An advisor to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Thursday dismissed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) speech at a luncheon for the Republican National Committee, in which the governor argued the GOP needs to govern rather than brainstorm.
“I think that we have some folks who believe that our job is to be college professors … for our ideas to matter we have to win,” Christie said at the closed-door luncheon, according to media reports. “Because if we don’t win, we don’t govern. And if we don’t govern, all we do is shout to the wind.”
“So if I translate Gov. Christie correctly, we shouldn’t be the party of ideas,” Paul adviser Doug Stafford wrote CNN in an email. “We shouldn’t care what we stand for or even if we stand for anything. We reject that idea. Content-free so-called ‘pragmatism’ is the problem, not the solution.”
Christie’s speech hearkened back to a heated feud between he and the Kentucky senator over the direction of the party. Christie had called the strain of libertarianism in the GOP “dangerous,” dismissing politicians like Paul as “esoteric” and too caught up in “intellectual debates.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.