(CNN) - It's no secret that Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie - potential rivals for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination - aren't each other's biggest fans.
The two have had a few high-profile exchanges in the past year over their differing opinions about government spending and national security—a rift that’s highlighted a more widespread divide between the libertarian faction of the party and the centrists.
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Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has largely refrained from commenting on the controversy surrounding the Christie administration's closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. But he can't resist a few subtle digs.
Paul said in an interview Saturday that it's not for him to judge whether the New Jersey governor should step down as chairman of the Republican Governors Association while he deals with the bridge scandal. But the senator did manage to throw in a comparison to one of the GOP's least-favorite Democrats: President Obama.
"It's important that people think that their government not be used to bully them," Paul told CNN affiliate KTRK in Houston. "So for example, one of the things that conservatives have been upset with President Obama is that it looked like he was using the IRS to target taxpayer groups."
"Nobody wants to think their government would shut down a bridge or do something just because you're a Democrat and I'm a Republican," Paul said. "It's unsettling and it's a serious charge. I don't know if it's true, but it's unsettling."
Christie has repeatedly denied he had any knowledge of or involvement in an alleged plot to cause massive traffic problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey, last year as a possible act of political retribution.
He fired two of his top aides accused of orchestrating the incident, while a third resigned shortly before the story became national news.
But now the issue is the subject of investigations by a state legislative committee and the Justice Department.
In a nearly two-hour press conference last month, Christie defended his reputation as Democrats tried to characterize him as a spiteful leader.
"I am not a bully," Christie said.
A month ago, Paul told reporters it was too soon to comment on the controversy, but he wasted no time explaining how much he personally hates traffic.
"It is kind of presumptuous to make a comment," he told reporters. "I don't know who e-mailed who and who works for whom. I have been in traffic before though, and I know how angry I am when I am in traffic - and I am always wondering, who did this to me?"
CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.