It appears there are a lot of libertarians in the Republican Party right now, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is not having it. Yesterday, he told a gubernatorial panel at the Aspen Institute that the hands-off national security policies tauted by libertarian-leaners like Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz were "a very dangerous thought," and invoked the impact of 9/11 on his state to strike down politicians pushing for a crackdown on government surveillance.
"I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don't," Christie said at the panel yesterday, which was also attended by Governors Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Mike Pence (Indiana) and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. "And I remember what we felt like on September 12, 2001." He knocked the Paul/Cruz/Mike Lee types for their "esoteric, intellectual debates," noting that they wouldn't come in handy should another 9/11 attack come our way. "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," Christie said.
Rand Paul's people caught wind of Christie's wrathful words, and weren't too happy with him. "If Governor Christie believes the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans is ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary, or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent years," Doug Stafford, one of Paul's advisors, told the Times. But at the panel, Walker noted he didn't think the libertarian trend was as prevalent as Christie purported. "I see a few loud and vocal people talking in Washington, and I don’t think that necessarily reflects where the party is," he said. Christie, Walker and Paul are all rumored to be making runs for the White House in 2016, so we can probably all expect more back-and-forth badmouthing from these guys in the near future.