Sen. Rand Paul criticizes Gov. Chris Christie for 'embracing Obamacare'
November 19th, 2013
08:39 PM ET
8 months ago

Sen. Rand Paul criticizes Gov. Chris Christie for 'embracing Obamacare'

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's decision to expand Medicaid in the state, calling the decision "very expensive and not fiscally conservative."

The first-term Republican senator from Kentucky said that while no “one person gets to decide what is and what isn't conservative,” the New Jersey governor’s acceptance of a portion of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act suggests that Christie is not a true conservative.

"On the case of the New Jersey governor, I think embracing Obamacare (and) expanding Medicaid in his state is very expensive and not fiscally conservative - and really, many Republican governors who I would say are conservative did resist expanding and accepting Obamacare in their states," Paul said, appearing on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront on Tuesday.

Paul continued: "That fact, I would say, would lead towards you making the conclusion that it's not a very conservative proposal."

Both Paul and Christie are considered likely Republican contenders in the 2016 presidential race.

In February, Christie became the eighth Republican governor to accept the expansion of Medicaid included in the Affordable Care Act, explaining to skeptics that refusing the federal dollars would put other states ahead of his own.

"I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act," Christie said. "I think it's wrong for New Jersey and wrong for America. I fought against it, and believe in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises. However, it is now the law of the land."

In June 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate of Obama sweeping health care law and the Medicaid expansion, though it allowed states to choose whether to participate in the expansion program.

Paul's questioning of Christie's conservative chops hasn't let up over the past couple weeks.

Earlier this month, Paul labeled Christie a moderate and later hit the popular GOP state executive for appearing in television ads funded by taxpayers after Superstorm Sandy.

Christie won re-election earlier this month, garnering broad support in the historically blue state of New Jersey. After criticism from members of his own party, such as Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who is also considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016, the Garden State Republican said he doesn't feel he has any "fence-mending" to do with the GOP.

"I am going to be me. And if I ever decide to run for anything again, if being me isn't good enough, then fine, I will go home. This isn't my whole life," he said at an event in Washington on Monday.

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chris Christie • GOP • Obamacare • Rand Paul
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. timverba

    Somebody please inform the junior senator that increasing revenue and decreasing costs is a conservative approach to governing. Therefore, obtaining more Medicare dollars to reduce the number of people with high costs of medical care is conservative. Rand Paul's brand of conservatism seeks to realize that fewer people have healthcare coverage. What kind of doctor was he?

    November 19, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. SayWhat

    Hey copycat Paul your state is accepting it too.

    November 19, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. ladies first

    anything for attention can we please get down to bussiness and enough of the LIES when are we going to feel the difference in this elected President And quit TWISTING WORDS OR JUST DONT SPEAK!

    November 19, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. HenryMiller

    "However, it is now the law of the land."

    Until it's repealed.

    November 19, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. Gary

    Pass the popcorn, this is gonna get good.

    November 19, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Rand knows that true conservatives refuse to help those less fortunate. True conservatives must enjoy people dying without access to health care, as well as refuse to vote for aid for people who were affected by hurricanes and other disasters. The religious right is wrong.

    November 19, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. MaryM

    Randy better look at the republicans winning elections in Louisiana that embraced Obamacare

    November 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  8. ja

    a segment is saying the president lied, what about the wmds, there was no outrage, we rather buy bombs than band aids, hypocrisy at it greatest level

    November 19, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  9. jackson ebner

    Evidently it's much more conservative for the uninsured to just show up at the emergency room, and get their free care that way. And I guess less expensive as well. Seems like Paul is completely clueless in understanding the problem.

    November 19, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. S. B. Stein

    What would Paul suggest to get people some level of medical insurance so that it doesn't end up bankrupting local hospitals? There is something that needs to be done by the government to help its citizens. This is one of them. I wold hope that Paul and other so called libertarians understand that people can't just find another job even in a good job market. Not all jobs would provide health insurance.

