Chris Christie’s Misguided Attack On Rand Paul And The GOP’s ‘Libertarian’ Wing

Chris Christie waded into the debate going on in the GOP over foreign policy. His comments were less than helpful to say the least.

Chris Christie Rand Paul

Over the past several months, the defense hawks in the Republican Party have been pushing back against the arguments being made by Senator Rand Paul and other rising Republicans regarding everything ranging from the Administration’s drone policy to the revelations over the past two months regarding the National Security Agency’s data mining and metadata collection programs. Last night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has not spoken much on the national stage about foreign policy issues during his time on the national stage, came down firmly on the side of those who in the GOP who support such policies, possibly previewing an argument that will play a prominent role in the fight for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination:

ASPEN, Colo. — 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.

A senior adviser to Mr. Paul initially sought anonymity to criticize Mr. Christie. But Friday morning, the adviser, Doug Stafford, put his comments on the record — and invoked New Jersey’s Bruce Springsteen to add an additional jab at Mr. Christie.

“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,” Mr. Stafford said. “Defending America and fighting terrorism is the concern of all Americans, especially Senator Paul. But it can and must be done in keeping with our Constitution and while protecting the freedoms that make America exceptional.”

Concluded Mr. Stafford: “In the words of the governor’s favorite lyricist, ‘You know that flag flying over the courthouse, Means certain things are set in stone. Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.'”

The cross-country back-and-forth began one of the first, and certainly one of the sharpest, volleys between likely 2016 presidential hopefuls and their surrogates. It also represents something of a political wager from the Paul and Christie camps.

Mr. Paul’s assumption seems to be that with fatigue from two wars over the last decade and skepticism toward a growing security state, Republican voters will be open to a foreign policy approach that is profoundly different than the interventionist policies of Mr. Bush.

But Mr. Christie, who is viewed suspiciously by some of the party’s most conservative members, is betting that he can court rank-and-file Republicans who remain hawkish and more concerned about preventing another terrorist attack, and that they are willing to accept government surveillance.

Aaron Blake calls the barbs traded between the Christie and Paul camps part of the fight for the future of Republican foreign policy:

Taken another way, Christie’s remarks could be seen as laying down a marker in a potential matchup with Paul – pitting the party’s still-dominant hawkish foreign policy wing against the new brand of libertarians.

Those close to Christie chalked up his remarks to his genuine and personal beliefs rather than any political gamesmanship – particularly given the hundreds of New Jerseyans who died on Sept. 11.

GOP strategists said it’s part of a healthy dialogue that should continue through the 2016 campaign, whether or not Christie and Paul both run.

“We don’t all have to agree on everything to be good Republicans,” said GOP strategist Henry Barbour. “These sorts of candid policy discussions are healthy for the party and the country. Gov. Christie is not afraid to share his views on tough issues, and that’s one of the reasons he has such broad support in New Jersey.”

Added Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign: “Once again, Christie is the canary in the coal mine on the fork in the road for the GOP on a major aspect of foreign policy. In 2015, the GOP debate will shift to developing a winning message for 2016, and Christie should be in the front row of the choir.”

As does Ed Kilgore:

This long-range fight comes a day after PPP released a survey showing Paul and Christie running first and second (Christie’s actually tied with Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan) among Republicans expressing an early 2016 preference. You have to figure that Neocons—whose early 2016 heart-throb, Marco Rubio, is having a very difficult year so far—are ecstatic at having another apparent champion who can attract massive attention every time he opens his mouth, though some of them may be annoyed at Christie’s assertion of identity between Bush’s and Obama’s policies. For his part, Christie could use a source of support in the GOP that extends beyond northeasterners or people fixated on general election polls.

Given the apparent readiness to rumble of both sides in this fight, it could get pretty wild pretty fast. And unlike some of the GOP’s intraparty arguments—say, over exactly which hostage to take in demanding an insane Cut, Cap and Balance constitutional amendment, or whether instead to demand the repeal of Obamacare—this one is real.

