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. Lee

    Why is anyone beyond NJ even treating Christie as relevant? He's not.

    July 30, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. funkdefino

    Rand hits home run after home run. Christie picking on him is senseless and juvenile... Like it or not the libertarian wing of the republican party is here and growing fast.

    Christie's archaic world view will be his undoing. He's making the same mistake Giuliani and Romney did before him. It will be fun to watch him crash and burn!

    July 30, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. Peter Q Wolfe

    Whatever the U.S does just don't vote a libertarian in the White HOuse! I utterly am appalled by the simplistic ideas of the libertarian philosophy like everything is only temporary for the short term with no long term planning, anti-calliberation and anti-investment in functions of our government is anti-american. I really think cosnervatives and liberals would agree in research and development, infrastructure, reasonable regulation, foreign aid and diplomacy, smart military power and a reasonable safety net of the ravages of the pseudo free market. Nevermind the fact that equal opportunity doesn't exist in the U.S or abroad cause simply put institutional limits of knowledge and choices of parents disproportionally afffect children on their futures like my mom being a drug addict just as a small example.

    July 30, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Ess2

    Randy Paul is the consummate tea-bagger. In opposition – oppose EVERYTHING, no matter if it is useful for the greater good or not, even if you don't have a viable alternative. No wonder Washington is a stagnant cesspool...too many cancerous PAULyps and his ilk. I'm nowhere near a Republican, but I'd vote for Christie in a heartbeat over the self-serving, useless Pol.

    July 30, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  5. Greg

    Perhaps if he runs for president, Peter King can explain his support of the terrorist IRA. If he can't, he will be exposed for the terrorist sympathizer that he is today, despite his BS,

    July 30, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. Porkleton J. Pigsworth III

    Chris Christie is my God!

    July 30, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Big Ben

    And Paul is the King of Stupidity! I bet he comes from that backward state of Kentucky.

    July 30, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. Dave

    Why doesn't The Noon Balloon just change parties.
    He may be electable in New Jersey, but he is no better than Corzine.
    Used to like him as a politician. Even met him when he was out campaigning for other governors in other states.
    Back then he was somewhat humble. Now he believes his press.
    He may be getting a smaller gut, but he more than makes up for it with a Larger Head!

    July 30, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. Bubba

    "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." Doesn't this make Kentucky a "welfare" state. I thought Republicans like Rand Paul are pro fiscal responsibility. Such amazing hypocrites these uber conservatives are.

    July 30, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  10. jinx9to88

    "Paul pointed to Kentucky's two military bases as reasons why the state may get more money from the government." I thought Paul and the rest of the GOP are for smaller government? These hypocrites are pathetic!!!

    July 30, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. GiveMeABreak

    Rand Paul = one more reason I no longer consider myself a Republican.

    July 30, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. davidthomas38

    Chris Christie will never be a potential by conservatives for 2016. He is a democrat.

    July 30, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. northerstar

    It would be GREAT if Rand Paul actually ACCOMPLISHED something as a Senator. He got elected by the TeaParty and has yet to accomplish anything meaningful or get any legislation written or passed. What exactly does this clown do that gets people all excited and thinking he will be a Presidential contender in 2016. Even Joe Biden looks good compared to Paul in 2016. Clearly he cannot compare his resume to a sitting Governor of a state.

    July 30, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. Bob

    Lol, Paul is safe. Nobody's going to put a 400lb waddler in the White House.

    July 30, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. angeson

    Paul another do as I say not as I do Pudding head

    July 30, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  16. Marco

    Looks like Christie, aka "Krispy Kreme" need to lay of the bacon himself.

    July 30, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. angeson

    The real difference here is Christie is both electable and trust able.

    July 30, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. Jay S

    This is awesome! Bring on the libertarians. Finally! This country needs a reset to true Constitutional values.

    July 30, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  19. Dan

    If we take any of this seriously, we will never be more than children with fancy toys.

    July 30, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. Ben

    I wouldn't expect anything less from two pugilistic RINOs.

    July 30, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. Rob

    Fatboy is the King of all RINOS

    July 30, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. edwardo

    Christi could eat no lean, and Paul could eat no fat, and between the two of them they licked the budget clean!

    July 30, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  23. We are all neo-cons and Cheney supporters now

    The funny thing is the left can't exactly attack Chris Christie for sounding exactly like Bush on civil liberties, war, etc bc Obama has done the same thing. Most of the Dems are too busy defending Obama by supporting the NSA spying in bulk on the entire nation, talking about the need to give up liberty and rights bc of the threat of terrorism, defending the NDAA, defending the Patriot Act, defending Hillary's votes on the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, defending Obama's spying on the AP and a Fox reporter, screaming about racism while supporting the drone strikes in the mid east and the drug war at home that Obama has radically expanded in both cases, etc simply bc it is their guy doing all of this.

    So congrats Dems and leftists, almost all of you now sound like Bush/Christie/Cheney types when discussing civil liberties and war – the transformation of the MSNBC types has been almost as entertaining as the daily attacks by leftists on Glenn Greenwald for actually staying consistent to what leftists claimed to care about when Bush was in power!

    PS Thank you to Nancy Pelosi and the Dem leadership for making the difference in rejecting the Amash/Conyers amendment that would have defunded the NSA – George W is extremely proud of you, and will be delivering freedom fries to all of his fellow patriots who make up the Dem party. USA!!! USA!!!! USA!!!!!

    July 30, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. harleydavidson

    I will vote for the devil first before voting for chris christie.

    July 30, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. gmenfan54

    Governor Chris Christie certainly looks like he eats a lot of bacon.

    July 30, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
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