2016 Preview: Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie

Christie Paul

If the 2016 presidential election were an opera, Act One began last week with sparring between two of the leading GOP candidates, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The rift exposed a yawning ideological gap in the Republican party and raised questions about who is most likely to have a fighting chance against Hillary Clinton three years from now.

It all started when Governor Christie criticized Senator Paul’s vocal opposition to warrantless federal surveillance programs, saying it hurt efforts to thwart terrorism. He even extended the invitation to “come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation.”

Senator Paul dismissed these attacks as “kind of cheap and sad” and suggested that if Governor Christie “cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn’t be in this “‘give me, give me, give me all of the money’ [mindset] that you have in Washington.”

The sparring continued as Governor Christie suggested that Senator Paul should “start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky…. And most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get re-elected.”

Senator Paul could not have been set up any better for a crushing retort. “This is the king of bacon talking about bacon,” he said incredulously during an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room. He clarified: “You know, we have two military bases in Kentucky. What does he want to do, shut down military bases in Kentucky?”

All of these comments were made with the coming battle royale in mind.

The GOP establishment has come to Christie’s defense, even after many of its card-carrying members swore they would have nothing to do with the Governor after his embrace of Obama post-Sandy. They prefer his expansive vision of government, if only to keep their own nests feathered. They have no objections to warrantless wiretapping and drone strikes on American citizens. They deplore the rambunctious Tea Party strain that took aim at their privilege since 2010 and was embodied that year by the surprise victory of Rand Paul over their preferred moderate Trey Grayson.

Governor Christie is ensconced with the clueless consultant class, the same gurus and political geniuses who advised Rubio to torpedo his presidential campaign before it even started with an amnesty plan with Chuck Schumer.

Rand Paul is actually in line with the grassroots. The pols inside the Beltway may not see it coming, but the movement of libertarians and Constitutionalists is ascendant within the GOP. A candidate like Christie who describes them as kooky and as wishing more 9/11s on this country is a non-starter.

Paul also has no qualms about actually reducing the size of government. He has gone on the record by saying he will eliminate government agencies like the Department of Education. He even put forth an amendment as a freshman senator which would have cut the budget by $500 Billion.

On the other hand, we have Governor Christie. To his credit, he has been willing to take on the unions. That has been eclipsed in the minds of many conservatives by his troubling lobbying for and acceptance of the $60 billion Sandy Relief Bill, which was larded with pork for special interests. Never at any point could Governor Christie provide detail about where specifically that hefty sum of taxpayer dollars was going to go and how it would be accounted for — and more to the point, how anyone who claims to be in favor of shrinking the scope of government could support such a legislative monstrosity.

Senator Paul argued for an incremental Sandy Relief Bill that would have ensured the money was spent responsibly and directly to the people who needed it most. Governor Christie missed an opportunity to show true leadership and stand up to President Obama as well as the big spenders in Congress and ask them to eliminate wasteful appropriations.

So instead he bullied Congress into passing a bill that included $10 million for FBI salaries, roof repairs at the Smithsonian, and $150 million for fisheries — just to name a few. In all, it is estimated that around $1 of every $20 appropriated from the bill will be spent on pork projects.

People respond to ideas and arguments. Rand Paul has ideas. Chris Christie has gimmicks and a shtick that may win him views on YouTube, but ultimately one that is unsatisfying for millions of Americans tired of big-government Republicanism.

Originally published on Townhall.com

19 thoughts on “2016 Preview: Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie”

  1. If the primary were tomorrow my vote would go to Sen. Paul. I am totally fed up with Rinos and Christie is a rino. If the republican party does not stand for something it will stand for nothing. It must accept the conservatives as it’s base. If it only tries to win independents it will lose because independents may split their ticket on the local level but next time they take a survey of independents they need to ask who was the last republican presidential canidate that they had voted for because 90% of independents just don’t want to admit they are closet democrats

    1. Rand Paul is a libertarian who many suspect supports the current amnesty(immigration Bill) bill

  2. I swear Christie is a lib plant! My vote will go for Rand Paul. Our nation is drowning in the Obama ‘hope and change’ disaster and Christie will be more of the same. If the inside the beltway republicans do not nominate a decent candidate, they are history. Let’s go Tea Party!!

  3. Not voting for a Republican or Democrat again,,3rd party, libertarian, or constitutional candidate.

  4. NO CONSERVATIVES will vote for christie, he has shown his true colors like rubio, they are RED more than they are RED,WHITE,andBLUE

  5. Christie is just a Democrat that doesn’t like unions. I’ll vote for Paul or some other Libertarian/Constitutionalist or I won’t vote. Last time I held my nose and voted for Romney and it didn’t do me any good.

    1. NO! NO vote anyways!!!!!!!!!! WRITE IN A CANDIDATE!
      We must end the dems and repubs dictatorship over politics!

  6. I will only vote for true Conservatives in any election, so if the Republican establishment want to throw up Rubio, Christie, Paul Ryan, jindal or any of the likes, you can forget about it. But if Paul, Cruz, or Lee run and win, I will vote for them.

  7. How about Rand Paul, Ted Cruz in any order and Trey Dowdy to any position of power as well. Sec of Defense Col Allen West for starts. Christy just an something I have come not to care for so much. Anyone but Hillary Benghazi Clinton.

  8. May I say three things and only three things.
    What has our country come to that we are afraid of Hillary Clinton running. That should be a gift from heaven for the Republicans, That said I understand we now have an constituent of hear no evil, see no evil and do evil, because it’s okay with us. She has so many bones rattling in her closet that there is a waiting list to get in.
    Second is just what the heck is Chris Christie doing on an Republican ballot…..He is not a Republican. Let him run in the primaries against Hillary. We shouldn’t even be considering him.
    Third. Rand Paul stands out of this crowd. He is honest and unafraid. As he should be….The Democrats in the existing Adminstration with the media and the peoples consent hasn’t left much to be held accountable for……Rand Paul for 2016′

  9. If the GOP establishment is even THINKING about running Christie in 2016, it’s time for the Conservatives to break free and start over, like the Republicans did with the Whigs. After eight years of Barry the Marxist trashing the U.S., we don’t need milquetoast, half-arse, RINOs.

  10. Christie sucked Obama’s as_ for personal gain showing he has one mind set and that is me my self and I. We already have that cheap crap in the white house now

  11. the party need to come together on policy and a candidate or there will be no relief for years to come…. I like Rand though.

  12. If the GOP gives that disgusting Republib Christie the nod I will not vote Republican again at any level. If the Tea Party supports this closet lib too, I will never support or donate to them again. No more all talk wrong action parties for me. Go conservative or go home.

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