New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Superstorm Sandy hit the state's economy hard, but he won't let New Jersey slip back to what he described as the wasteful spending and rising taxes of his predecessor.

In his annual State of the State message Tuesday, Christie acknowledged the economic blow from the Oct. 29 storm but said New Jersey is catching up. He focused almost exclusively on the storm.

In a prepared version of his remarks, Christie called Sandy recovery "above politics" and again called on Congress to approve financial aid.

Christie's address comes more than two months after the storm crashed into the state, causing 40 deaths and an estimated $37 billion in damage and mitigation costs.