New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is betting his political future on a big speech on entitlement reform to restore buzz for a potential presidential campaign — even though his polling numbers have suffered in recent months.
Christie’s speech included a heavy emphasis on “truth” — referring to the word at least 12 times in his speech today. He also used a form of the word “honest” on eight different occasions.
“It is time to tell the truth about what we need to do in order to solve our problems and put our country back on the path to greater prosperity,” he said, criticizing political leaders for “not telling people the truth.”
Anyone not willing to admit that there are serious financial problems with the entitlement programs are not being honest, he explained.
“This is a conversation Washington politicians don’t have because they do not believe the American people have the appetite for hard truths,” he said, adding that his reforms were “about telling all Americans the truth — and without delay.”
Christie blasted President Obama and members of Congress in Washington for failing to take action on important solutions for reconstructing.
“Washington is afraid to have an honest conversation about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with the people of our country,” he said. “I am not.”
For long-time Christie observers, its a return to his favored political strategy in New Jersey, in the hopes the voters were recognize honesty and make the tough decisions for reform.
While many Republican donors have given up on Christie and his polling numbers are in the single digits, his team has signaled that his presidential hopes are not over. Christie has not announced formally that he intends to run for president, but has indicated he will make a decision in the spring or late-summer.
He indicated in an interview today that although he wasn’t ready to run for president in 2012 against Obama, he believes now is the time to explore the idea.
“You know, it changes, and people don’t really know who is going to be in the race or how those people are going to perform once they’re in it,” he explained to Yahoo News. “So that stuff will change, I guarantee you. It will change overnight.”
Christie’s speech is part of a four day trip in New Hampshire that includes a town hall meeting in the important primary state.
In his speech, Christie detailed policy suggestions for Social Security and Medicare reform during a speech in New Hampshire today, proposing to cut benefits for the wealthy and slowly raising the eligibility age for seniors.
The savings, he suggested, would be used for the normal operations of government such as military spending and infrastructure.