- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Rand Paul to Chris Christie: You need to talk to more real Americans
Paul aide calls Christie ‘esoteric’ and ‘out of touch’ in gov’t overreach in drone use
In comments at a forum of Republican governors in Aspen, Col. Thursday, Mr. Christie said the libertarian strain championed by Mr. Paul currently coursing through the veins of political parties — as evidenced by broad, although ultimately unsuccessful, lobbying in the House of Representatives against NSA surveillance programs this week — is dangerous.
“This strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought,” Mr. Christie said Thursday in Aspen, Colo. on at a forum of Republican governors. “You can name any number of people and [Mr. Paul is] one of them.”
Mr. Christie, like Mr. Paul considered a possible 2016 presidential contender, criticized what he called “esoteric, intellectual debates” that Mr. Paul and fellow conservatives such as Sen. Mike Lee of Utah have been conducting over the constitutional limits on unreasonable search and seizure and warrantless government surveillance.
Mr. Paul fired back Friday morning on his official Senate Twitter feed, writing that the governor “worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional.”
“If Gov. Christie believe the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans are ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent times,” Paul senior advisor Doug Stafford said.
“Defending America and fighting terrorism is the concern of all Americans, especially Senator Paul,” Mr. Stafford, who is Mr. Paul’s closest adviser, said. “But it can and must be done in keeping with our Constitution and while protecting the freedoms that make America exceptional.”
Mr. Christie, appearing with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, told the Aspen forum that critics like Mr. Paul should sit down and sit across from the families of 9/11 victims. He noted that the Obama administration has largely kept in place the security and surveillance programs set up under GOP predecessor President George W. Bush.
“I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation,” Mr. Christie said. “And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”
Former Reagan White House official Don Devine, a traditional conservative whose latest book — “America’s Way Back: Freedom, Tradition, Constitution” — Mr. Rand has cited extensively in recent speeches, compared Mr. Christie to former Utah GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman, an early dropout in the 2012 GOP nomination race.
“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,” Mr. Devine said. “He will be the Jon Huntsman of 2016 if he enters the Republican presidential nomination race.”
And Mr. Stafford employed a shot of irony in hitting back at Mr. Christie, quoting the lyrics of New Jersey favorite son Bruce Springsteen: “In the words of the governor’s favorite lyricist, ‘You know that flag flying over the courthouse? Means certain things are set in stone: Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.’”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- DeLay: GOP failing to fight criminalization of politics
- Question for CPAC-goers: Is Congress relevant anymore?
- Rand Paul looking to hedge bet in 2016 election
- CPAC conservatives frustrated by GOP's compromises, lack of leadership
- Big money haul keeps Chris Christie's role at Republican Governors Association safe
Latest Blog Entries
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- CPAC 2014: Santorum: GOP needs positive message to counter Obama
- CPAC 2014: Huckabee says government impeding religious liberty
- CPAC 2014: Rick Perry to conservatives: 'You are the path to the future'
- CPAC 2014: McConnell works to reassure conservatives
- CPAC 2014: GOP optimism, agenda emerge at CPAC
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Protests in Russia against Putin's actions in Ukraine a shift in attitudes
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again