(CNN) – The feuding between Republicans Chris Christie and Rand Paul continued Tuesday as the senator from Kentucky cautioned the governor from New Jersey was picking a fight with the wrong guy.
In an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Paul defended himself against Christie's most recent allegations that the senator was bringing home too much money for his state.
"This is the king of bacon talking about bacon," Paul said about Christie. Both are considered potential 2016 contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.
Earlier in the day, the outspoken governor chastised Kentucky for taking more federal money than New Jersey, saying the Blue Grass state gets back $1.51 on every dollar it sends to Washington, while the Garden State receives 61 cents.
"So if Senator Paul wants to start looking at where he's going to cut spending to afford defense, maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky," Christie told reporters Tuesday in Little Ferry.
Paul pointed to Kentucky's two military bases as reasons why the state may get more money from the government.
"What does he want to do, shut down military bases in Kentucky?" he said.
Fort Campbell and Fort Knox, both Army bases, are located in Kentucky. New Jersey itself is home to a large joint military base that houses the McGuire Air Force base; Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst; and Fort Dix, an Army base.
"In order to have enough money for national defense, which I think is a priority for the government, you have to be willing to cut spending in other places," Paul continued. "And Governor Christie and others have been part of this 'gimme gimme gimme','give me all this money.'"
He was referring to Christie's requests for federal relief aid after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast last fall. Congress ultimately passed more than $50 billion in aid to the states affected by the storm.
But Paul said the aid should have been appropriated "in a responsible way." The senator blasted Christie for the same reason on Sunday, saying Christie and others were "bankrupting" the government.
Throwing more fuel on the fire, Paul said Tuesday that Christie should be careful about choosing his battles.
"It's not helping the party for him to pick a war with me. It's a big mistake. It's not very smart. And it's not a good way to grow the party," Paul said, adding that the Republican Party is "shrinking" in the Northeast. "Why would he want to pick a fight with the one guy who has a chance to grow the party by appealing to the youth and appealing to people who would like to see a more moderate and less aggressive foreign policy?"
Asked if the feud is a preview of a potential fight for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, Paul responded: "Who knows?"
Their spat first started on Thursday when Christie bashed libertarian-leaning lawmakers, like Paul, who oppose some of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
"These esoteric, intellectual debates – I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and orphans and have that conversation," Christie said during a Republican governors forum in Colorado, referring to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. "And they won't. That's a lot tougher conversation to have."
Paul hit back on Sunday attacking Christie on Superstorm Sandy aid. But Christie further defended his argument on Tuesday.
"If you ask me a question, I give an answer," Christie said. "You know, his response seems that he has something personal against me, but that's okay. He can just get in line on that front."
Another Republican from the Northeast joined Christie in his criticism over the weekend. Rep. Peter King, R-New York, chided Paul for saying NSA leaker Edward Snowden was performing an act of civil disobedience when he revealed the massive snooping programs.
"This is the anti-war, left-wing Democrats of the 1960s that nominated George McGovern and destroyed their party for almost 20 years. I don't want that happening to our party," King told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."
King also says he's mulling a potential 2016 presidential bid.
But Paul brushed off the line of attack, saying Tuesday more Americans would side with him in the debate.
"I don't think the Bill of Rights is esoteric, I don't think the Fourth Amendment is esoteric and I think the idea that we should have a right to privacy is not esoteric," he said on CNN.
– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
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