New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday took a big swing at libertarian-leaning lawmakers in both parties, calling the ideology, when applied to national security, “a very dangerous thought.” His comments come just one day after the House narrowly rejected a sweeping amendment to defund the National Security Agency’s surveillance program.
Addressing the bipartisan coalition that joined together to nearly push the so-called Amash amendment through, Christie told lawmakers who harbor libertarian views on the issue to explain their position to the victims of 9/11, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake reports. He also included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in his critique.
“As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,” Christie said.
The governor proceeded to use an emotional argument to make his case, inviting “any one of them that’s engaged in this” apparently dangerous “strain of libertarianism” to come to New Jersey and “sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation.”
“I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in,” Christie added.
What about the raging debate regarding the balancing of privacy and national security? Some of that debate is “esoteric,” according to Christie.
He had kind words to say about the national security strategies of both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush.
“Do we have amnesia?” the New Jersey Republican asked. “Because I don’t. And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001.”
Christie made the comments while attending the Republican Governors Association’s summer meeting in Aspen, Colo.
(H/T: Washington Post)