While he’s no Mitt Romney, Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) may still have some designs on running for president in 2016, and if that happens, he’s just cut the Democratic nominee’s first campaign ad. While Republicans have long opposed increases to the minimum wage, they’re not usually as blunt and snippy as Christie was at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce speech last night:
“I am tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I don’t think there is a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America saying ‘If our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, all our dreams could be realized.'”
Usually when Republicans — the ones who want to run for president, anyway — talk about opposing minimum wage increases, they do it by pretending it’s the only way to protect an unlimited maximum wage, or by concern-trolling about the availability of after-school jobs. Christie just does it Christie-style, and demonstrates how quickly that style can wear thin given the right issue. This is one of those issues, because the average age of a person who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage is 35. They are the mothers and fathers sitting around a kitchen table, and they’re not looking to realize dreams any more grand than having enough money to live on.
A comment like this won’t likely hurt Christie in a Republican primary, where heartlessness is a virtue, but if he somehow manages to get to the general election, this won’t play very well. It’s one thing to say, “Let them eat cake,” but quite another to spray buttercream and crumbs as you mumble that you’re tired of even hearing about the cake.