July 30th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
9 years 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. Jack

    This punk kid (Rand Paul) is not even as smart as his father Ron Paul, who I don't have much use for anyway. Go get him! Christie!

    July 30, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. immafubared

    Rand Paul is so out of it just like his dad. Niether has a real clue of societal needs and world politics. If this guy has envisions of a presidential run, I wish someone close to him would slap the shit out of him and make him understand he can't get 20 percent of the vote.

    July 30, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. chuck

    Christie is a conservative Democrat, posing as a Republican

    July 30, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. Corey

    The dude (Paul) contradicted himself. In one sentence he is saying the military takes priority over anything else. Then goes on to say that he's trying to appeal to younger Americans with a more moderate rather than aggressive foreign policy. Foreign policy is what dictates how much money the military spends. If he want's a more moderate foreign policy wouldn't that mean less spending on military? Wouldn't that mean less money for Kentucky and more money for domestic spending? There are plenty of things I disagree with Christie, but if the goal is to grow the party he's the better bet then Paul to appeal to independents. Jr. (Paul) isn't much different than Sr. and look how well he appealed to the voters.

    July 30, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. mark edward marchiafava

    Let 'em slug it out. I wouldn't vote for either.

    July 30, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. immafubared

    Rand Paul is suffering from delusion. Americans will think he is crazy like his dad. there is no place in national politics for this guy. His views are limited, away from the mainstream and kind of whacky.

    July 30, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Miguel

    Trying to get way from the shallow name-calling so evident herein, I mention that Christie's claim of contrasting NJ getting only $.61 back from every dollar NJ residents pay to the overweening federal government, while Kentucky "gets" $1.51 back from the feds, is bogus on it's face, beyond the military bases referenced. Trenton, NJ, just like NYC, hosts massive fraudulent "financial institutions" like the one NJ's former governor John Corzine used to plunder considerably over $1,000,000,000.00 dollars from US farmers and other Kentucky-like states.

    The mass-criminality of the entire North East's various financial institutions alone, and those in other coastal regions, deeply impact (and rob) all the so-called "red" states. That fact alone generates billions of dollars in bogus "income" to these "blue" or coastal corrupt cities, while robbing "red" states of those billions of income, . . . though NONE of these North Eastern cities can compete with Chicago's vile, inbred corruption. Bernie Madoff's decades-long criminality is an archetypal creation of massively corrupt Big North Eastern cities like New York City and Trenton. So, Christie is a massive BS'er.

    July 30, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. El Duce

    Paul over Christie???? Hahahahahahaha!!!!!! You zombies are funny!!!! No one wants that globalist Christie in office. Just another Jp Morgan Chase/Goldman Sachs puppet that is in bed with the left. When will you clowns realize who really runs the country..................

    July 30, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. redhotrash

    Christy lost all credibility when he pranced around with BO after hurricane sandy. h

    July 30, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Johnny

    I wont vote for him again!!!

    July 30, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. george

    Christie is charismatic , so get a lot of media......but he is a man without a core of beliefs....he is not a conservative but like to pretend he is...... he is not a liberal but speaks as one.......he play a political chess like Fouche did during the French revolution..........the result will be the same: IRRELEVANCY

    July 30, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. DocHollywood

    "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........Yes, by cutting spending on aid to Americans, we can buy all those tanks that the pentagon says it doesn't want. Then we can go out and perhaps get into another couple wars. These will be funded this time, however, by cutting out all welfare, food stamps, disaster aid, medicare and anything else that Americans need. Hell, I never met a republican who met a defense spending bill he didn't love.

    July 30, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. another_conservative_in_exile

    isn't christie a democrat? why would a republican actually care what christie thinks about anything? after costing republicans the 2012 presidential election, i'm surprised they didn't throw him out on the spot.

    July 30, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. JoeBidumb

    Call Rand Paul all the names that you want but remember he was not the one hugging Obama the week of the election.

    July 30, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. Andrew

    ...while Paul and Bachmann rake it in for their districts. Tea sham.

    July 30, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. iambicpentamaster

    Obama, Christie, Paul = Makes no difference

    They're all Republocrats.

    July 30, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  17. Rich

    Ugh. I knew Christie was going to come back at Paul with that lame, predictable response. And of course, Paul knew too and was ready for it.

    Christie needs Kentucky more than Paul needs NJ in any race and not to recognize this shows that Christie won't play well out of of town.

    I'm laughing at stupid democrats who are getting excited over Republican infighting. Just wait until after Nov '14 to see what a real cat fight looks like. Democrats are going to pull hair and scratch each others eyes out...

    July 30, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Richard Mitchell

    Paul must have went to the same school of crazy as Bachman. Neither one makes sense. Just how hard is Paul trying to ensure a President Hillary in 2016, if he ends up being the deadbeat Republican candidate.

    July 30, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Gerry

    Even though I am not a Republican Ron Paul should hang his head in shame. If Christie is the Kong of bacon Paul is certainly the KING OF WINDBAGS! Who would ever want a person like him in the People's House is beyond comprehension.

    July 30, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Honestly

    ""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."

    What a load of crap. Exactly which thirty countries are going to band together and invade the USA?

    He's fiscally responsible as long as it doesn't effect him.

    July 30, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. No one

    Yes, we need a top notch air force for all those dog fights we have with al-queda.

    July 30, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. WorriedDad

    What is it with New York and New Jersey being unable to elect anyone unless they are some kind of cartoon character? The irony of a huge, fat pig complaining about pork is almost too much to bear.

    July 30, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Rand Paul seems bent on becoming the male version of Michele Bachman. Sorry, Mr. Paul, Issa beat you to it.

    July 30, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. Brutus

    I am a lifelong Republican and my views line up better with Rand Paul than establishment bacon boy Christie. Reagan rose to power with a lot of libertarian ideas and goals to limit our wars on the ground with decisive action and winning the Cold War without a single shot being fired. It is time for Republicans to get back to their roots and let Clinton and the Democrats take back their war mantle. How about we drill our own oil and stop influencing the Middle East. Our policies and bribing there have been disastrous for the region.

    If push comes to shove I would love to see a debate between the establishment puppets and the new blood (Cruz & Paul).. The polls are favoring Paul's views which is why Christie has gone on the attack.

    July 30, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Krusatyr

    I like many of RP's stands on Constitutional rights, but fault him on some isolationist views and on this petty squabble with Christie. RP should make a general statement about pork and live the principle.

    July 30, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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