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. Don

    Christie's a Rhino from the word go. Why doesn't he jump on Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo who used the Sandy disaster funds provided by the Feds and allocated to New York to pay for advertising promoting business re-locations to the state of New York. The man is a hypocrite.

    July 30, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. mike

    I'm no fan of Christie, but Paul fails miserably, and looks like a fool and un-presidential in this epic fail. Just say no to teabags in 2016.

    July 30, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. b-b-b-Billy Miss Rachet

    This is you typical arrogant response from one the most mindless of the Republican extremists. He's not going to go along with the rest of the country's politicians and give his fellow Americans a hand. America will have to do it his because it's the right way and you're all blind if we can't see it. This guy is so thick he can't stand to put aside his pompous overblown ego and so called "principles" just once to give someone a hand. More Republican idiocy that continues to tarnish it's brand and it's viability! Bring on 2014, run these monkeys up a tree!!

    July 30, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. Guest 1

    If every state expets to collect more than they pay??...which states are expected to pay more than they collect????.. ( and why??)

    July 30, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. Robert

    Christie isn't presidential material. He cares about New Jersey plenty, but he doesn't seem to care much about the rest of the country.

    July 30, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Adam M. Aguiar

    God ! I love libertarians. Now if only the Tea Party and moderate republicans can only become a strong political force .BYTW there are NO "moderate" left wingers!

    July 30, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Guest 1

    in the words of Don McLean..."so bye, bye Miss American Pie"............

    July 30, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Guest 1

    when is it ok to spend the money that another one has earned???...

    July 30, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. Adam M. Aguiar

    There are some moderate democrats/

    July 30, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. Rk

    I like the part where Paul considers himself to be the guy who can "reach out to the youth."

    July 30, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. texbill

    Pork. Bacon. Christie. Look up "pig" and youll find pictures of all three.

    July 30, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  12. Boss

    Christie, Obama, Top Democrats and and RINO Republicans all work for the same bankers and special interests. Other than a few hot-button social issues, the two political parties are one in the same. Most tax paying voters will never realize this. And the Special interests who profit will always pay the MSM to keep us in the dark.
    Neo-Cons = Neo-Libs
    Christie, Bush, Cheney, Graham & McCain = Obama, Clinton, Reid and Pelosi

    Both groups have no elegance to our Constitution, but for our growing police state under the leadership of a corrupt and privately owned Federal Reserve. This is an age similar to Socialist Germany in the 1930s. Government propaganda and special interests control our media. The government spies on its people and asks them to spy on each other. Christie and Obama want us to give up our constitutional rights for "Fear of Men in Caves"! Sad.....

    July 30, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  13. S. B. Stein

    I hope that this bruises both for any presidential ambitions. I don't think either one is really understanding of what it takes to be president. Christie is too much of a bully that would eliminate too many parts of the constitution while Paul goes too far with his ideology that seems to think that people will always do the proper thing when they clearly don't.

    July 30, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. muneshadowe

    "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,"
    Unless history befuddles me there sir it happened a little differently. A corrupt FBI agent got 4 Cuban Nationals to break into a hotel room and a vice president that gave a full and complete pardon to a corrupt freshly former president that caused the republican party to lose the Presidency for 4 years. And because of that the republican party could not gain control of either chamber till 1992. Then their arrogance set in with a speaker getting recorded and then the strong arming came into effect and wa-la! you ended up worse than the other side.
    The presidency and both chambers went big time left and all your side is thinking about is being left lite and to you guys just don't get it. From what I see the republican party or should I say the establishment party is sending in christy to attack Rand Paul and that will be a big mistake and all you guys are going to do is split the party. But then again you once again have proved that you'd rather an establishment democrat get in rather than a Real Republican.

    July 30, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. olhoss1884

    Typical republican Paul...spend spend spend and no accountability. Two military bases in KY doesn't the least bit excuse what a taker state it is and Paul refused to defend his votes to increase Federal spending. Typical Libertarian, too, he's never had to actually go out on his own and make a living without already having the tremendous advantage of having a great financial head start, more egregious in his case because he's the son of a life long politician.

    July 30, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. Sophie Meyer

    Woo hoo!!! Pass the popcorn! I'm enjoying Christie squashing Paul like a cockroach – like the government teat suckling cockroach that he is (just like his dad.) In the long standing Paul family tradition, Rand Paul will reap the benefits of the government he loathes without actually accomplishing anything constructive for US citizens.

    July 30, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Ummm

    GURGYL ps Neither politician held their current office when the Senate and House overwhelmingly approved of Operation Iraqi Liberation. In fact, Sen Paul wasn't even elected to public office until 2010 (that'd be two years AFTER Bush left office, in case you weren't aware).

    BILL You're simply wrong.

    DON Clearly you are ignorant political reality butI'd love to take your foolish bet and will wait for 3 more years for you to figure out what you obviously don't know.

    July 30, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. Allen

    As far as I am concerned, Christie has sucked up enough to the liberals and has become one of them. I no longer trust that he would support anything without consulting his buddies on the left. Its really sad because I had high hopes for him.

    July 30, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  19. Steve D.

    I could care less about all the back and forth, between Christie and Paul, just as long this "clown" in White House now has no more power to help another Clinton into that TOP SPOT, which he never deserved! Keep the Liberals away from power, which is bad for the health of AMERICA!!

    July 30, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  20. cd

    Chris move the the democrat side we do't need you anymore.

    July 30, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. DJ Reality

    Rand Paul is the King of Planters. Because he's nuts....

    July 30, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Kevmeistah

    Both of them are knuckleheads, but Christie using the widows to deflect criticism? That's Liberal Democrat 101. I'll vote for neither IF I remain in the Republican party. Paul's demonizing of civil servants has gotten old and makes the false assumption that all federal workers are lazy minorities.

    July 30, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. joesixpack

    Great to see these two go at it. I love the nick names and the name calling. These two could end up on the same ticket as Laurel & Hardy. Rand needs to do better than dad and Christie just needs to lose a few and he'll be the darling of the rational Republicans. Hilary will probably beat them both.

    July 30, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. Walt

    I wish Republicans would quit taking the bait from left leaning media trying to make every Rebublican disagreement into a major headline generating story. This is the start of the media helping 'Democrats win the next election and discredit Republicans anyway they can. Please get your act together as we can't afford any more Democratic policies and need strong leadership to get the economy going.

    July 30, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  25. evereadyII

    Does anyONE care what crisco says...we all know he is now working for the obummer

    July 30, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
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