Chris Wallace, hosting Fox News Sunday, tried to toss Republican Governor Chris Christie (NJ) a lifeline on Sunday, asking him to clarify his comments that he was “tired of hearing about the minimum wage”. But Christie wasn’t having any of that; he knows how to hang himself with Fox rope.
Ignoring his plunging approval ratings in his state and the fact that just days ago he was claiming that he had been misunderstood, Christie announced that he knows what the country needs, and it’s not a discussion about the minimum wage. “What we need to do in this country is not have debate over a higher minimum wage. We have to have a debate over creating better-paying middle class jobs in this country.”
Oh. And here logic thought that raising the minimum wage would equal a better paying job. Apparently not in GOP world.
Wallace tried to help Christie dress up his tax cuts to big business and cuts to pensions in “concern”, explaining to the Republican governor that people earning the minimum wage feel a few bucks would be a big deal for them, “For people making $7.25 an hour — the minimum wage now, they say that getting an increase to $10 an hour would make a big difference in their lives, and you were being cavalier about it.”
But Christie, who knows nothing about living on the minimum wage due in part to his big government salary funded ironically by the people whose pensions he cut, wasn’t buying what the people report about their own experiences of trying to make $7.25 an hour work.
He dismissed their concerns with his trademarked Christie sneer, “I’m saying it exactly as I see it. What we need to do in this country is not have debate over a higher minimum wage. We have to have a debate over creating better-paying middle class jobs in this country.”
This explains why last year Christie vetoed a proposal to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25/hr. You see, “better paying jobs” are not had with better pay. Please try to keep up.
It’s odd for a Republican to claim that we need “debate” about job creation, especially as a member of the party that in Congress refuses to pass any job creations bills just because Obama wants them. Adding salt to their “trickle down” wounds is the fact that under President Obama, private sector job growth continues to shatter the record set by the last President to set records for private sector job growth. That president was also a Democrat — Bill Clinton.
Christie doesn’t exactly have a banging record on job creation in his state. Josh Israel at Think Progress pointed out:
… New Jersey’s 2009 unemployment rate of 9.7 percent mirrored the national average — but the current 6.5 percent rate is 0.6 percent higher than the 5.9 percent rate unemployment nationally. Over that time, as Wallace noted, the state has had its credit rating downgraded more times than under any other governor in New Jersey history, and to the second lowest level in the nation.
Christie then tried to dismiss people making the minimum wage as the “political elite”, “If that somehow doesn’t comport with what people in the political elite want, well, I’m sorry.”
That’s called moving the Koch goal post. A lot.
If Christie doesn’t care about the people’s plight, maybe the economy? Days ago, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez tried to explain to Christie that “70 percent of GDP growth is consumption”, apparently to no avail. Studies show that Republican governors are associated with lower rates of growth, while state spending has a positive impact on growth, so Christie’s refusal to face economic realities is not new.
Sorry, facts, but Christie doesn’t require evidence or reports of real life experiences before rendering decisions. Thanks anyway.
It’s unclear why Republicans feel they need more debate on how to create jobs, since they promised everyone that their tax cuts to millionaires and big business would trickle down. Years later, as that has not happened, and indeed many states with Republican governors are doing worse than the national average, it’s high time to ask them why they expect the people to keep letting Republicans bang their head into the same brick wall and expecting different results.
There was no “debate” over Republicans’ tax cuts for the top 2%. Yet they feel we need more debate about decent paying jobs. In which the word “debate” means duck and dodge for the Koch Brothers’ agenda. It is inevitable that Republicans who carry Koch water will end up making fools of themselves as they try to justify policies that don’t make any sense and fly in the face of facts.
And this is how Chris Christie managed to take a Fox lifeline and toss it overboard with his surly immunity to facts and obtuse sense of being invincible.
Image: Screengrab/Fox News
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.