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. Larry L

    Christie committed the ultimate sin for a Republican – working with the President to solve real problems. Paul is just another Clown Car rider – an anarchist who offers nothing but radical, racist, and overly simplistic solutions to complex problems. Paul could actually win the Republican primary but whould get hammered in the general election. If any moderate Republicans still exist they need to get their party in order and ditch the radical right-wingers.

    July 30, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  2. JoJo

    Can I get a refund on my part of the debt for that trillion dollar War in Iraq, so I can offset the Republicans trying to take away my Social Security to pay for it? I was vocally, morally opposed to starting that unnecessary bloodbath from the very beginning. Will Rand Paul help me recover that? Thanks, Rand.

    July 30, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. So Sorry

    I live in Kentucky and Rand Paul is a joke. I would take Christie over him any day.

    July 30, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  4. dirksterdude

    Let us hope Paul wins the nomination over Christie. That way the Republicans are sure to lose the Presidential election in 2016 again.

    July 30, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Lorrne

    Yep, he is feeding at the trough of pork. But how can we judge? It is just damn good politics. Tip O'Neill was correct when he claimed all politics were local. Get the pork, get the votes and advance to the white-house. I'm not trying to be sarcastic here. In my opinion he is an honorable man who truly represented the interests of his district, and I am sorry a statesman like he did not choose to run for the office of President. I would have been proud to vote for him, although I was a libertarian trying to reconcile my beliefs with the religions right's take-over of the republican party.

    July 30, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. yikesboy

    Yikes, I have a hard time with people like Paul – it must be so easy to live in that black and white world. Give me a human who sees the grey like Christie any day...

    July 30, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. Chris

    My lord Paul is Palin with a Weiner.

    Rand Paul wants to spend us into the ground on more national defense. Because already spending as much as the next 10 countries combined isn't enough. How about we stop with the war/fear mongering and actually spend money here at home, like rebuilding an aging infrastructure.

    July 30, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  8. Uncl3an Apo$tate

    I like my Christie fried crispy, with lettuce and tomato and extra mayo on wheat.

    July 30, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Namephilip whitaker

    where do i sign up to help rand paul rum for president in arizona?

    July 30, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. RE McCray

    LOL. Rand Paul is like the 'Pee Wee Herman' of politics. He invents more lies and rhetoric which makes it hard for the Republican gain any conservative credibility. Christie should run as an indy, he would probably win. But as a Republican ... people like Rand Paul are only helping him win.

    July 30, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  11. The Other Bob

    I keep liking Christie more and more. Rand Paul is a twit without the slightest idea of how to govern.

    July 30, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  12. Tyler Durden

    Paul, you got called out on the 60 cents to buck-fifty and the backbone of your retort is name calling?

    As G. O. Bluth Jr would say: OH COME ON!!!!

    July 30, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. Uthor

    Christie comes off as a real person, who often says just what's on his mind. Paul comes off as an opportunist, who says what he thinks people want to hear.

    July 30, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. Dotcoman

    Christi needs to just come clean and come out of the closet and go back to worshiping Obama as the Liberal Socialist Democrat he clearly is.

    And Paul needs to learn from his dad's mistakes. Supporting Snowden like that is just dumb, and is never gonna come off as either credible or sane.

    July 30, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  15. Nicky

    Maybe Christie should stop eating pork. Or maybe he just full of hot air. Typical politician, complain with no real solution or just take credit when you've done nothing. I'm so tired of the big blob.

    July 30, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  16. John The Electrician

    If anyone is counting, we have lost every war we started. Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan. Why, with the largest most powerful military in the world? It could only be incompetence. Oh, I forgot a few. War on drugs, war on terroism, war on poverty, war on women and so forth. We should just forget the whole war thing, it just doesn't work for us.

    July 30, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  17. TheTraveler

    Rand Paul, still trying to make up for all his Dad's political failures ...

    July 30, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. jackson40s

    Christie is sounding more and more like the Democrats every day! I am highly suspicious of his motives in attacking a member of his (at this time)
    own Party!

    July 30, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. ronjayaz

    Go get 'em Chris! Fight! Fight! Dems forever.

    July 30, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. StoneHendge

    Why would a democrat like Christie want the Republican nomination?

    July 30, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. Ben Jones

    Christie is fast becoming our favorite RINO. Maybe he will get invited to the Vineyard for a little R&R with the Obama's.

    July 30, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Ron L

    To me the MOST interesting thing about this little spat is Senator Paul did not realize that New Jersey had MORE military bases than Kentucky and still receives close to $0.70 less per federal tax dollar collected than Kentucky!!! It is just funny to see someone put their foot in their mouth so effectively.

    July 30, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. JJ

    Christie the RINO'S attack on Rand Paul obviously shows that my support should be going to Rand Paul.

    Rand Paul 2016

    July 30, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. GAK

    We all should believe Rand Paul because he is a certified Ophthalmologist, No, wait, he let his certification run out and is not a recognized Ophthalmologist anymore( except by a Board HE created, which has not bearing on certification) He is a member of a secret society in Texas,who knows what they do?? He thinks he can win a fight with Christie?? I believe Sen. Paul should take up Gov. Christie's invite and go to the Jersey Shore and tell all those people they didn't need that FEMA money..But I wouldn't hold my breath, Paul hasn't the intestinal fortitude to go and face those citizens..

    July 30, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. Geo

    I'm with Rand Paul !!!! He is right on NSA snooping...it is unAmerican and illegal search and seizure.

    July 30, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
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