Gov. Chris Christie dismissed critics of his controversial entitlement reform plans Monday night as "people who don't care whether Social Security stays solvent and is really there for the people who really need it."
"Let's remember," Christie said on his monthly radio show on New Jersey 101.5. "Social Security was created as insurance against poverty for the elderly so that no one — no matter what their circumstance, would live out their years in poverty. That's the primary reason for Social Security's creation. The fact is, we need to get it back to its core mission."
Last week, Christie, who is considering a run for president, went to New Hampshire to unveil a reform plan that called for both means testing and raising the retirement age.
Here's how Christie dealt with criticism of the plan from one caller on his "Ask The Governor" radio show:
A frustrated caller named Jeff noted that he'd already seen his retirement age jump from 65 to 67 in his lifetime under President Reagan's 1983 reform. He angrily asked Christie, "How many times are you going to move the goal line?"
The caller asked if Christie would consider, if president, would instead consider raising the income cap on social security payments to tax income beyond the currently-taxed $118,000 maximum.
Christie quickly lost his empathetic demeanor.
"I love this 'gimme gimme gimme!' attitude," said Christie, "These are facts: If we don't do it, the money's not going to be there. And the solution of a guy like Jeff is: Raise somebody's taxes. Not his. Raise somebody else's. I'm sorry. We hear this all the time. But the math doesn't work, and somebody has to be willing to tell you the truth. And that's what I'm doing."
That's it, Chris.
Keep beating up on people who complain about your Social Security plan.
There are a lot of aging people in the Republican Primary who are going to feel the same way "Jeff" does when you tell them they have to go to 69 to get their benefits and they'll be subject to a means test.
That's going to be a real winner during the primaries - if you make it that far.