Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie locked horns in Thursday’s debate during a question about bulk phone record collection, trading fire about “hugs.”
Fox host Megyn Kelly asked Christie if it’s fair to assign blame to Paul, who has fought to end bulk collection of phone records under the Patriot Act, in the event of a terrorist attack. Christie responded unequivocally: “Yes, I do.”
“I was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush on Sept. 10, 2001. And the world changed enormously the next day, and it happened in my state,” Christie said. “This is not theoretical to me. I went to the funerals.”
Paul came back: “I want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent Americans.”
Christie called the answer “ridiculous,” and the situation escalated from there.
“I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead,” Paul said.
Christie fired back: “You know, Sen. Paul, the hugs that I remember are the ones I gave to the families who lost their people on Sept. 11.”
Kelly finally intervened, saying “that was an interesting exchange.”
Watch the full exchange below: