Tags: priebus | christie | rand | paul

Priebus: Christie-Paul Feud 'Seriously Bad Use of Time'

Friday, 02 Aug 2013 07:09 PM

By Todd Beamon and Kathleen Walter

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tells Newsmax TV that the public spat between Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is not good for the party.

"We don't have the luxury to divide and subtract in our party," Priebus tells Newsmax. "We need to be building each other up. We need to be promoting each other. We have to build a party through addition and multiplication.

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"It's insane to be knocking each other in public, especially on television, especially in front of the same groups of media outlets that are in the business of slicing and dicing us," he adds. "I find that to be a seriously bad use of time and talent."

Paul and Christie have been openly sparring all week, with Paul saying that his Republican colleague was part of a greedy group seeking money for his state at the expense of the federal budget.

Christie, in turn, has attacked Paul for bringing pork-barrel spending to his own state while voting against aid for Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey and in other areas of the Northeast.

Priebus tells Newsmax that he is still holding out for a "beer summit" between the two, even though Christie has rejected the offer. Both men are seen as possible GOP presidential candidates in 2016.

"I'm sure these guys would get along just fine – and I'm sure they do already," he says. "It's just a matter of how we use our time and how we decide to communicate."

The Republican Party, he added, also is diverse enough to support a possible candidacy of New York Rep. Peter King.

King, who has served 11 terms in the House and is a former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, confirmed to Newsmax last month that he was seriously considering a White House run.

He said he remained concerned about the GOP's drift toward isolationism.

"We're going to have a robust primary – and if Congressman King wants to jump in, obviously, that's his prerogative," Priebus says. "We've got a great bench. If there's anything that you can say about the Republican Party – whether it be Steve King, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, or Rand Paul – we've got a great group of people who are looking at running for president – and we ought to look at that as a blessing to our party."

Looking at the Democratic side, however, Priebus does not think former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a lock on the 2016 nomination.

"She's got a lot of problems. This is the family that one thing they’re used to is dealing with scandals. We've just seen the beginning of Benghazi. We're seeing the beginning of other issues that are coming out at the State Department that took place while she was there. And she's going to have to answer to these things.

"I don't see this as a slam-dunk at all," Priebus adds. "They're going to actually have a pretty serious debate on their side of the aisle – and, either way, Hillary Clinton is very vulnerable."

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