The simmering intra-GOP war on foreign policy escalated yesterday when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who could face off against Rand Paul in a 2016 GOP presidential primary, slammed the Kentucky senator's views as "dangerous." Speaking at a panel of GOP governors in Aspen, Colorado, Christie said the "strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought."
RAND PAUL HITS BACK AT CHRIS CHRISTIE OVER SURVEILLANCE
ERIK SCHELZIG 07/28/13 | AP
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul hit back at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the two Republicans' ongoing spat over national security.
CHRISTIE LAST WEEK CRITICIZED PAUL'S OPPOSITION TO WARRANTLESS FEDERAL SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS, SAYING IT HARMED EFFORTS TO PREVENT TERRORISM. PAUL TOLD REPORTERS AFTER SPEAKING AT A FUNDRAISER OUTSIDE NASHVILLE ON SUNDAY THAT CHRISTIE'S POSITION HURTS GOP CHANCES IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS, AND THAT SPENDING PRIORITIES OF CRITICS LIKE THE GOVERNOR AND REP. PETER KING OF NEW YORK DO MORE TO HARM NATIONAL SECURITY.
"They're precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their `Gimme, gimme, gimme – give me all my Sandy money now.'" Paul said, referring to federal funding after the hurricane last year. "Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense."
King in a phone interview late Sunday called Paul's criticism of Sandy aid "indefensible."
"This was absolutely life or death money that was essential to New York and New Jersey," King said.
Christie, at a forum in Colorado on Thursday, pointed to a "strain of libertarianism" coursing through both parties as a "very dangerous thought" more than a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks. Christie was asked whether he was referring to Paul, a fellow potential Republican presidential candidate who has been at the forefront of the party's libertarian wing.
"You can name any number of people and he's one of them," said Christie. "These esoteric, intellectual debates – I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't, because that's a much tougher conversation to have."
Paul on Sunday rejected arguments that the National Security Agency's collection of hundreds of millions of U.S. phone and Internet records are necessary to prevent terrorism.
"I don't mind spying on terrorists," he said. "I just don't like spying on all Americans."
Paul said the issue resonates particularly with young people, a key demographic Republicans need to attract in order to succeed in national elections.
"If you talk about some privacy issues like that, I think you will find youth coming to you," said Paul, who said his own decision on whether to run for president won't come until next year.
King called that argument misguided.
"When it comes to natural defense, we shouldn't be pandering to any demographic," he said. "We need to do what's best for the country."
Messages left with Christie's office late Sunday were not immediately returned.
As for the back-and-forth with Christie, Paul said he wasn't the one itching for a fight.
"I didn't start this one and I don't plan on starting things by criticizing other Republicans," he said. "But if they want to make me the target, they will get it back in spades."
CHRISTIE: PAUL SHOULD 'START CUTTING PORK BARREL SPENDING HE BRINGS TO KENTUCKY'
By Blake Neff - 07/30/13 | The Hill
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday escalated his feud with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) by portraying the Tea Party favorite as a big-spending Washington establishment figure.
“Maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending he brings home to Kentucky,” Christie said at a press conference announcing monetary grants for homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy. “But I doubt he will, because most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get reelected.”
Christie was kicking back at a claim Paul made on Monday, in which he accused the New Jersey governor of being too eager to accept money from the federal government. Christie argued that New Jersey receives just 61 cents back from the federal government for each dollar it pays in taxes, while Kentucky receives $1.51.
It’s the latest incident in a public spat between the two GOP heavyweights, who are both likely 2016 presidential contenders.
On Thursday, Christie singled Paul out while warning of a creeping “strain of libertarianism” within both parties on national security issues.
Paul hit back Monday, saying Christie was “sad and cheap” for using the “cloak of 9/11 victims” to shield his position and accused Christie of having a “give me, give me, give me all the money” approach to fiscal issues in Washington.
When Christie's most recent comments were repeated to Paul on Tuesday's Sean Hannity radio program, PAUL SAID, "OH, YOU START TRASHING MY STATE. NOW HE'S REALLY GOING TO BE IN TROUBLE.
"DON'T START TRASHING KENTUCKY, BUDDY."
THE FEUD COULD CONTINUE IF CHRISTIE WANTS, PAUL SAID, AND HE WOULD WIN BECAUSE OF THE GOP'S FISCAL CONSERVATISM.
"I didn't choose this fight with the governor," Paul said.
Really Elk? Rand the #$%$!-No one wants to blow-up Kentucky, that ...is still trying to avenge the North Aggression! NY and NJ that's a big painful boom!!! and he doesn't care-Calling him the "Gentleman from Kentucky" went to his empty head