Gov. Chris Christie Blames Obama Policies for Middle Class ‘Getting Nowhere’

New Jersey Republican emphasizes economic growth, entitlement reform and national defense in CNBC interview.

The middle class is “getting nowhere” thanks to President Barack Obama, according to Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.

Christie criticized Obama’s economic policies on CNBC’s Squawk Box May 21, and emphasized the need for restoring economic growth, reforming entitlements and investing in national defense.

The governor who appears to be positioning to run for president said the middle class needed to be “protected,” because “the middle class is still running on a treadmill and getting nowhere.” Even though the “president talks about income inequality,” Christie said that the problem had actually “gotten worse” during the Obama administration.

“Wages are stagnant really for the last 15 years for the middle class and the wealthy have gotten significantly wealthier during this president's time I think in large part because of a lot of his policies,” Christie said.

He argued that restoring strong economic growth would not only benefit the middle class, but would help to address the national debt.

“The debt and deficit problems become much more manageable then over the long haul if you’re at four percent GDP growth than if you’re at two percent,” Christie said. “It’s true. It may be old, but it’s true.”

Christie also called for cutting entitlement spending by $1 trillion. Christie said that 71 percent of the federal budget went toward entitlements, and reducing spending on these programs needed to be the priority when discussing spending or taxes.

“So Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance. If you don't deal with those and you want to be in the national conversation, in my view, then you have no business talking about the other 29 percent,” Christie said.

Christie didn’t stop there. He also blasted Obama’s policies about the military and intelligence gathering. He said national security had suffered because of Obama’s fiscal decisions and criticized the president for downsizing the military and not investing enough in intelligence gathering. Countries like China and Russia were “not intimidated by the United States any longer, and for good reason,” he said.

“The entitlement reform I put out there saves over $1 trillion over ten years and I think some portion of that needs to be reinvested in national defense,” Christie said.