(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.
Rand Paul is not his father by his comments since the Newtown tragedy it is glaringly obvious that he is sucking up to the NRA as a means to further his own political career.
Rand Paul, another occupant of the Teapublican clown car. Chris Christie, perhaps one of the few in the GOP who m,ay actually have a brain. But then again, he is the ultimate politician. Let;s see how he runs NJ for the next few years. He may actually have a chance at being the GOP nominee in 2016. Naw, what am I thinking, a Greedy Old Party candidate that is intelligent, a good politician and sane? Not happening.
That fat slob needs to switch parties now and get it over with.
I'm a democrat, but could easily vote for Christie. He's proven that he sides with what he sees as right instead of the strict party line-and the tantrum he threw was justifiable!.
The NRA has used the GOP in Congress to strip the Federal Bureau of the ATF(E), Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of any real ability to do their job..then point at the powerless ATF(E) and say we already have gun laws just enforce them...What a joke...and What a Lie too....The rules and the restrictions that the Congress have put on the ATF(E) make it almost impossible for them to do there job....Look at Arizona and just how easy it is for anyone with a Arizona drivers license to buy demolition explosives...they do not have to check to see if the driver license is real, or run a back ground check on the buyer, or report who is buying the explosives..Your neighbor in Arizona could have 1,000 pounds of demolition explosives in his house and you would not know, and neither would the police...
Christie is fast loseing credibility as to who he claimed his was
The liberal media loves him, Is it because he is a RINO? or just the devil in sheeps clothing?
I dont agree with Christie on everything but he is 100% right on this issue.
Christie represents all his electors, not just special interests. He is very frustrated that his fellow Republicans have deserted him and the citizens of New Jersey when they need help. New Jersey suffered a devastating disaster and they are being refused help that any other state has received in the past. I would say "shame on the Republicans", but they have no shame. They are firmly entrenched in the rich culture of privilege. The wealthy people in New Jersey were able to move into comfortable temporary quarters, but the disadvantaged people are struggling to keep warm and fed. They are held hostage, many unable to resume their lives because of the Republican congress. In 2014 and 2016, the unbiased citizens of the USA need to really address the way the Republicans treat people in need and vote only for Democrats. If you are Republican and cannot bring yourself to vote Democrat, please refrain from voting. Don't let the racist, rich, warmongering Republicans ever again have control over anything. IT'S TIME FOR THE CITIZENS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR DESTINY !!!
Rand Paul is just trying to deflect attention from all the problems with his son. Typical behavior "don't look in my back yard, you need to be looking at these other people"
@freedom: "He betrayed the PARTY"?????? There you have it folks, written proof that, in the eyes of the Republican Party of today, the Party (and the supposed power it brings) will always matter more than the country, or its people. For shame....
Paul the piece of gop trash will be gone in 2014 mid terms along with the rest of the useless gop trash party !!!
No, Senator. What Governor Christie has expressed is righteous outrage against Congressional inaction to help the Northeast states, while they trip all over themselves to assist the Sunbelt.
I agree completely with Rand Paul. My opinion is that since Sandy, Christie has been a poor example as a Republican. Crying about the Sandy relief while approving of the pork is not responsible to those paying the bill.
""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."" – THIS is exactly what's wrong with politics today. Instead of politicians being encouraged to stand up for what they might actually believe in, they're bullied into towing the party line. I'm a Democrat, but I appreciate Christie's candor when it comes to being willing to call out people on both sides of the aisle when they screw up. Neither party is 100% right 100% of the time, and that's what frustrates the average citizen so much. Issues are not simply black and white. There's so much grey area, and both sides are guilty of ignoring that fact and just rushing to the extremes. Perhaps Christie is simply starting his campaign for 2016 early, but I harbor some shred of hope that perhaps he actually believes what he says and is willing to say so when he thinks it's warranted.
Rand wants to pick up from where his dad left off now that daddy is getting too old. He will climb on the presidential bandwagon as soon as he thinks he can have a chance .Making snide remarks about an increasingly popular Christi could backfire., instead of making Christi look bad it makes Rand look small and petty. Christi has every reason to be angry, his party is hanging the state of New Jersey out to swing in the wind. I hope the state of Kentucky sends Rand packing next election.
Rand Paul is a nut case.
Who voted for ran paul and Who is running against him in his next e4lection? I want to donate the their campaign. ran paul mocks a politician who makes sense... most of the time. While ran paul makes no sense ever. Stop covering the neanderthal.
Hillary Clinton or Jon Huntsman.
Intelligence instead of knee-jerk government by the baggers.