Obama calls out New Jersey Governor Christie in fight for minimum wage hike

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:54pm EST

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to residents during the 110th Town Hall Meeting in Middletown Township, New Jersey, February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to residents during the 110th Town Hall Meeting in Middletown Township, New Jersey, February 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday singled out New Jersey's embattled Republican Governor Chris Christie for criticism for balking at a push to raise the minimum wage, a move favored by most Americans.

During a meeting with top advisors and a group of 14 Democratic governors at the White House, Obama said Republican governors were out of touch with their constituents on the issue.

"For example, in New Jersey, even though the Republican governor opposed it, it passed by 60 percent," he said, referring to Christie's veto on a state wage hike that later became a ballot initiative approved by voters.

Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current $7.25. Polls show three quarters of Americans favor the plan.

The proposal has little chance of approval by Congress. The Congressional Budget Office said it would lead to the loss of about half a million jobs by late 2016, even as it lifts almost a million people out of poverty.

The meeting on Friday focused on state initiatives to raise the minimum wage. Obama made a similar jab at Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, during a dinner on Thursday with the Democratic governors.

"Governor Christie opposed it; it got 60 percent of the vote -- because voters understood this is the right thing to do, and it will be good for the economy, not bad for the economy," he said.

Christie's national political ambitions have been threatened recently by the disclosure of his aides' roles in the New Jersey lane closures for the George Washington Bridge, which caused days of traffic in the town of Fort Lee. Emails show that his staff closed the lanes in September after Fort Lee's Democratic mayor declined to support Christie's re-election bid last year.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton)

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Comments (11)
sabrefencer wrote:
Obama, like the weak fish that he is, is coming at a person that helped him fool the People, into thinking he was going to be a president for all the people….Christie, gave him the perfect photo ops, to sway just enough, on the fence voters, coupled with eric holders criminal activities overseeing justice, got this huckster, re elected…Now we all suffer from the result, with Obamacare and OBAMANOMICS….Soo Gov Christie, wallow in your misery, you bought it on yourself..see what being around Obama gets you now

Feb 21, 2014 2:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
@sabrefencer, to quote you ‘coupled with eric holders criminal activities overseeing justice’ Proof perhaps? And proof consists of real data not some idea in your head.

Feb 21, 2014 3:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
moonhill wrote:
Raising the minimum wage that much will create inflation, which will harm the poorest the most. A teenager flipping burgers at McDonald’s is not worth $10.10 an hour.

Feb 21, 2014 5:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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