Things are getting a little testy between potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie and Rand Paul these days.
The New Jersey governor warned of Sen. Paul’s libertarianism Thursday, which he called “dangerous” and Paul’s office responded that Christie better get with the program and “talk to more Americans.”
Speaking at a forum of governors in Aspen, Colo., the Washington Times reported Christie jabbed at libertarians’ views on national security and government surveillance:
This strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought. You can name any number of people and (Paul is) one of them.
These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the [9-11] widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.
“President Obama has done nothing to change the policies of the Bush administration in the war on terrorism. And I mean practically nothing,” Christie said. “And you know why? Because they work.”
Paul’s office fired back Friday saying Christie needs a new dictionary or needs to get out and talk to more Americans if he “believe[s] the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans are ‘esoteric’…because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent times,” the article said.
“Defending America and fighting terrorism is the concern of all Americans, especially Senator Paul,” Paul’s aide Doug Stafford told the Times. “But it can and must be done in keeping with our Constitution and while protecting the freedoms that make America exceptional.”
But it was Don Devine, a former Reagan official and author Paul often cites in his speeches, who slammed Christie the hardest.
“Coming from the one person most responsible for the re-election of Barack Obama, I think we can take what Christie said with a grain of salt,” Devine said, according to the Times. “He will be the Jon Huntsman of 2016 if he enters the Republican presidential nomination race.”
Ahh, let the games begin.