Chris Christie has started his possible presidential campaign, which has kicked off in New Hampshire. The New Jersey governor must work hard if he wants to catch up to the other candidates who have decided to run. Although he is no stranger to controversy and not afraid to tackle tough questions, the two main subjects about which he has been asked have already set him apart from his possible competition – social security and legalized marijuana.
When asked about social security, Christie proposed to up the age limit for social security and Medicare. This change, he says, will save one trillion dollars over ten years. In a speech in New Hampshire, he also mentioned that he would like to change the social security payout for future recipients earning more than $80,000 per year, and eliminate benefits altogether for those who make more than $200,000 per year. He proposes to increase the retirement age to 69 and increase the early retirement age from 62 to 64. Christie also aims to make a change in the cost of living increases for social security and other government programs. These changes would be made on a gradual basis through 2022. As part of his reform, he would also gradually raise the Medicare qualifying age to 67 by 2040.
Christie mentioned that he would crack down on the states which have allowed the legalization of marijuana. When asked how he would treat the states that had legalized marijuana if he were president, he mentioned that he probably would not treat those states very well. The legalization of marijuana is a controversial subject. Most of the Republican candidates seem to be okay with states deciding to legalize marijuana. Christie is going against the grain, but he is used to bucking the norm when it comes to certain decisions. In a radio interview, he mentioned that marijuana is a gateway drug and that the country has a large problem with addiction, and he believes the states which have legalized marijuana are belittling federal laws and that they should not be able to profit from the selling of marijuana. Christie says that he is not afraid to tell the truth or tackle tough questions, and the subject of marijuana is a tough question.
Christie has not mentioned if he will run for the Republican presidential nomination. He says that is a decision he will make in the next few months, but because New Hampshire is an early voting state, it is important for him to do some hard-core campaigning in that state, even before he decides to run for the nomination. Christie is facing low poll numbers and financial emergencies in his home state of New Jersey, and many believe that his current situation has already closed the door on any presidential dreams he may have. He has a busy schedule planned for his time in New Hampshire. He will hold a few town hall meetings there and will conduct an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show.
Christie says that he is not afraid to have an honest conversation with the country about controversial topics and he will always tell the country the truth, even when it comes to tackling the tough questions. When asked how he feels about Christie’s social security ideas, Las Vegas resident Brendan Johnson said, “I’ve already given up the idea that social security will be there for me when it is time to retire so his reform ideas mean nothing. Nobody is going to vote for Christie anyway.”
By Deneishia Jacobpito
Photo By Marissa Babin – Flickr License