New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) last month. (John Gress/ REUTERS)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told his party's leaders Thursday that they need to stop worrying about philosophical debates and focus on winning elections -- a potential preview of his argument for why he should earn their presidential nomination in 2016.

“For our ideas to matter, we have to win," Christie said in a speech to the Republican National Committee in Boston, according to a person at the closed-door speech. "Because if we don’t win, we don’t govern. And if we don’t govern, all we do is shout to the wind. And so I am going to do anything I need to do to win.”

Christie also appeared to create some distance between himself and another potential GOP presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.