New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie trashed Sen. Rand Paul during an interview on Fox News Sunday, claiming that the libertarian-leaning senator's foreign policy and anti-surveillance views make America "weaker and more vulnerable."
When asked to respond to Paul's position that the Patriot Act violates the civil liberties of all Americans, Christie said this:
Well, he's wrong. He's wrong and what he's done has made America weaker and more vulnerable. And he's done it, and then cut his speeches and put them on the internet to raise money off of them. He's politicizing America's national security. …
As we face a heightened warning on this Fourth of July weekend, what the American people need to know is that Sen. Paul's conduct has made them weaker and more vulnerable to attack. Sen. Paul, instead of using this to raise money, he should engage in vigorous Congressional oversight over our intelligence community, which is his responsibility and his duty under his oath as a United States senator, and our Justice Department should prosecute any intelligence officer who violates the law. We have those safeguards available to use. Instead, what Sen. Paul has decided to do is throw the baby out with the bathwater. And he's decided to make America more vulnerable to make a political point. I think it's wrong, I think it's dangerous, and how about this. If God forbid there were to be another attack on the United States, you know Sen. Paul would be the first one dragging the CIA director and the FBI director up on Capitol Hill, put them under oath, and criticize them for not connecting the dots, and not mention for a moment his hypocrisy for taking away some of the tools they need for connecting those dots.
Watch the full clip here, or below.
It's no surprise that Christie opposes Paul on these issues—he's said as much on many occasions—but the level of fearmongering on display here is really quite remarkable. Christie boasts about putting New Jersey's financial house in order, but his commitment to limited government principles is, well, limited, if he can't recognize that excessive national defense and security spending is as ruinous to the nation's fiscal health as entitlement spending. And he won't argue in good faith; question whether certain federal policies are constitutional, and Christie will accuse you of aiding the terrorists.
Even more bizarre is his criticism of Paul's fundraising. There is nothing dishonest about Paul using clips of his speeches to make appeals for donations. This is something every candidate does. The people writing checks to Paul agree with the positions he articulates in those web clips. What is so contemptible about this?