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. Big Bear

    Christie is part and parcel of the Empire Back East. Far overdue to break the Amurkin Empire into independent, self-sustaining regions.

    July 30, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. deshard

    Hey sniffit, maybe that's because it's not the Democrats trying every trick in the book to suppress the black and latino vote. Duh.

    July 30, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. Buck Sargent

    Christy lost me when he sold out to the side of big brother per the snooping on the part of the NSA. I'll take Paul over Christy all day any day.

    July 30, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Whodo

    Christie is nothing but a huge pig lacking any personal self-control. I wouldn't vote for that grotesque excuse for a human being if he were the only one running for office.

    July 30, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. rob

    Rand Paul respects the constitution. I'd vote for him before that RINO Christie anyday.

    July 30, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. garyinco

    I like Rand Paul, mostly. Christie will never get the republican nomination. He is just another career politician. When are we going to quit electing career politicians? These are just the nerds that wanted to be "class president" in high school. Yuck.

    July 30, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Pondboy

    If you can visualize gluttony on the out side snd the disapearence of millions from the Sany Account why would you vote for Porky Pig ?

    July 30, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. MikeInOhio

    don in albuquerque... "Slowing down the government" is an accomplishment in itself. I support anyone in their efforts to slow down the government.

    July 30, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. kman821

    Obviously, when you're the King of Faux Follicles you recognize other royalty when you see it!

    July 30, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. BAB

    Christi is not helping the Republicans. I lost faith in him long ago. He's all about Christi.

    July 30, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. JohnF

    Thank you Paul Ryan for slowing down the government. Hasn't anyone noticed that ever since the 'do nothings' got into Congress, that the economy has been improving. Without stimulus spending and phone 'clunkers for cash' programs and with Obamacare dragging it down?

    And what right does ANY state have demanding the federal goverment give them a DIME for disaster relief? It's not free money, it comes out of the pockets of the TAXPAYERS of this country. Here's a thought Christie .. your moronic planners allowed people to build in places they shouldn't have .. why don't YOUR taxpayers foot the bill???

    As for the comment about 9-11, I will be more than happy to sit at a table with the widows, orphans, and widowers of that horrible time and explain exactly why the NSA program is wrong and why it should be reduced in scope to requiring court orders to gather non-public data. And why it probably isn't the sole reason for the terrorist plots it is said to have stopped. Christie is more than welcome to join me and explain why he thinks he has the right to give away my personal privacy because it makes him feel safer, and when he is going to make public every telephone conversation he has every been involved in prove it. After all, if he wants the NSA to be able to listen to my conversations, it's only fair that we all get to listen to his.

    July 30, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. stevenkane

    I think it's refreshing to see these two idiots argue.....,nice to see their hatred isn't being focused exclusively on our president..,guess you neocon fanatics probably won't be seeing a Christie-Paul ticket in 2016 ..or vice-vrsa...,maybe Paul will bribe Christie with a meal that will be "super sized" ...

    July 30, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Jen

    Christie clearly has the upper hand on Randy Paul. Randy is playing with fire... Go Christie.. :)

    July 30, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. NCIndependent

    The no-nonsense Christie any day over Paul. If I had to make such a choice.

    July 30, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Jason

    The quality of these comments is astounding. Rand Paul wasn't in office during any of the wars and his dad was notoriously against them which is something he agrees with. The left wing Dems of the 60s were right about Vietnam and being lied to. Look up the Gulf of Tonkin incident. And finally prior to 9/11 the NSA snooping machine was setup and it did not prevent the atrocities that happened. Go google it. Gov. Christie is being disingenuous by stating with his ad hominem attacks things about Sen. Paul while responding as if he didn't first throw the mud. I am disappointed the journalist didn't follow up on the attacks with fact checking but left this at the level of a celebrity feud. Fact checking and explanations of accusations and their accuracy should be basic guidelines to journalism. If not, the youth of America will continue to abandon your media as they have good critical thinking skills developed from internet research from the time they were in kindergarten.

    July 30, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Mike B

    "Why would he want to pick a fight with the one guy who has a chance to grow the party..."

    Randy Paul really has a high opinion of himself.

    July 30, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. BO

    Christie is the bacon.

    July 30, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Scott

    And Paul is the King of Lard.

    July 30, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. jinny

    Christie is getting on my nerves. Man-hugging Obama and obsessively ripping his future primary opponent. Getting old.

    July 30, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. germak

    I'll pick Rand any day over Christie Creme or Peter King! But.....I'm going all the way with CRUZ! CRUZ /WEST 2016

    July 30, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. pedro bundol

    Only Democrats enjoy seeing this two idiots bang their heads. There would no shortage of political ads come 2016 if they manage to get the nominations.

    July 30, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. dan

    Christie is another wanna bee lib in disguise. Leave the GOP fat man and take the REPUBS but Ted Cruz with you!

    July 30, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. @left1

    Christie is a RINO. Can't be trusted.

    July 30, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. Derek

    Someone needs to remove that curly haired rodent living on Paul's head

    July 30, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. Never Happen

    Republicans have got to get to a happy place and stop the infighting. It wastes resources and is counterproductive to advancing party goals and getting back into the White House...

    July 30, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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