July 30th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
12 months 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. M.A.P.

    It's funny because he's fat!!!

    But seiously, does Rep. Paul really think he's the one who will "save" the GOP? He really thinks he "appeals" to the youth vote? He's a fool if that's what he really thinks.

    July 31, 2013 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  2. Gunderson

    Keep on talking bacon and all other forms of PORK! I can just see obama squirming at his desk in the oval office.

    July 31, 2013 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  3. greggebhardt

    obama used christy to his advantage and christy liked it.

    July 31, 2013 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  4. AEK

    Christie's style of politics seems to be to fire off cheap shots. He's the master of the 'sound bite', but this time it may not work for him.

    Picking a fight with a conservative Republican while crooning over Obama may be what they like in New Jersey, but the rest of the country might perceive him to be loud-mouthed cheap-shooter.

    Mr. Christie, the Constitution of the United States is not 'esoteric', and conservative fiscal philosophy is not 'dangerous'.

    What I found disappointing about Christie's approach to relief from super-storm Sandy was that he was so obsessed with playing politics with the disaster.

    It seemed that getting his photo fawning over Obama was too high a priority for Christie, too much his objective.

    July 31, 2013 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  5. VoteThemOut

    Chris Christie even looks like a DONKEY.

    July 31, 2013 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  6. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Rand Paul is a dope. Watch him keep talking to prove it. The Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potty love him.

    July 31, 2013 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  7. Barry

    I will never vote for Christy. Better my vote to be cast nowhere than a Liberal Republican. They stand for nothing but electing more Dems

    July 31, 2013 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  8. Featherpants

    If Rand and Christie are the best hope of Republicans we're doomed!!

    July 31, 2013 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  9. steve

    Christie and other republicans like him are showing no respect for those that want to do the necessary steps to get this Country back on track. These RINO types quickly ridicule the Ted Cruz's and Sarah Palin's of america, and feel ok to embrace such a evil man like Obama that they are worse than worthless, because they do more harm than doing just nothing.

    July 31, 2013 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  10. vuka

    The Fat Man will win!! Paul and his Republican extremists are gluttons for punishment, digging their own grave. Independents will run a mile if these fools prevail [they will not!}

    July 31, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  11. steve

    Christie appeals to emotion as the basis for his argument, while Paul is using reason and logic as the basis. With Christie embracing Obama in the photo op, and Paul standing alone in the filibuster, who can you trust in a difficult situation?

    July 31, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  12. Tom

    I think Obama made a deal with Christie somehow to sow discord in Republican ranks. It just seems too much like something out of Obama's playbook. Christie is a RINO who gave the election to Obama when he hugged him and said he was doing great. Too bad the people, especially the lady with whom the president had a photo op, say they still haven't heard back from the pres, and the lady herself said she felt used. Chris Christie will never get the Republican nomination, so why is he sowing discord in the party?

    July 31, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  13. ounceoflogic

    Last I heard, Christie was a governor (of New Jersey, no less) who had lost both the attention and respect of conservatives and Republicans alike by helping o'bama win the last election in exchange for a whole bunch of money. So why suddenly is Christie in the headlines everyday with his opinions about what a Kentucky Senator is doing? His career as a Republican will never leave the state of NJ... is he maybe campaigning to run for something as a Democrat or is he simply putting himself up for sale again?

    July 31, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  14. kravkid

    Christie is fat, mouthy, and classless. Oh, wait! That makes him the quintessential role model.

    July 31, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  15. jppezz23

    I used to live in N.J. I'm glad I moved.I'd vote for Rand Paul anyday.

    July 31, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  16. Jules

    Except that KY, Rand Paul's state, receives a whole lot more bacon than New Jersey, so he just might want to shut his pie hole.

    July 31, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. freecheese

    First of all, "Superstorm Sandy" was just a tropical storm pumped up to be the worst 'hurricane' ever. Wish they could have been here for Katrina.
    Christy - a Natheastern RINO couldn't hold a candle to a true conservative like Paul. I sometimes think Christy is trying to become the next Arlen Spector begging to find an public excuse to leave the party.

    July 31, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  18. Madmatt

    The king of bacon"" had apparently been around too many Weiners and the temptation to keep stuffing himself full from as many as he could get a hold of to be disappeared or NDAA'd into Christie's abyss forever could not be resisted or even moderately disciplined without outside help and intervention.

    July 31, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  19. John M Taylor

    Chris Christie and Peter King, and the other NE authoritarian big-government pols should just get on with it and switch parties. I'm a life long GOP voter, who has had it with the disconnect between the establishment of this party and the conservative/libertarian base. I will not vote for one of these "right-wing" progressives again.

    July 31, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  20. diet

    Christie: "mooooooooooooo!"

    July 31, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  21. Larry

    I love Paul Rand – he is a shining example of what the GOP is all about so I hope he runs for President and wins the GOP nomination. Go Paul:) Get those tax cuts for the rich, increase taxes on the poor, gut the social programs and increase the homeless by the millions, lower the minimum wage, allow big Oil to destroy our environment or should I say big Coal, close all the abortion clinics so women go back to using coat hangers in the alley, start a couple of wars on the other side of the planet so that our military is over there when we get invaded here, I Love the GOP:)

    July 31, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  22. purdue pete

    Go get em Rand! This is the guy who sent a check back to washington for leftover funds his office had. This is the guy (one of the only ones) that stood up and put the idiot-in-chief in his place about drone use.

    Everyone is so quick to label him since the TEA party likes him. Gee, maybe it's because the TEA party stands for freedom, and so does Paul? Since when is it bad to stand for freedom? I know it's not popular with the lefty loonies, but that's what this country was founded on.

    July 31, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  23. tim moynihan

    Use to like Christie but he is turning into a big blowhard,he is trying too please the democrats and I wouldn't waste my time.

    July 31, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
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