(CNN) – Could a primary battle already be underway for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination?
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky took a swipe at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday for his recent attacks against the National Rifle Association. Paul further argued the outspoken governor threw a "tantrum" when he recently criticized lawmakers in Washington over the Superstorm Sandy relief package.
Neither elected official has shot down the idea of running for president in 2016, fueling speculation that both are mulling a White House bid.
In an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Paul mentioned Christie as an example of a high-profile Republican who's not standing up for Second Amendment rights in the ongoing gun control debate.
Christie made headlines Thursday for going off about a new NRA political attack ad that makes mention of the president's children. Calling the commercial "reprehensible," Christie said the organization lost credibility with the spot.
Paul, however, said Christie was hurting his own party.
"You have some Republicans backing down like Christie backing down and criticizing the NRA, and I think that doesn't do us any good," Paul said. "So I think Republicans do need to stand more firmly on this issue."
Asked why he thought Christie was going after the NRA, Paul said the governor may be trying to shore up votes for a potential bid down the road. He also pointed to Christie's biting comments against House Speaker John Boehner earlier this month for delaying a vote in the House on the $60 billion-plus federal aide package for Superstorm Sandy.
"I think he may be solidifying his support with Democrats in New Jersey and maybe liberal Republicans. If he wishes to do something nationally, I think criticizing the Second Amendment movement and the over-the-top, 'give me my money' stuff, 'I want all sixty billion now or I'll throw a tantrum'–I don't think that's going to play well in the Republican primary."
Paul argued that Republicans took issue with how the bill was being funded, not the purpose of the bill, itself.
"I think people need to think through what their positions on these things are," he said.
Paul is an intellectual lightweight with radical Ayn Randian tendancies. If the GOP runs him in 2016 they'll lose, big time!
Rand Paul is a want-a-be. He want-a-be important. I feel sorry for the people who voted this nut into office.
I just hate to see spoiled children squabble.
No, Rand Paul, Chris Christie IS NOT ruining the Republican party........it's people like you that are ruining it.
rand Paul, you have to cut him some slack. Remember he grew up on Texas textbooks. His understanding of the government and history of the United States thus leaves a great deal of ignorance packed into his head.
If there were things in the bill that did not pertain to Sandy relief, shouldn't it be up to the reps and the governors of NY and NJ to decide if they need to be stripped out of it? Rand Paul can complain about a relief bill when it affects KY, otherwise he needs to zip it. No one in the NJ or NY delegations, regardless of party, objected to the contents of the relief bill.
Christie is a real republican. Koch brothers have hijacked and destroyed the republican brand by creating the tea party .
All Paul did was reaffirm that the GOP is an arm of the NRA.
Oh please run for President Rand Paul! Every campain needs comic relief! While I don't think it will be as much fun as the clown car from they last election – none the less it would be fun!
Some incredibly ignorant posts thus far. Rand Paul is one of the last true fiscal conservatives we have in government. Hopefully we can elect many more like him. Thanks for representing us, Rand! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2016.
that's funny, people criticising rand paul, don't have a clue what they are talking about, nor will they ever achieve as much in their own lifetime. sad liberal lemmings following cnn.
That's a good one! Rand Paul telling someone they need to think through their positions.......a real knee slapper! It's obvious from a number of his comments that Rand Paul doesn't think things through before he speaks......in fact, there is little evidence that he does any thinking at all.
I couldn't agree more. Rand will likely have my vote in 2016!
Rand Paul is an extremist that will never become a successful Presidential candidate. In this instance, Gov. Christie is absolutely correct.
Christie--Ike style Republican
Rand--Waste of food Bagger.
Rand Paul is an idiot. He looks like he is drunk.
What a cry baby this fool is
Christie blew it right before the election – showed where his realy loyalties are – with himself. It doesn't matter what Rand Paul says (even though he's right about this) – he betrayed the party at a very crucial moment, and no one's going to forget it.
Thank goodness somebody is finally standing up for liberty and fiscal sanity. Rand Paul and Mike Lee are the only member of the senate with balls. He'll have no problem funding his re-elections as long as he lives.
I do disagree on one point though; I object to socializing disasters. Be self reliant and personally responsible. Buy insurance, and don't ask me to pay for your bad decisions. Sadly, congress is too busy buying votes with Chinese money, and selling my children into slavery in the process.
Christie is tough untill he needs something... then all of a sudden he is a big fan of Kool Aid..
I voted for Rand. He is awesome. He is not the typical pansie ass politician that is spread all throughout Congress. As for Christie, he is a typical Yankee wuss. Just a loud mouth Obama ass kisser who is a legend in his own mind. Just like the Fraud in Chief.
Oh, goody. The battle of the Chest Thumpers begins. I don't know, Rand Paul. Between you and the big guy, I'm going to have to give the big guy the Chest Thumper Gold Medal. He at least thinks past his knotted up panties.
Rand Paul you hang in there, we need a man with some guts. screw all these punks.
Rand Paul is right, Christie wah wah wah'ed because he was thinking of himself and not the country. If the democrats are serious about helping Hurricane Sandy victims, then they can take all of that other crap out of the bill and HELP HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS. Christie to my surprise apparently wasn't smart enough to call out the democratic politicization of a tragedy, and instead turned on his own party who actually did the responsible thing.
As for the NRA ad... differences of opinion I guess, not really relevant to anything in my book.
The 2nd Amendment is not threatened in any way. Reasonable efforts to keep guns out of the hands of people with outstanding warrants and to prevent purchases of military weapons that fire hundreds of rounds in minutes is not a threat to hunters of to those of us who use guns for protection from intruders. We don't need missile launchers or Bushmasters for hunting or recreational targets. That's just nonsense. By all means, parents should be keeping violent games and movies away from their children. If there is no market for them, no one will spend millions or billions of dollars producing them. We need common sense and parenting lessons. Then, maybe we will get fewer extremists like Rand Paul in our Congress.