lead the bad guys don't."

He said that's because when America leads, we don't ask for anything in return.

"We're not trying to conquer them, we're just trying to give the space to be free and make their own determinations about their lives," he said.

Christie also said he completely supports mandatory vaccinations, but moving forward, "mandating new vaccinations, parents have to have a role and a voice in those mandates to make sure everybody understands why something is being mandated."

While complaining about the gridlock in Washington, Christie has said he's always motivated by actually accomplishing things so if he were ever to decide to run for president.

"It would be predominantly because I felt like I could make a difference in actually moving the country forward and getting things done," he said.

If he felt that was an impossible task, said Christie, he probably wouldn't run.

"You can't get out of bed in the morning if you feel like you can't accomplish something," Christie said.

On Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, he questioned how she would know what Americans are really concerned about -- and wondered if she would find out when she's traveling making paid speeches.

Christie also recently took a pot-shot at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, perhaps his biggest GOP rival.

"Part of the reason why there are so many candidates is because his strategy - of trying to intimidate other people - didn't work, he was trying to talking about all the money is was going to raise and all the rest of it, it was the Bush name and he was going to dominate, well that hasn't happened, in fact quite the opposite," Christie said.