U.S. Sen. Rand Paul aimed for the high road Sunday in his ongoing dispute with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the future of the Republican Party, saying “the party is big enough for both of us.”
But that didn’t stop him from noting that the party is weakest in the region of the country Christie calls home – the Northeast – and that the New Jersey governor started the ruckus in the first place.
The two men – possible rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination – have been feuding for two weeks. The dispute had cooled, but heated up again Friday when Paul’s father, former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, told CNN’s “The Situation Room” that “Christie offers nothing” to Republicans trying to fight the expansion of government pushed by Democrats and President Obama.
“It’s big enough for a lot of different Republicans,” the younger Paul told Fox News Sunday host John Roberts. “And this all started with him saying, ‘Oh, we don’t have room for libertarian Republicans.’ The thing is, that’s how we grow our party.
“The party in the Northeast is shrinking,” Paul said. “Saying there’s no room for us was a big mistake on their part.”
Pressed by Roberts to agree or disagree with his father’s comment, Paul was tactful.
“What I would say is, there’s room for people who believe in bigger government in our party,” Paul said.
“Some of the things he seems to have promoted makes us believe that, well, he thinks there’s a lot more spending that can go on. I think that national defense is a priority for our country. The only way we have enough money for national defense is actually to be very, very frugal with other spending. And that is a valid disagreement we have.”