July 30th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
1 year ago

Paul: Christie is the 'king of bacon' on government spending

(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.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Haaggus

    Either of these guys would be a trillion times better in the White House than any democrat. I obviously prefer Rand Paul.

    July 31, 2013 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  2. Scott

    Christie actually knows how to run a state and have real responsibilities. Rand Paul has done nothing by comparison. Rand Paul is a spoiled brat with some nutty ideas and a big ego.

    July 31, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. deedeemao

    "Has AquaBuddha actually accomplished anything of note while he has been slowing down the government? "

    When our government is out of control and hurtling headlong towards bankruptcy, slowing it down is what every responsible and intelligent elected representative with even a modicum of foresight should be working hard at doing..

    July 31, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  4. Kevin

    Christie > Paul in every fathomable metric.

    July 31, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  5. fasfaf

    Cant get any more squeal out of that pig

    July 31, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  6. Scott

    Anyone notice, that when democrats, or liberal repubs are spending too much, their excuse is "Well. BUSH did it, so it's ok!" I'm glad you folks aren't accountants, we'd all be in the red.

    July 31, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. Name

    Christie is a status quo 9/11 banner good ole boy.

    July 31, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  8. Rhino Gov

    That's a new one, the fat guy says the skinny guy is the King of bacon. Christie has to many buffets with the democrats, Paul is a real conservative and plain spoken and honest.

    July 31, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  9. Peter Q Wolfe

    Funny that conservatives like government but only when they disproportionally benefit from it. However, the most ironic thing is that welfare recievers go in droves to Wal-Mart, yet Wal-Mart lobbies D.C to cut those benefits and judge their own workers by not raising the minimum wage. Conservatives want it all without budging a inch and this is why I'm never going to vote republican ever again. I'm moving to a blue state cause this has gotten ridiculous in southern e.g. south America lol.

    July 31, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  10. Skeptic

    Christie owns Paul in this "debate". Every talking point Paul comes up with is refuted with actual facts by Christie. Kentucky takes more federal money than N.J. does, compared to what revenues they each provide the feds, and N.J. has more military bases and more military members than Kentucky does.

    Are the Paul supporters and Kentuckians so dumb they can't see these simple facts? Or are partisan blinders allowing them to purposely ignore those clear facts?

    July 31, 2013 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  11. fairness

    If Christie is going to play the 911 card, fine, but don't complain when the parents and siblings of the kids murdered in Newtown, travel around the country begging for some type of background check for gun buyers. If you cannot look the 911 kids and widows in the eye, you should not be able to look the parents who lost those sweet little kids to a murderer, in the eye. It's called, fairness.

    July 31, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  12. Rhino Gov

    That's a new one, the fat guy says the skinny guy is the King of b acon. Christie has to many buffets with the democrats, Paul is a real conservative and plain spoken and honest.

    July 31, 2013 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  13. Rhino Gov

    Rhino Obama loving gov, vs conservative libertarian.

    July 31, 2013 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  14. Terrylee

    Sticks and stones............watch it Christie. You are no longer considered for high office, keep the trap shut, it does not become you.

    July 31, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  15. tonyl

    Let's have civil war among the Repugs. They have the guns and they can have at each other while the country can rid of the war mongers. I am willing to pay for this fight.

    July 31, 2013 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  16. a better answer

    why do people keep voting democrat or republican, when both parties represent the same thing? both are owned lock stock and barrel by the Fed and the Banks. Washington needs the kind of cleansing that all the worlds detergents combined couldnt scrub clean.

    July 31, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  17. JustB

    Sounds like Christie can't really refute what Paul says about the spying so he decided to attack Paul in an area where he's weak. Looks like Romney vs Ron Paul all over again. When will these people learn.

    July 31, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  18. tina

    Paul is a mental case. Look at his eye. Look at all those tea party people, one who flow over the cco coc nest.

    July 31, 2013 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  19. Ray

    Rand is on the Right track...he looks at the bigger picture which is when your not sending Billons of Dollars in Foreign Aid to Africa, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Israel then there would be more money to pay down the debt and pay for emergencies within the country. Christie is all about his home state and done't consider where the money is coming from as long as he gets it.... News flash...its coming from you and me. The old school Republican party of old men is DEAD if they don't incorporate Libertarian Ideals of smaller more efficient Government, a Military that is for DEFENSE not Offense and a government that respects the privacy of its people.

    July 31, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  20. Maz

    Hey Chris.... when you stand on the senate floor and actually take on the Administration, instead of sucking up, I might take you seriously. Outside of the Northeast, you won't win any Republican primary.

    July 31, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  21. Brandon

    "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"

    ffs how much more money does our "national defense" need? We already spend nearly 700B, which is 500B more than China.

    July 31, 2013 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  22. Zeke

    Hey fellas - yeah, you guys, Chris, Peter, and Rand: Knock it off and shake hands. The enemy is over there – they're called Democrats. Go after them, not each other.

    July 31, 2013 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  23. Rich

    Christi is just another sellout repube no better than obummer.

    July 31, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  24. Lee Bishop

    I haven't voted for a Demokrat in decades. I will no longer vote for RINOs and that includes Christie. I'm not a big fan of Rand Paul. Potential candidates who have started getting my attention are Ted Cruz of Texas and Trey Goudy of South Carolina. But the eye opener in this article is the suggestion that, regardless of anything else, Edward Snowden was anything other than a whistleblower and hero when he shared the fact the government blatantly disregarded our civil rights by violating the 4th Amendment of our Constitution. I was a Vietnamese linguist and cryptographer and worked at NSA when I got back to the States 1967-69. The one absolute was: NEVER intercept domestic communications. Christie should be avoided like the plague for defending the government's spying on its population.

    July 31, 2013 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  25. richard

    All I need to remember about Christie, was the infamous Obama embrace before the election.

    July 31, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
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