Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign dispatched New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to the nation’s first voting state of Iowa on Wednesday to help make the case for the increasingly vulnerable Republican front-runner with less than a month to go before the caucuses.

And indeed, Christie used his appearance at the Kum & Go headquarters here to reiterate his full-throated support for the former Massachusetts governor, calling him someone with “an extraordinary heart” and “the most qualified, best man for the job.”

But Christie also spent a significant portion of his remarks extolling his own leadership style and vision for the country and seemed to relish stoking speculation about his national ambitions.

“I don’t try to pretend that I’m the smartest guy in the room because I’m not, and I don’t try to pretend that I have the answer to every question, but here’s what I know how to do,” Christie said. “I know how to decide, and I know how to lead, and I know who I am, and I know what I want our country to be.”

Christie endorsed Romney in October after deciding against his own presidential run, but during his remarks here, the colorful New Jersey governor often sounded as if he were a candidate.

“If the polls say something that I don’t agree with, I’m not going to concede to it and change my position,” Christie said. “I’m going to go out there and try to convince you that you’re wrong. That’s the kind of leadership I think we need in America now.”

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