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. Geo

    Chris Christie is a RINO....a democrat in realtity. Dont listen to him.

    July 30, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. stevej110

    Peter King doesn't know what a Conservative is. And while he is right that the anti-war left hurt the Democratic Party, he doesn't face up to the fact that the neoconservative movement ruined the Republican Party, a movement for which he continues to be a blowhard mouthpiece.

    He continues to trot out the neocon trope that there are 2 groups of people, neoconservatives and liberals. Since Conservatives are not neoconservatives, he incorrectly calls them liberals. Big mistake since Conservatives are the backbone of the Republican Party.

    He fails to understand the difference between a Conservative who opposes a military operation because it is a huge strategic blunder, and an anti-war leftist who opposes any and all military operations. Nor does he appreciate the fact that many leftists use our military improperly - for social engineering projects. He incorrectly labels such leftists "moderates."

    The anti-war left was a movement that was anti-military and espoused pacifism.

    Conservatives are pro-military, pro-national defense, and pro-Constitution - which includes the 4th amendment.

    July 30, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  3. BaconLover

    What does this article have to do with bacon? :(

    July 30, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  4. Mary Evans

    Neather one has the balls of Sara Palain. Nuff said!

    July 30, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  5. outright conjob

    apparently, none of you are from new jersey.
    fatboy sucks.
    don't go away mad,chrispy, just go away.

    July 30, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  6. Ben

    Dr. Paul approaches government by trying to return the federal level to where it belongs: protecting life, liberty, and property. Christie is so RINO that democrats have a higher regard for him than his own party! (Gallup, 6/14)

    July 30, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  7. IraqVet

    Christies is as irrelevant as Juan McCain and his House Boehner when it comes to RINO politics.

    July 30, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  8. Christopher Bowen

    Christie is an establishment pig, and has nothing to give the cause of freedom which is what we sorely need right now.

    July 30, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. Lee

    Christie gets his script from the DNC, Paul from the Constitution. That means Paul will be the last one standing, hands down.
    Paul/Cruz 2016

    July 30, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  10. Jimmy russell

    Id take Paul over the fatty anyday, and I'm in NJ. Christie is another baby boomer politician that can chum it up with the old folks to get votes. The guy is popular, and not for anything to do with legislation. Hes popular because he seems like a normal guy. Too bad his policies hurt normal people.

    July 30, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  11. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    Christie is right, and Rand Paul is a bozo.

    July 30, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  12. mikelorrey

    Chris Christie is a conservative like his conservative calorie count. He's a freaking RINO. Rand Paul is the real deal.

    July 31, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  13. chuck

    Love the Republican family feud. They are so much like the Democrates of a few years back. As for Paul, he better watch out. Christie will thump his backside.

    July 31, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. mikelorrey

    Chris Christie is conservative like his conservative calorie count. He's a freaking RINO. Rand Paul is the real deal.

    July 31, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  15. calmdownpeople

    Here is the deal. Some people go into politics because they are dedicated Constitutional followers (Paul). For some its the family biz ( Clintons, Kennedys, Bushs, Cuomo's, Daileys) and for some sad people who were major losers their entire lives its there chance to get picked for a team. (Weiner and Christie ). All Paul has to do is wave Bruce Springsteen in front of Shrinking Chris and he will follow Paul back to the Republican Party.

    July 31, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  16. dan cooper

    Republicans need to be willing to cut the fat and a good start would be Christie.

    July 31, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Of course Kentucky gets more money from Washington than it sends – it's a red state, after all ...

    July 31, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  18. Quixote

    It is amazing that a rude blowhard like christie actually is the sanest the gop can field. paul is an imbecile. Congress is filled with gop imbeciles. State governments are overflowing like a 50 year old septic tank with republcion imbeciles. Christie floats to the top of that unsavory bunch, but he is still something you find in the septic system.

    July 31, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @tom l.: "Gee Sniffit, are you gonna say anything about CNN trying to stir the pot with this headline? Naaah. IOIYOD."

    How is reporting on what two politicians said to each other "stirring the pot"? Can't handle the heat, the kitchen door is that-a-way ...

    July 31, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  20. OldTomPaine

    Paul has a good point – we need those military bases in Kentucky for national security – after all that is the first place the Chinese will attack us when they land from their moonbase...right? Right?

    July 31, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  21. calmdownpeople

    All Paul need do is wave Bruce Springsteen in front of Chris and he will follow him back to the Republican Party.

    July 31, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  22. Proudly Unaffiliated

    Christie is bacon and Paul is the frying pan.

    July 31, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  23. Merkin

    Rand is not a libertarian, but I certainly don't want the high tax war mongering security state Krispy Kreme is trying to justify. If the Repubs want to end the current slow and certain demise of the party, they better smell the coffee Rand is at least brewing on the weekends and defend the Constitution on occasion.

    Now I want bacon. And donuts. And coffee. And a real libertarian party.

    July 31, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  24. AndyA121

    ( Looney tune music in the back ground) Da,da,da, dat's all folks

    July 31, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  25. jaquebauer

    The fat man from jersey is a RINO and obviously an Obama lap dog. The principles of Ron Paul and Libertarians are what is going to save this nation. The Republicans have become a stale and incompetent gang of old and backwards men, like John McCain, who care more about their legacy than the good of the country.

    July 31, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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