Chris Christie is once again accusing President Biden of lying, this time charging that the president is "not telling the truth" about the tax increases inside the sweeping spending proposal he’ll unveil on Wednesday night.
Speaking hours before Biden’s first address in front of Congress, the former two-term GOP governor of New Jersey and 2016 Republican presidential candidate-turned-political analyst and pundit argued that the president is "not telling the truth to the American people to hide a socialist agenda."
Christie's comments came Wednesday morning in during a video conference call to the Right-of-Center group, which is a regular gathering of prominent conservative activists and leaders in New Hampshire – the state that for a century has held the first presidential primary in the race for the White House. Christie's appearance is sparking more speculation that he may mount another presidential bid in 2024.
In his address to Congress, the president will formally unveil his proposed $1.8 trillion package titled the American Families Plan. The White House is framing the new proposal, as well as current jobs and infrastructure plan they're trying to pass through Congress, as "once-in-a-generation investments in our nation's future."
Biden plans to pay for these massive proposals by rolling back the 2017 tax cut law, the signature domestic achievement of President Trump's term in office. The proposal includes raising the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, nearly doubling the capital gains tax on investors who earn more than $1 million, hiking the corporate tax rate, and infusing tens of billions into the Internal Revenue Service to strengthen tax enforcement and beef up audits of high earners.
Biden has repeatedly vowed that people who make less than $400,000 a year, "won't see one single penny in additional federal tax."
But Christie charges that "it's a lie that he won't tax anybody under $400,000 per year. It's just simply not true."
Pointing to what he described as "a family business tax increase," Christie argued that "any family that's starting a business is now going to be subject to increased taxes, regardless of how much money you make. So you're going to have people who are making significantly less than $400,000 a year who are now going to be paying this family business tax that Joe Biden is going to propose tonight."
Christie urged that Republicans "have to call this the family business tax increase. People understand that."
He also described the proposed capital gains increase as a "tax attack on IRAs and 401ks." And he predicted that "the stock market will fall" and that average investors "will lose their retirement nest egg."
Christie also spotlighted what he said was another part of Biden's plan: "that you will be entitled to 75% of your salary in unemployment benefits if you quit your job. Not if you get fired. Not if you get laid off, but if you quit your job for what the government will define as good cause. I mean what's next everybody."
He claimed that "you won't hear the president talk about that tonight, but it is in the bill."
And he accused Biden of "weaponizing the IRS. We saw the Obama-Biden administration weaponize the IRS against conservatives when they were in charge of the government. He's now trying to weaponize the IRS even further. I don't know about all of you, but I think the IRS is already intrusive enough in our lives."
Christie has used his weekly appearance on ABC's "This Week" over the past month to charge that the president has been lying about the controversial Georgia voting law that was passed by the state's GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. And he has claimed that Biden was "lying" about his nearly $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package.
He emphasized that Republicans "need to focus on these issues and be looking through the windshield, not the rear view mirror. ... We've got to be explaining to the American people in plain, direct, language that they understand, exactly what President Biden and Vice President Harris and the Democrats in Congress are trying to do."
And in an indirect shot at Trump, who continues to argue without providing proof that the 2020 presidential election was "rigged" and "stolen," Christie stressed: "We as Republicans need to unite behind the issues we believe in and the issues that we oppose and we need to stop with the circular firing squad. ... When we're focusing just on personalities and we're making personalities and looking through the rear-view mirror our focus, we are going to be a losing party."
Christie said that "the facts are pretty simple. In the last two years we lost the House, the Senate and the presidency. It's time to start winning again. And the way to win is to unite behind opposing these issues that the president is bringing forward and to call him out for what he is and what he's doing. The American people will like the fact that we are fighting for them on those topics."
Five years ago, the then-New Jersey governor's presidential run crashed and burned after a disappointing and distant sixth place finish in New Hampshire's presidential primary, where Christie had placed all his chips. Christie quickly backed Trump, who crushed the rest of the field in New Hampshire, launching him toward the Republican presidential nomination and eventually the White House. Over the past four years, Christie was a strong supporter but occasional critic of then-president.
His Wednesday virtual appearance in New Hampshire will spark more speculation about his 2024 intentions.
Unlike other potential GOP White House hopefuls, Christie isn't afraid to publicly discuss his national aspirations. In an interview with Fox News last month, Christie said any decision regarding potentially making another White House run wouldn't come "until after the midterms" in November of next year. And sources close to the former governor told Fox News that Christie is seriously mulling another presidential bid.
Christie didn't discuss – and wasn't asked about – 2024 during his Wednesday appearance.
But he did say he looked forward "to the time when we can come up to New Hampshire and see all of you in person again, and I hope that comes soon." And he pledged, "I will there be to help in New Hampshire" as Republicans in the state hope to flip a Senate seat and House seat from blue to red in the 2022 midterm elections.