It’s tough being Chris Christie: the New Jersey governor says comments he made this week on the minimum wage debate are being misunderstood.
“My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them,” Christie said Thursday while stumping for a GOP congressional candidate at a diner in Bordentown Township, N.J., as quoted by the New York Daily News. “But that’s OK. I’ll be very clear. I’ll say it again.”
“The President wants to focus (on minimum wage) because he’s a class warrior,” he added. “What he wants to focus on is the minimum wage. I don’t believe that that’s what our focus should be. Our focus should be on creating better paying jobs for everyone in our country.”
Christie had said Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington that he was “tired of hearing about the minimum wage.”
“I don’t think there’s a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America who are saying, ‘You know honey, if my son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all our dreams would be realized,” he told the audience. “Is that what parents aspire to for their children?”
Those comments drew a rebuke from U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez earlier Thursday at a Bloomberg event in Washington.
“Chris Christie’s got his head in the sand if he’s getting tired about the minimum wage,” Perez said.
“I mean, we suck. We really do,” the labor chief added, noting that the United States federal wage floor ranks third lowest out of the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.