In a preview of the debate to come within the Republican Party ahead of the 2016 presidential election, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denounced Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and other libertarians as having “dangerous” views on foreign policy.
At a Republican governors forum in Aspen, Colo., Christie railed against opposition to the National Security Agency surveillance programs. On Wednesday, the House narrowly voted to defeat an amendment that would have curtailed the NSA’s ability to collect data on telephone calls.
Lumping Paul in with those House members, Christie suggested that Paul and other libertarians should explain their positions to widows and children of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“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 at the forum.
“You can name any number of people” with those views, Christie said, and Paul is one of them. He urged Paul to explain his position to families of 9/11 victims.
“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,” he said.
Paul fired back Friday morning:
Christie worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) July 26, 2013
Here’s video of Christie’s comments:
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