(THEDAILYBEAST) — “It’s ridiculous,” Chris Christie said.

New Jersey’s blunt-spoken, bipartisanly-inclined Republican governor was discussing the ongoing federal shutdown and debt ceiling crisis plaguing the nation’s capital. “You get hired to do a job. Do your job!” he said. “There are too many people down here who spend all their time pontificating rather than working. And that applies to both parties. I don’t have patience for that.”

The 51-year-old Christie—who many hope will launch a presidential campaign once he gets past what is widely expected to be an easy reelection on Nov. 5—was making a rare visit to Washington, D.C. Technically, however, he was in the sovereign nation of Italy, having been selected to receive a Points of Light voluntarism award during a black-tie dinner Friday at the Italian Embassy. “My mother”—the late Sondra Grasso, a descendant of Sicilians and a Democrat to boot—“would always be happy to have me spend any time in Italy,” he quipped.

Earlier in the day, during a meeting with the editorial board of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Christie had suggested that the dysfunction in Washington drives him to thoughts of suicide: “If I was in the Senate right now, I’d kill myself.”

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