New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday he’s tired of hearing Democrats call for a hike to the minimum wage.
“I'm tired of hearing about the minimum wage,” Christie said during a speech at the Chamber of Commerce. “I really am. I don't think there's a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.’ ”
Democrats have sought to make raising the minimum wage a campaign issue, and it is a ballot measure in several states. President Obama highlighted his own call to raise the minimum wage in a Monday radio interview.
In his Chamber address, Christie offered no clues about when he would decide whether to run for president.
But in a speech that repeatedly attacked the president, he offered one prediction: “I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor.
“We've had this experiment of legislating ... and getting on-the-job training in the White House,” he said. “It has not been pretty.”
Recent polling suggests Christie could be a contender in a GOP primary, though observers have long wondered whether his centrist record in deep blue New Jersey would hurt him with conservative voters. A recent Marist-McClatchy poll found him with 12 percent support from Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters, behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (15 percent) as well as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who both received 13 percent support.
Christie is acting as a surrogate this year and campaigned for Maryland's GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan before speaking at the Chamber of Commerce. Later on Tuesday, he is scheduled to campaign in Michigan and Illinois.
The governor took a few shots during his speech at teachers unions, a common target of his in New Jersey.
He said that teachers unions want to “convince you that what you need to do is just spend more money — not to lengthen the school day or the school year.”
“The teachers union wants exactly what they've always had: an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. day, summers off and not dealing with these children in a direct way,” he said.
He said the education policy in America is based on two things: “how much do you spend and how many benefits do teachers get.”
“The teachers union refuses to be flexible and allow states to be flexible to deal with those children and to deal with dysfunctional families in our urban areas,” he continued to applause from the largely business crowd. “There's a different educational approach that needs to be taken for children who come from difficult home settings.”