Christie Backs Down From Campaign Showdown With Paul

Image: Christie Backs Down From Campaign Showdown With Paul

Wednesday, 04 Sep 2013 09:38 AM

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There will be no burying of the hatchet between Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a campaign rally next week for Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, R-N.J.

Christie, as it turns out, won't be there when Paul shows up to lend his support to Lonegan.

Christie confirmed it at a news conference with reporters Tuesday, saying he has a trip planned with this wife Mary Pat to celebrate her 50th birthday.

"In a choice between Mary Pat Christie and Rand Paul, it’s no choice for me so I’ll be with Mary Pat," Christie told reporters, according to Politico.

Politico reported Monday that Paul was planning to visit New Jersey to help raise money for Lonegan and make a public appearance with him at a campaign event where Christie had also been invited to speak. Some Republicans saw it as a chance for the Kentucky senator and the governor to mend fences after their recent sparring over the National Security Agency's data collection programs and differing views of the Republican Party.

Both are seen as top 2016 presidential contenders, with Paul representing the tea party and libertarian factions of the GOP and Christie the more traditional, mainstream wing of the party. Their ideological clashes of late have been very public and raw, and at one point, led Paul to propose the two call a truce and sit down over a couple of beers to calmly discuss their differences.

Lonegan has Christie's official endorsement in his race against Newark's Democratic Mayor Cory Booker for the U.S. Senate seat made vacant by the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

But Lonegan has said that his views on a number of issues, including government spending and the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, are more in line with Paul's than the governor's.



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