New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is promising his state will be back "stronger than ever" after Superstorm Sandy and will do it without returning to the "old ways of wasteful spending and rising taxes."

Christie made the pledge in his annual State of the State address Tuesday and focused on New Jersey's recovery from its most costly natural disaster.

It was more a pep talk than a blueprint for the state's future, more testimony to the state's grit than policy prescription.

Christie says the state is "recovering and growing, not declining and descending."

Christie has a re-election bid for this year and is often mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016.