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The ongoing feud between a pair of Republicans considered to be 2016 frontrunners intensified on Monday night, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calling out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for exploiting 9/11 victims.
Paul has taken aim at Christie in recent days after the popular governor criticized the "strain of libertarianism" that has colored recent GOP foreign policy debates — a thinly veiled reference to the Kentucky Republican — and invoked the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in making his case.
"And as the governor now of a state that lost the second most people on 9/11 behind the state in New York, and still seeing those families...I love all of these esoteric debates that people are getting in," Christie said at the Aspen Institute.
Paul fired back on Sunday, claiming that disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy diverted precious resources away from national defense. And on Tuesday, Paul told conservative pundit Sean Hannity that it's "not very smart" for Christie to pick fights with fellow Republicans and said it was "kind of sad and cheap that he would use the cloak of 9/11 victims."
"It's really, I think, kind of sad and cheap that he would use the cloak of 9/11 victims and say, 'Oh, I'm the only one who cares about these victims.' Hogwash," Paul said. "If he cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn't be in this give me, give me, give me all the money you have in Washington or don't have, and he would be a little more fiscally responsive and know that the way we defend our country, the way we have enough money for national defense, is by being frugal and not by saying give me, give me, give me all the time."