Rand Paul: Christie 'Not Fiscally Conservative' on Obamacare

Image: Rand Paul: Christie 'Not Fiscally Conservative' on Obamacare

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 11:31 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is back on the offensive against Chris Christie, criticizing the GOP New Jersey governor's expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.

Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, was responding to a question Tuesday by CNN's Erin Burnett, about whether he considered Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, both possible 2016 contenders, to be conservatives.

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"I don't think any one person gets to decide what is or what isn't conservative," Paul said, adding, "On the case of the New Jersey governor, I think embracing Obamacare, expanding Medicaid in his state is very expensive and not fiscally conservative."

Christie became the eighth Republican governor to accept the expansion of Medicaid in February, explaining that he was aiming to "put people first."

Paul continued, "Many Republican governors I would say are conservative did resist expanding and accepting Obamacare in their states. That fact, I would say, would lead towards you making the conclusion that it is not a very conservative proposal."

This is not the senator's first attack on the New Jersey governor. The two men have been feuding in public for months. In July, Paul accused Christie of using "the cloak of 9/11 victims" to criticize him and other lawmakers for their non-interventionist views on foreign policy.

Christie earlier had challenged Paul and other legislators to explain their views on non-intervention and government surveillance programs to families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"It's really, I think, kind of sad and cheap that he would use the cloak of 9/11 victims and say, 'Oh, I'm the only one who cares about these victims.' Hogwash," Paul told Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Two weeks later, Paul and his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, went after Christie for his speech at the Republican National Committee meeting in Boston, in which he said the party should be about winning elections rather than debating ideology.

"He offers nothing . . . There's more to it than just power," the elder Paul, a three-time presidential candidate, told CNN.

"To say and do anything you want just to be in government? You have to believe in something and understand economics, or you just keep doing the same things and deficits keep running up," Ron Paul said.

Shortly afterward, the Kentucky senator attacked Christie for suggesting the Republican Party had no room for libertarian-leaning politicians.

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"Look, the party in the Northeast is shrinking almost down to nothing, they need to be looking to people with new and different ideas who will attract young, independent, even Democrats to our party," Paul said on "Fox News Sunday."

"Saying there's no room for us was a big mistake on [Christie's] part," he added.

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