Labor chief: 'Christie's got his head in the sand'

Gov. Christie 'tired of' minimum wage
Gov. Christie 'tired of' minimum wage

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Gov. Christie 'tired of' minimum wage 00:29

Story highlights

  • Christie said he's "tired" of hearing about the minimum wage
  • Christie said parents aren't focused on the minimum wage
  • Christie would be a top contender for the the White House in 2016 and said a governor would be the next president
Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Thursday panned New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's comments that he's "tired" of the minimum wage debate.
"Chris Christie's got his head in the sand if he's getting tired about the minimum wage," Perez said according to Bloomberg Politics.
President Barack Obama and Democrats have led the push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, and the issue has made its way onto the campaign trail this year.
"Chris Christie needs to talk to his economists, who will tell him that 70 percent of GDP growth is consumption," Perez said Thursday.
The criticism came just days after Christie said he was "tired of hearing about the minimum wage" at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference on Tuesday.
"I really am," the Republican governor and potential 2016 hopeful said. "I don't think there's a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, 'You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.'"
"Is that what parents aspire to for our children?" Christie asked. "They aspire to a greater, growing America, where their children have the ability to make much more money and have much great success than they have, and that's not about a higher minimum wage."
Before the Labor secretary chimed in, the remark drew fire from other Democrats, and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest even quipped during a briefing Wednesday that people living on a minimum wage are those who are really tired.
Christie also used his time at the podium to make a 2016 prediction.
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"I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor," Christie said. "We've had this experiment of legislating .. and getting on-the-job training in the White House. It has not been pretty."
Christie isn't the only governor considered a potential Republican presidential contender: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also have been a part of the 2016 discussion.
But when it comes to Republican governors, Christie has an edge as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Christie isn't the only politician floated as a 2016 contender who discussed the minimum wage this week.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Elizabeth Warren talked about her mother's minimum wage job that helped support her family when she was a child.
"She got a minimum wage job in an America where a minimum wage job would support a family of three and that's how we survived," Warren, who has advocated for a higher minimum wage, said Monday while campaigning for Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa.