UPDATE 5:30 p.m. EDT:  Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie opened another front in his national campaign Sunday as he declared the American Federation of Teachers deserves a punch in the face for being more interested in teachers' pay and benefits than in schooling children, Politico reported. It is a theme Christie has repeated in New Jersey, where he is governor.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the governor said: “They’re not for education for our children. They’re for greater membership, greater benefits, greater pay for their members. And they are the single most destructive force in public education in America. I have been saying that since 2009. I have got the scars to show it. But I’m never going to stop saying it, because they never change their stripes.”

Original post:

Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey criticized his party's inability to govern in Congress as conservatives and Tea Party representatives struggled to find common ground. Christie went so far as to say that he'd rather jump off a bridge than be in U.S. Congress, during an interview on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.

“I would rather jump off the Brooklyn Bridge than be in Congress,” Christie said when asked if he would be interested in serving as the speaker of the House of Representatives. The governing body was set to vote for a new speaker Thursday, after John Boehner resigned in September amid continuing fracturing within his party. 

Christie has served as governor of New Jersey since 2010 and was re-elected in 2013. When criticizing the U.S. Congress for a lack of productivity, he cited his own accomplishments as proof of his qualifications to lead the GOP. During his five years in office, Christie has touted his ability to work well with the legislative and judicial branches of state government while making sure that Republicans and Democrats don't reach an impasse.

“I've not only gotten things done like pension reform and tenure reform that people said could never get done, but also I've vetoed more than 400 bills. And every one of those vetoes has been sustained," Christie said during his Sunday interview with ABC, adding: "That shows I can keep the Republican Party together.”

Christie has been campaigning for president and trailing behind many of his competitors in a crowded GOP race. He was solidly at the back of the herd, according to a Public Policy Polling assessment published Tuesday that put support for the governor at only 2 percent.