New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) didn’t mince words on Thursday when asked for his thoughts about Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) and the strain of libertarianism that is spreading among some in the Republican Party. According to Salon.com’s Alex Seitz-Wald, Christie slammed Paul and his isolationist foreign policy ideals “dangerous” and wondered if Paul would like to come to New Jersey and discuss his theories with the surviving family members of people killed in the terrorist attacks that took place on Sept. 11,2001.
Christie — who, like Paul, is considered a likely prospect for the 2016 presidential race — made his remarks at a panel of Republican governors in Aspen, Colorado. In what Salon called “the opening volley of the 2016 campaign,” Christie said that he thinks “this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought.”
Rand Paul — like his father Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) — advocates an overall drawing down of the U.S. presence overseas and a strict non-intervention policy in the conflicts of other nations. Christie said that he feels that this hands-off approach is too risky. He agrees with how both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama have handled national security issues.
“What we as a country have to decide,” he said, “is ‘Do we have amnesia?’ ‘Cos I don’t. And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001.”
“And still seeing those families?” he continued. “I love all these esoteric debates that people are getting in.”
“Rand Paul for example?” the moderator asked.
“Listen, you can name any number of people who have engaged in it, and he’s one of them,” Christie replied. “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.”
Listen to audio of Christie’s remarks, embedded below via RonPaulTrainer’s YouTube account: