Christie: Rand Paul, GOP Libertarians 'Dangerous' on Foreign Policy

Image: Christie: Rand Paul, GOP Libertarians 'Dangerous' on Foreign Policy

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 10:18 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Thursday slammed Republicans who are embracing a libertarian view of foreign policy, saying they should have to sit down with families of victims of the 9/11 attacks and explain their positions.

"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 during a session at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colo.

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Christie was participating in a panel discussion with three other Republican governors — Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Mike Pence of Indiana, reports The Washington Post. All four are considered to be top potential GOP presidential candidates in 2016. They were in Aspen for the Republican Governors Association summer meeting.

Christie included Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in his criticism, along with other libertarian-leaning Republicans and Democrats who earlier this week joined in voting for a failed House amendment calling for a reduction in funding for the National Security Agency. The lawmakers had sought to end the NSA's collection of Americans' private phone and Internet data, which the agency claims is an important part of its counterterrorism activities.

"You can name any one of them that's engaged in this," Christie said of the lawmakers. "I want them 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."

The New Jersey governor acknowledged the government will make some mistakes when it comes to balancing national security and privacy. But he said Americans need to remain focused on the threats that exist and called some of the debates on the issue of national security vs. privacy "esoteric."

"I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don't," he said. "And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001."

He also insisted that both Bush and President Barack Obama pursued effective national security policies.

"I want to say that I think both the way President Bush conducted himself and the way President Obama has conducted himself in the main on those types of decisions hasn't been different because they were right, and because we haven't had another one of those attacks that cost thousands and thousands of lives," Christie said.

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