Chris Christie attacks GOP’s libertarian trend
The most popular Republican officeholder in the land SAYS libertarianism is dangerous:
Invoking the families of Sept. 11 victims, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Thursday heatedly denounced the growing libertarian drift on national security in the Republican Party that is favored by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, and others in the party.
“This strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought,” Mr. Christie said on a panel with other Republican governors here.
Asked if he was alluding to Mr. Paul, a potential Republican presidential rival, Mr. Christie spoke in deeply personal terms about the impact of the 2001 terrorist attacks on his state.
“You can name any number of people and he’s one of them,” Mr. Christie shot back before referring to the more than 600 New Jersey families who lost relatives in the attacks. “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.”
Staking out terrain on the hawkish right ahead of a potential White House bid, Mr. Christie, in remarkably stark terms, warned those advocating a crackdown on the surveillance programs — instituted under President George W. Bush and now being carried out under President Obama — that they would regret their positions.
“The next attack that comes, that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate and wondering whether they put. …” said Mr. Christie, before cutting himself off.
Mr. Paul’s advisers in Washington heard the message loud and clear and fired back that Mr. Christie is out of touch with growing concern in the country over privacy and civil liberties.