GOP Sen. Rand Paul attacked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday for lambasting the National Rifle Association and having a “tantrum” over Superstorm Sandy aid.
Christie's moves will hurt his chances of capturing the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016, the Kentucky senator said.
“I think people need to think through what their position on these things are,” Paul said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
On Thursday, Christie, who is expected to seek the White House in 2016, called the NRA’s ad, which made reference to President Barack Obama’s two daughters, “reprehensible.”
The spot called Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for his resistance to having armed security guards patrol schools while his daughters enjoyed Secret Service protection when they go to classes.
“I think any of us who are public figures, you see that kind of ad and you cringe,” Christie said. He has been the most visible Republican to attack the NRA, which long has backed the Republican Party.
Paul told the Ingraham show on Friday that Christie had “backed down” on gun rights.
“You have some Republicans backing down like Christie backing down and criticizing the NRA, and I think that doesn't do any good,” Paul said, calling the governor's remarks politically calculating.
“I think he may be solidifying his support with Democrats in New Jersey and maybe liberal Republicans,” the senator told Ingraham.
He warned that Christie’s attacks on the NRA, as well as on fellow Republicans over the Sandy relief bill, would come back on him during a 2016 presidential run.
“Criticizing the Second Amendment movement — and the over-the-top 'give-me-my-money' stuff, 'I want all sixty billion now or I'll throw a tantrum' — I don't think that's going to play well in the Republican primary,” Paul said.
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