Chris Christie’s New Campaign Strategy? Run On Slashing Social Security and Medicare

chris christie

On Friday, Robert Costa at The Washington Post reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie disclosed his 2016 platform to a group of Republican policy analysts on Monday. Christie told them the centerpiece of his campaign will be calling for overhauling Social Security and Medicare. Christie outlined his plans on a conference call with a select group of Republican insiders, including former Bush administration officials, and Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign policy director, Lanhee Chen. Governor Christie told the group, that he planned to propose sweeping reforms to Social Security and Medicare.

Christie supporters have already begun circulating copies of a 2011 speech the Governor made at the American Enterprise Institute, where he urged Congress to raise the retirement age for Social Security benefits eligibility. In the same speech, he told Republican members of Congress that if they did not work to overhaul Medicare, he would be helping their Republican primary opponents in the next election.

Governor Christie, originally touted by the press as the “moderate” candidate in the GOP field, is desperately trying to stay relevant in the Republican primaries. Chris Christie had hoped that battling the teacher’s unions in New Jersey would have made him popular with the right-wing base. However, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stole Christie’s anti-union thunder by entering the race. No matter how mean Chris Christie is to school teachers, he can’t seem to project himself as the most anti-union candidate when Scott Walker is still around.

Governor Christie is lagging badly behind Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and even political neophyte, Ben Carson in the national polls of presumed 2016 Republican primary voters. With his prospects flagging, and his popularity with conservatives under water, Christie has decided to abandon whatever pretenses he had left of being a moderate. He has decided to run as a puppet for the billionaire Koch Brothers, in the hopes that he can somehow out right-flank his GOP opponents on the issue of “entitlement reform”.

While Christie’s proposal may win accolades from budget hawks and a handful of extreme right-wing economists, they aren’t likely to improve his presidential prospects any. Although Republican voters love anti-government and anti-entitlement rhetoric, they get squeamish when politicians actually target specific programs that benefit them directly.

Because of that disconnect, polls over the last five years, show that most Republicans, and even the vast majority of self-identified tea party voters, consistently oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Campaigning directly on slashing Social Security and Medicare is a ruinous political strategy. Governor Christie is welcome to try it, but if he does, his long odds of winning will get even longer.

37 Replies to “Chris Christie’s New Campaign Strategy? Run On Slashing Social Security and Medicare”

  1. He should run on ‘slashing calories’..

    he eats more in one day (obviously_)than an average family of 3 on foods-tamps does in a week.. Not to mention AT THE TAXPAYERS expense.. Just like that Cadillac health care plan we pay for for him, while he tries to make sure others ‘suck it up’ and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. even if they have no boots.

  2. This guy looked like he had a future because he was honest. Boy was that wrong. He’s a typical Republican politican who will do or say anything to get elected.

    Thee are no good Republican candidates as usual. I hope to God none of them win with the CoCK brothers out there.

  3. I wouldn’t trust Christie in a chicken coop full of hens and eggs……He’ll throw the Fox out and take the eggs AND chickens home for dinner!

  4. I’d bet there are many ignorant tea bag/repubs and seniors who will vote for him anyway because Faux told them so.

  5. He just wants to ensure the Koch brothers that he hates the elderly, disabled, vets, and poor as much as they do. To Republicans, “We the People”, is restricted to billionaires and corporations.

  6. Think of it this way. It is like 1984. Big Brother is the Koch Brothers. The Inner Party are the right-wing billionaires. The Outer Party the Tea Party incapable of a single thought that is not a John Birch slogan. And the proles, the rest of us, animals.

  7. I have paid into Social Security since I was 18 years old. There is NO justification for taking that away from me. Screw your thinkinking. Actually you don’t think at all do you?

  8. He cut 2.4 Billion from the retirees in NJ to make up for his budget shortfall. He was sued for the 2.4 B by pension fund executors. His mismanagement of Sandy funds will bite him on his giant ass.

