Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday fired a blistering new shot in his escalating war with Chris Christie, accusing the New Jersey governor of further hurting the ailing Republican Party with "low-blow" rhetoric.
"In New England and in the Northeast, the Republican Party is on life support, so really squabbling among Republicans is just not useful," Paul told Dom Giordano, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"[Christie] started it, but I'm ready to end it, and so I'm hoping that we can get back to attacking Democrats. Certainly aren't there enough Democrats to attack?"
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Christie has blasted Paul and other libertarian-oriented Republicans who have criticized the controversial spying programs operated by the National Security Agency.
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Christie, who like Paul is weighing a 2016 presidential run, said those against NSA surveillance — which includes the collection of phone and email records — should talk to the families of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and orphans and have that conversation. And they won't. That's a lot tougher conversation to have," Christie said.
His words infuriate Paul, who believes Christie is guilty of a political cash-in on a national disaster, just as he said President Barack Obama has done in the past.
"It's a low blow to anyone to use someone's tragedy," Paul told Giordano.
"The president has used people's tragedy to try to advance different agendas that he has and it's sort of the same way here. Is there anybody in America who really doesn't feel great sympathy for those who died in 9/11 and lost family members?"
Christie, as well as New York Rep. Peter King, is still fuming about the veto of funds by fellow Republicans to help the victims of last year's Superstorm Sandy.
Paul insisted he did support funding Superstorm Sandy relief — up to a point.
"I actually supported giving them one year's worth of funding and then offset the spending that we spent on Sandy — offset it with spending cuts with money that we're spending overseas giving to countries that are burning our flag," he said.
"What I objected to was … Republicans who just said they want it all, they wanted everything and they didn't care whether we offset it. That's what got us in this problem and that is the kind of attitude we need to fight against."
Christie has since ramped up his attack on Paul, stating, "I find it interesting that Sen. Paul is accusing us of having a 'gimme, gimme, gimme' attitude toward federal spending when in fact New Jersey is a donor state.
"We get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington, and interestingly, Kentucky gets $1.51 [back] on every dollar they send to Washington."
But Paul told Giordano: "It's just not true, I haven't hijacked anything to Kentucky. I haven't voted for any special projects in Kentucky. We do have two military bases. I do support them but we've never actually had any special legislation that's allowed me to direct money to anybody in Kentucky. …"
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