Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized Sen. Rand Paul’s opposition to warrantless government surveillance and Paul responded in-kind. Over the weekend, Paul doubled down on his Christie comments, adding that Christie was a little too eager to accept federal assistance for his state after Hurricane Sandy.
“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 over the weekend, referring to Christie and New York Sen. Peter King, another fellow Republican.
And when it comes to the issue of surveillance, Paul insisted Sunday that protecting national security doesn’t mean spying on all Americans. “I don’t mind spying on terrorists,” he said. “I just don’t like spying on all Americans.”
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“If you talk about some privacy issues like that, I think you will find youth coming to you,” said Paul, who said his own decision on whether to run for president won’t come until next year.
King called that argument misguided.
“When it comes to national defense, we shouldn’t be pandering to any demographic,” he said. “We need to do what’s best for the country.”
Messages left with Christie’s office late Sunday were not immediately returned.
As for the back and forth with Christie, Paul said he wasn’t the one itching for a fight.
“I didn’t start this one, and I don’t plan on starting things by criticizing other Republicans,” he said. “But if they want to make me the target, they will get it back in spades.”