“Leadership is about nuance.”

Those words were uttered on Monday by none other than Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and national GOP darling often caricatured for his hard-charging, unapologetic style.

In an address at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Christie touted his record during his two-and-a-half years as governor -- and at one point described a vision of leadership grounded in what he termed “principled compromise.”

The key excerpt (which comes at the 1:17-minute mark in the video below):

“In the end, my message is that leadership is the only thing that will make the difference. It’s the only thing that will make the difference. And leadership is not just about obstructionism. Leadership is also not about caving every time you get pushed. Leadership is about nuance, and about understanding and communicating to people, ‘Here is what I stand for, and on these issues I will not be moved,’ but then on other issues leaving room for discussion and accomplishing principled compromise where it can be.”

At a time when President Obama is emphasizing the political “stalemate” between the parties in Washington and when GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have calibrated their message to focus on “common ground” rather than compromise, Christie’s comments come as something of a departure from the rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.

They also stand in contrast to some of the other headlines Christie has made in recent days. (Look no farther than this TMZ story from last Friday: “Chris Christie – Fightin’ Words on the Jersey Shore”)

What’s your take on Christie’s remarks at Brookings? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.