July 30th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
9 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. dzerres

    Two pigs calling each other hogs. Hilarious.

    July 30, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. NameLindaHardge

    Governor Christie of New Jersey is very frank and to the point. Keep on disagreeing Republicans. Can you believe they want to run for President?

    July 30, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Nick

    Rand Paul 2016! Christie is just another wanna-be McCain – who is very similar to Obama and Romney – and the Clintons' – and all of the rest of those wackos. They have a behind-the-scene agenda they ant to force down our throats and Christie is the most recent hitman out to attack Paul. Everyone should support Rand Paul b/c he's defending our Liberty against those that would see us enslaved to debt.

    July 30, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. John/kc

    How can Kentucky have such a good basketball team while electing dufus like Ron Paul and Mitch McConnell as Senators?

    July 30, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Nick

    Rand Paul 2016! Christie is just another wanna-be McCain – who is very similar to Obama and Romney – and the Clintons' – and all of the rest pushing bigger government down our throats. They have a behind-the-scene agenda they want to implement and Christie is nothing more than the recent hitman out to attack Paul. Everyone should support Rand Paul b/c he's defending our Liberty against those that would see us enslaved to debt.

    July 30, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Loathstheright

    Christie should know better than to do things that helps the American people, the GOP demands that all Republicans do as much harm as possible to hurt the President....gosh, doesn't he know you don't cross the Mafia.

    July 30, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. ade

    "King of Bacon" ?. He really is – If you SEE what I mean.

    July 30, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. winstongalt

    Yeah, King is the moron who went ballistic when the pork laden Sandy aid bill was scrutinized. Figures that he'd side with a corruptocrat clown like Christie.

    July 30, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. Jay

    Christie is your big government Republican. He wants government large. He sees government as a huge, undulating mass of fat, lumbering along and smashing into each citizen as it moves about the country. His government can't bend over and can't get up without help. Christie's government is a sweating bulk, a manatee sized figure, corpulent, obese and bloated. Any government entity that Christie manages to control will ultimately need some type of exotic stomach stapling procedure, lest it continues on belching and passing gas, destroying the lives of everything around it.

    July 30, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. TizLiz

    "9-11 widows and orphans" is the slapdown for anyone who dares to stand up for our quickly diminishing 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th amendment rights...heck, the whole Constitution. Our own government has accomplished what the "terrorists" could not...the dismantling of our freedom in killing the rule of law. I'm wary of any politician who foments fear-mongering and war propaganda.

    July 30, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. r c

    Ron Paul is the next Republican that doesn't have the brains to understand that he has no chance at the White House. What is is with these people?

    July 30, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Sammie Jo

    Oh, the "widows and orphans" card, that's just as pathetic as the race card, c'mon Christie, you can do better than that.

    July 30, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. Tom Y.

    Actually, I think this is a healthy debate between two big and very interesting personalities. As a Northeast Democrat, it does make you take a second look at Christie and whether he could actually represent a compromise of my interests and that of my conservative peers.

    July 30, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Paul

    "Wait, where did you go when Bush spent trillions on IRAQ WAR, Afganistan war while Zbin Laden in Pakistan knowing all 25 billion dollars a year to Pakistan. You say spending. At least christy spent on Sandy hurricane."

    This is Rand Paul's first term. He wasn't in the Senate when Bush was in office.

    July 30, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. Drew

    I am the Bacon King ... I can do anything.

    July 30, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. John Rambo

    Chris Christy got Pwned.

    July 30, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. Manila Ice

    Im just glad there is an actual debate taking place on the right, unlike the Dems who basically sit around licking each others balls all day.

    Christie 2016

    July 30, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Steven Seagal

    Not really much of a choice... one guy actually believes in small gov't rooted upon a moral philosophy while the other has no problem with stealing from others as long as it's from that nebulous "federal gov't." Paul's got my vote.

    July 30, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. OrmondGeorge

    Using this as a baseline, I'm guessing that by the time Republicans have a full stage of primary candidates, each and all will already have made themselves utterly unelectable in the general election – EXCEPT (maybe) Christie who would have to run as an independent (TEA Party "Patriots" will NEVER let him get the Republican nomination.

    July 30, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. cam

    Conservatives don't like Christie. Liberals are the only ones who defend him. They only like him because he is an Obama defender.

    July 30, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. american slaves

    Rand Paul 2016! no more rhinos

    July 30, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. Rogue One

    Can't we close Ft. Knox, it has to be empty by now anyway?,

    July 30, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. Greg

    Like the racist Rand Paul is the guy to grow the GOP base. I'm not a fan of christie but if anyone has a chance to expand the GOP base it's him. Rand is as bigoted and racist as his dad and twice as crazy. His appeal to college students is made up. It doesn't exist.

    July 30, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Len

    Please nominate Senator Paul in 2016 to be President. Please!!!!!

    July 30, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Wallace

    Bicker backer tit4tat. Bottom line is, between these 2 guys, Paul is the one ultimately committed to less government period.

    July 30, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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