  9. Who knows about Christie’s parents. What we do know is that the rest of us have parents and grandparents and people who worked all their lives and lived decently and now depend on Social Security and Medicare to get them through their old ages in some degree of security. Not everyone had a pension plan at all, much less a gold plated one like politicians and Wall Streeters and corporate executives. Not everyone had spare money during their lives to save and invest into six and seven digit savings. It is horrifying to see the basic decency of this country become defunct. To see Republicans deride Social Security and Medicare and turn away from the people who built this country and fought our wars is despicable. Vote them out. Shame them.

  10. I wrote this in reply to a RWNJ chain e-mail:

    Social Security is a great program. It was established to take care of the elderly and the disabled. Before Social Security, the elderly were the responsibility of their children or their churches. That was fine while the nation was agrarian. All an adult child had to do was plant a few more acres and have a few more chickens to take care of his parents.

    However, a funny thing happened: The country shifted from agrarian to industrial. What to do with the aging parents? Perhaps we should line them up against the wall and shot them. After all, their children were having a tough time taking care of themselves.

    Why not let the churches take care of them? The funny thing is that churches are local. Poor churches serve poor sections of town and rich churches serve the more affluent sections of town. Would parishioners in the Country Club district bother with providing for the elderly in the poorer sections of town? Dream on.

  11. He’s the perfect politician to raise these issues and discredit the traditional “pillage the poor” solutions from the GOP. I have no idea why more liberals aren’t clamoring for END THE CAP or raising the cap. My gawd, the cap is structured on ancient wages and cost of living assessments. SSI is the simplest fix with the most minimal of “sacrifice” by roughly 15% of the labor force. Medicare is another easy fix. Open enrollment. A serious push toward open enrollment and you’ll see a paradigm shift in support for Obamacare from the Health Insurance industry. This Ed Schultz attitude of “don’t touch the big three” is an invitation to disaster. We need to fix the big three with progressive solutions and they are very simple, easy to “soundbite” and make good common sense to the average American.

  12. And, as disingenuous as Republicans are, he must’ve said back then that he wants to “reform” pensions while he actually meant slash them to the bare bones.

    Words have meaning, and high-paid Republican wordsmiths know it.

    When a Republicans claims that they want to “reform” or “overhaul” something, they mean “kill” or “slash”. In the ears of voters, the words reform and overhaul are positive (especially in a budget crisis), and they fall for it each and every time. But what Republicans mean with “reform” and “overhaul” is dismantling, killing, and slashing.

    They pay a LOT of money to wordsmiths to find a more kinder word for the cruel policies they have in mind when elected in order to benefit the already obscenely rich, so to play it safe, people, NO AMERICAN with less than $1 million annual income, should vote Republican. EVER.

  13. Slashing Social Security and Medicare?

    That is the OPPOSITE of what needs to be done. HERE is what NEEDS to be done!

    Walker offered three solutions to “gradually phase in” to fix Social Security. He calls for something that has become the third rail of politics: increasing the retirement age for younger workers, based on increases in life expectancy. He also suggests changing the benefit formula to provide more money for lower income retirees, but less for higher income individuals.

    He also believes part of an eventual Social Security solution will be to raise the payroll tax cap from the current $118,500 to about $200,000. However, Walker opposes raising the tax rate above the current 6.2 percent for both employers and employees, calling that “regressive.”

    These are all DOABLE, GOOD ideas than can be done and that will SAVE Social Security.

    Our campaign is to keep Chris Christie AWAY form the White House.

  14. A fool and his money are soon parted. If you think that dim wit has any intention of fixing anything that don’t involved the kochs, well you haven’t been paying attention

  15. The guy who USED to cut my hair feels that only a certain elite few should get the Social Security benefits and Medicaid that they paid into like ALL of us. When I asked him if he thinks I should get my benefits he was silent…because I’m a Democrat and I voted for Obama. I stopped going to him because all I heard was nothing but FOX news crap BUT according to Richard Townsend of Salon 22 here in Lancaster Ohio,…he NEVER watches Fox News…Yeah Right! The last time I was in his shop he had Sean Hannity on a local kinderspiel channel….But He never listened to it according to him…

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