PARSIPPANY, N.J. (CBSDC/AP) — Gov. Chris Christie’s appearance at the NAACP’s annual state conference has drawn mixed reviews.

The governor called for an increase in “respectful discourse” during his speech Saturday at the event in Parsippany, saying people can disagree on the issues without resorting to name-calling or other demeaning behavior.

As an example, he noted that while he has taken action on many issues supported by the civil rights group, they also remain at odds on other key matters.

Christie also emphasized that he has no plans to run for U.S. Senate after serving out his second term as governor, saying he would be “bored to death.”

“When I say I’m never running for public office in New Jersey again, I mean: I’m never running for public office in New Jersey again. The only job left for me to run for is United States Senate, and let me just say this: I would rather die than be in the United States Senate,” Christie said. “I would rather die.”

He added: “Could you imagine me, banging around that chamber with 99 other people, asking for a motion on the amendment in the subcommittee? Forget it. It would be over, everybody. You’d watch me just walk out and walk right into the Potomac River and drown. That would be it.”

Some NAACP officials said Christie’s appearance was a “good faith effort” that could help open lines of communication between the organization and his administration.

But other group members accused the possible Republican presidential candidate of political opportunism, noting that this was the first time Christie had addressed the conference since he became governor.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)


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