    November 19, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. king

    these repubs and their survive by yourself mentality, and government shouldn't do a dam thing for its citizens. lesson repubs most people in this country lives in big cities, which are nicknamed concrete jungles, this means that folks cannot go out their and shoot a rabbit, snake or pigeon to feed their families like most people in rural areas does. most people in America needs a job to survive in the concrete jungle because they just cannot plant crops on state land or anyone else land inside the big cities. there are about 1 job for every 5 folks looking for one, especially with you repubs gutting everything that creates jobs in our concrete jungle. how the hell do you guys expect the average Joe to survive if you guys keep gutting government programs which creates jobs and look out for the less fortunate in our country. something as basic healthcare, which the cbo said will lower our budget and put tens of millions of folks living in the concrete jungle and urban areas on path to success. why in heaven does this conservative word of making folks suffer by going back into the past and never move forward such a good word for people to go by. this pure capitalistic ideology of giving money to the rich so they can invest in china and low wage country is a dam mistery to me. sometimes it takes a little socialism mixed with capitalism to make a country work for all of its people, rather than making our country souly on aristocratically and peasants country, because those days are gone long time ago, so dont bring that world back conservatives.

    November 20, 2013 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  12. Say What

    What did he say to Jan Brewer when she did the same thing? Absolutely nada.

    November 20, 2013 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  13. current state of the union

    Sounds like little randi has been poll testing again. He calls everyone gutless, yet he won't express any point of view that he reached on his own principals, won't say a word until it's poll tested, is this guy expecting us to vote for him, he only wants to know what you want to hear in order to vote for him, and for all you saying Obama did the same thing, you've made my point for me.

    November 20, 2013 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  14. current state of the union

    At least Obama had the guts to tell what he thinks, without worrying about polls, randi is definitely not presidential material, sorry sport, you can say what you will, but I ain't buyin it son. Christie might be a loud mouth, but he is perceived much better than Paul, wrong for president for the same reason s Paul is, a sour mouth with toxic vocabulary won't work on a global scale, their impatience and neither are very diplomatic

    November 20, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  15. current state of the union

    The Republicans foreign policy is the same as their domestic ones, attack anyone who disagrees with you, come on people, do you seriously think this mentality will work with other countries? Like it or not,, the potus has to be diplomatic, it's in our best interest, we are so divided with no desire to compromise, its I'm right, your wrong period. That being said, mitt Romney expressed the gop tax wish, 1% top tax rate, really? And to be offset with tax consuming loopholes, which they haven't actually told us what those were, they want you to think its big business, but its the earned income credit, and mortgage interest deductions they will close, in other words, more money straight to the top.at the workers expense, please wake up people, the Republicans are trying to convince you cutting social services is the answer, but the money goes right to the top on everything they try to enact, do your homework, it won't take long for you to want to know more, then congratulations, your an informed voter, the gop's worst nightmare

    November 20, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  16. current state of the union

    And remember folks, the decisions you make at the polls the next two years will likely have long lasting implications, the black guys only there a few more years, and with any luck Hillary won't be on the ballot, she is very capable, but has a lot of baggage, were pretty good in that department already. Just know now more than ever you need to be informed, not by the msm, we know all politicians lie, inform yourself, look what happened in Austin, a good example of why you need to spend a small amount of time researching candidates, and proposals, that would have changed that whole election.

    November 20, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  17. current state of the union

    My problem with the gop is listen to them, they offer nothing, unless it helps the ultra rich, like keystone,do you really trust big oil to keep up on costly mantainence? They already proved the dollar rules all decisions, and safety takes a back seat but you can't change the laws of physics, and that was also proven .the final report on the macondo well was disturbing to say the least, and nothing has changed, not one single rule or regulation added, now that's political power folks

    November 20, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Pinhead Rand Paul is going to get pimp slapped by Christie again. He like the rest of the Guns Over People tea potty never learn.

    November 20, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  19. RomneyWho

    You are not a true or a for real this or That . . . . Blah, blah, blah and blah! People are funny that way. :(

    November 20, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |