Rand Paul hits Chris Christie over post-Sandy tourism ads
November 6th, 2013
10:17 PM ET
12 months ago

Rand Paul hits Chris Christie over post-Sandy tourism ads

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, took a not-so-subtle jab Wednesday at Gov. Chris Christie for starring in ads aimed at promoting tourism in New Jersey in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

In a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing to review the federal response to last year's deadly storm, Paul questioned Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan about whether Sandy relief funds should be spent on television ads.

Paul said that “people running for office put their mug all over these ads while they are in the middle of a campaign. In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office."

"Ya think there might be a conflict of interest there? You know that’s a real problem. That’s why when people who are trying to do good and trying to use taxpayer dollars wisely they are offended to see our money spent on political ads. You know that’s just offensive."

Christie was first criticized by Democrats for appearing in an ad released over the summer titled "Stronger Than the Storm" for using taxpayer dollars. The commercial was a part of a $25 million tourism campaign to boost the Jersey Shore's economy, which used federal emergency funds given to states affected by the storm.

"New York did the same thing, which I still object, but at least they didn’t put someone’s face on the ad and their family, and it looks like a bio ad," Paul continued. "You know I think, yeah, come to New Jersey, but it’s like I don’t want to pay for ads for someone’s advertising out of Sandy relief funds. It gives the whole thing a black eye."

Paul's criticism follows the Kentucky senator's comments on Tuesday labeling Christie a moderate after the New Jersey governor called himself a conservative in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. Rising stars in the GOP, Paul and Christie are considered potential 2016 presidential candidates.

Rand Paul labels Chris Christie a moderate

"I think the Republican Party is a big party, and we need moderates like Chris Christie who can win in New Jersey," Paul said on CNN's “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blizter. Paul added that the Republican Party was generally "more conservative" than Christie.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chris Christie • Rand Paul • Superstorm Sandy
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    Somebody's jealous .... ;)

    November 6, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Sammy

    Christie is holding back billions from Sandy survivors, those who lost home still are waiting for payments a year after. Many of them are on a waiting list, not yet able to fill out forms for aid. A year after and Christie is holding back the money. Maybe Christie needs to work with Madoff again, naw, he is in prison for life. Christie will not release any reports about the Fed Aid money which he is suppose to do, But you know Christie, He likes to hide what he doesn't do. He is a far right conservative, like the Tea Party, so suspect he put the 60 billions from FEMA into his State Budget.

    November 6, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. fandancy

    Poor Rand.
    The attention starved guy will do anything for more attention.
    He needs to get himself a job in a carnival as a freak.

    November 6, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  4. roccotaco

    The republican base is way more conservative than Christie and will never turn out for him in a general election. He is a McCain or Romney lite.

    November 7, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. fastrack1

    Christie shows the Repugs what it takes to win the vote, shows political savy, uses his own high recognition to try to bring tourist dollars into a devastated region. Sounds like really sour grapes to me.

    November 7, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Matt

    I'm a conservative that happens to be tired of politicians like Mr. Paul. I'm tired of continuing to send out candidates that have no chance of winning the White House. It's time the Republican party, especially the religious right, gets with the program and lets people live their lives how they see fit. It's not our job to tell someone they can't get married. It's not our right to step on the rights of other people in the name of God. Move past the bible and start looking at issues that affect your daily lives such as government spending, taxes, and international issues.

    November 7, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  7. judith

    Funny how the GOP is splitting and fighting a civil war. It's true that Christie spent big bucks on a tourism add featuring himself and his family in a bit of shameless self-promotion. Paul, of course, is jealous of Christie's success and is also green with envy over the fact that the horrible Ted Cruz is not the tea-party heartthrob. Very entertaining to see the ongoing battle for the soul of the soulless GOP.

    November 7, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  8. Jeb

    Neither Paul nor Christie have any chance of becoming President.

    November 7, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  9. Lindsey

    Paul is the better candidate although the same old moderates who gave the GOP Romney and McCain may give them another loser in Christie. Too bad the GOP can't get its act together!

    November 7, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  10. Mike

    Three years before the next Presidential Election and the GOP hopefuls are sniping at each other. I wonder how big the clown car will be this time around.

    November 7, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  11. Jason

    The only way Rand Paul will see the inside of the White House is if he takes the tour.

    November 7, 2013 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  12. John832

    Wow, some people sure are invested in this whole GOP civil war crap. Its as if they don't want voters to have an actual alternative to the big spending business as usual politics. Which basically means you get two choices:
    – Big Government Democrats who want to force you to pay for their social policies and regulate you for your own safety
    – Big Government Republicans who want to force their morals on you and maintain a military 10x bigger than we actually need.

    November 7, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  13. Subramanian Venkatraman

    What a great example for making a mountain of a moll hill! Your broad minded knows by the size of the issues you try to handle. The smaller and worthless or dead issue the smaller, worthless you are and your campaign will be.

    November 7, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  14. Rand Paul is a Plagiarizer!

    Trying to change the conversation, Mr. Plagiarizer?

    November 7, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  15. American7

    Some sections of NJ and New York were without food and the government was no where to be found. The needy residents were surprised when the 5 tractor trailers pulled in full with food and supplies that were given out for free. Who's trucks were they? Glenn Beck's MercuryOne.

    November 7, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  16. clutch

    I wonder where Paul plagiarized this bunch of puckey from?

    November 7, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  17. Pat in IL

    Paul's criticism is really a stretch. For one thing, it shows that he does not understand the economics of the state of NJ, the importance of the shore area, etc. Using some of that recovery money to help them recover is very appropriate. He needs to quit making a fool of himself.

    November 7, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  18. John in Brooklyn

    Really, Rand Paul? That's all you have? Tourism commercials? Geesh....this guy is the Republicans' 21st century equivalent to Dan Quayle.

    November 7, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  19. Thomas

    Randy Paul and Justin Beaver should tour together.

    seriously , AquaBeaver .

    November 7, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  20. don in albuquerque

    No doubt in my mind that Randy is going to be the big loser in this butt kicking contest.

    November 7, 2013 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  21. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Dopey Rand Paul changing the subject. The Guns Over People tea potty do it every time they get caught.

    November 7, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  22. Gurgyl

    None of these two are worth my Dime, next.....

    November 7, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  23. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Christie is sitting on money from the government that should be given to those who lost so much in Sandy, and needs to get it to them. As for 2016, Rand has figured out that Christie is the front runner, and will do everything he can to discredit the governor. And this is only the beginning of the long road to 2016, so get out the refreshments, this is going to be more entertaining than Duck Dynasty or Jersey Shore.

    November 7, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  24. Tampa Tim

    Let the hunger games begin. While the bagger base salutes the prince of plagiarism, those who saw the ethically challenged governor win, must realize that the GOP has nothing to offer Americans in 2016. This is going to be interesting, like a battle between two sock puppets.

    November 7, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  25. johnworks1956

    I find this strange from a wana be presidential candidate that clearly makes ridiculous statements for press coverage just to get name recognition. It seems he ran out of things to say and had to use the words of others. I wish they would stop associating him with Kentucky. He is from TEXAS and an embarrassment to KY.

    November 7, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
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