Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul hit back at New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie in the two Republicans' ongoing spat over national security.
Christie last weak criticized Paul's opposition to warrantless federal surveillance programs, saying it harmed efforts to prevent terrorism. Paul told reporters after speaking at a fundraiser outside Nashville on Sunday that Christie's position hurts GOP chances in national elections, and that spending priorities of critics like the governor and Rep. Peter King, of New York, do more to harm national security.
"They're precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their 'Gimme, gimme, gimme - give me all my Sandy money now,'" Paul said. "Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense."
King called Paul's criticism of Sandy aid "indefensible."
"This was absolutely life or death money that was essential to New York and New Jersey," King said.
Christie pointed to a "strain of libertarianism" coursing through both parties as a "very dangerous thought" more than a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks. Christie was asked whether he was referring to Paul, a fellow potential Republican presidential candidate who has been at the forefront of the party's libertarian wing.
"You can name any number of people, and he's one of them," said Christie. "These esoteric, intellectual debates - I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't, because that's a much tougher conversation to have."
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