New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is making cutting Social Security and Medicare the centerpiece of a possible presidential campaign, conceded on Wednesday that he is taking a risk with the proposal.

"There is no political upside to it," the Republican told more than 200 local residents who gathered to size up Christie ahead of a summit of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates this weekend.

In a speech a day earlier, Christie proposed cutting Social Security benefits for some upper-income seniors, raising the eligibility age over time, and increasing premiums for Medicare, the health care program for the elderly. Radical changes to such entitlement programs have long been considered toxic in U.S. politics.