Two Republicans who are widely believed to be considering a run for the White House in 2016 are throwing verbal bombs already — and not at Democrats, but at each other. • Chris Christie, right, the governor of New Jersey, and Rand Paul, the junior U.S. senator from Kentucky, have political junkies achatter.
Paul, in questioning whether government surveillance efforts like those of the National Security Agency have trampled on civil liberties:
“I don't mind spying on terrorists. I just don't like spying on all Americans."
Christie, invoking the Sept. 11 attacks in defense of the surveillance efforts:
"These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't, because that's a much tougher conversation to have."
Paul, in mocking the governor's requests for federal aid to deal with effects of Hurricane Sandy:
"They're precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their 'Gimme, gimme, gimme — give me all my Sandy money now.' …Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense."
Christie, in defense of aid for his state:
"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 and we get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington. Interestingly, Kentucky gets $1.51 on every dollar they send to Washington. So if Sen. Paul wants to start looking at where he's going to cut spending to afford defense, maybe he should start looking at the pork barrel spending he brings home to Kentucky.”