- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 14, 2015

Republicans are mocking Hillary Rodham Clinton’s move to the left, saying the Democratic presidential front-runner is crafting a message of economic populism because that’s what she thinks voters in her party want to hear.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, widely expected to mount a White House bid in 2016, said Mrs. Clinton sounds virtually identical to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and hero to those on the progressive left.

“Listen, first off, I thought that Elizabeth Warren wasn’t running for president.  But when I listened to Hillary yesterday, it sounds like liberal political consultants put together that speech,” Mr. Christie said of Mrs. Clinton’s first official campaign rally, which took place Saturday.

“I think it raises a bigger point for Secretary Clinton. I’ve done 146 town hall meetings in the last five years in New Jersey and around the country. Mrs. Clinton doesn’t hear from anybody. She doesn’t talk to anybody. She doesn’t take questions from anybody. How would she know what real Americans are really concerned about?”

On the specific issue of debt-free college, which has emerged as a top priority among progressives and a goal Mrs. Clinton has embraced, Mr. Christie said Democrats are off base.

“My alternative is we have to start to put market forces on these college costs,” he said. “The idea of free college for everybody — there’s nothing free in this world.  We need to earn what we get.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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