It’s not entirely surprising that Christie would be coming down on this particular side of the debate on foreign policy and national security that’s been developing in the Republican Party over the past several months. This, after all, is a guy who was appointed U.S. Attorney for New Jersey less than two months after the September 11th attacks and whose office had to deal with terrorism related cases many times during the roughly seven years he served in that capacity. It’s long been known that he was a close ally of New York area Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and he was among the earliest sitting Governor’s to endorse Mitt Romney in 2012. Given his history, it’s not at all surprising that he’d be in disagreement with some of the positions that Rand Paul and others have been taking of late regarding foreign policy and civil liberties. Moreover, being Chris Christie, it’s also not surprising that he’d use strong rhetoric to attack a position he disagree with. That’s how the guy rolls and, if he does end up running for President in 2016, that’s the kind of campaign we can expect him to run. So, call it a preview of coming attractions if you like.

Nonetheless, I have to agree with Ramesh Ponnuru when he calls Christie’s attacks on Paul “dumb”:

Libertarians are an important part of the Republican coalition. Republican politicians frequently disagree with libertarians on issues, but a broad-brush attack will understandably anger them. And even Republicans who aren’t down-the-line libertarians share some of their concerns. Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, for example, is a longtime supporter of the Patriot Act. He is, in other words, not a clone of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. But Sensenbrenner also favored the amendment to rein in the NSA that the House narrowly voted down this week. These Republicans can be persuaded to overcome their libertarian instincts on many issues — but not by being told that they shouldn’t have these instincts in the first place.

The Republican Party badly needs a debate over national security and civil liberties, but that debate will be useful only to the extent it gets beyond generalities. And another thing that Republicans need — at least those who are considering Christie as their presidential standard-bearer in 2016 — is to see that the man is capable of a little finesse, especially when it comes to managing the Republican coalition.

Ponnuru is correct here to criticize Christie for being so dismissive of the rising voices of libertarian-oriented voices like Rand Paul in the Senate and Justin Amash in the House. The Republican hasn’t had an honest debate about national security and civil liberties in decades. The last time it came close to having one was in the years immediately after the Second World War when there was, briefly, a debate between the internationalists led by men such as Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon and those such as Senator Robert Taft who advocated a more inward looking foreign policy in the wake of a long war and an even longer Great Depression. The rise of the Cold War, which turned into a hot war within five years after the end of World War II when the United States found itself involved in Korea, cut that debate short fairly quickly, though. For the next 40 years or so, Republicans of all stripes stayed united behind an anti-Communist vision of foreign policy that was actually fairly universal for both parties until at least the Vietnam era. There was some debate in the GOP about national security in the 90s as the Soviet threat receded and the various tribal and ethnic conflicts began to reassert themselves, but that debate was again largely cut short by the September 11th attacks and a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that we’re nearing the point where both of those wars will be behind it, it seems to be the perfect time for the GOP, and indeed the entire nation, to start talking about what direction our national security policy should be moving, and how much we should be willing to give up our civil liberties in the name of “safety.”

Governor Christie’s comments, therefore, were decidedly unhelpful to the overall debate that needs to be taking place in the GOP specifically and the nation generally. In addition, they’re largely wrong. There’s nothing “dangerous” about the idea that we ought to think carefully about what direction we want our foreign policy to go rather than jumping at every opportunity to intervene in situations that we clearly don’t completely understand or where, as in Syria, there don’t seem to be any good guys. There’s also nothing “dangerous” about questioning the idea of handing more and more surveillance power over to the state while pretending that there isn’t a possibility of those powers being abused at some point in the future. We’ve spent ten years now fighting dubious wars in far corners of the world while handing over more and more unchecked power to law enforcement and the intelligence community and it’s unclear what we have to show for it.

Most importantly, though, Christie is wrong because he adopts the argument of many of those on the neo-conservative side of this argument that there has to be a choice made between liberty and safety, and that the threat of international terrorism is so great that we must give up more and more of our liberty in the name of this elusive goal of “safety.” Contrary to those who may be whispering in Governor Christie’s ear when it comes to foreign policy, there are no easy answers to most of these questions and to dismiss well-founded criticisms like those that Senator Paul and others have been raising as “dangerous” or to refer to them as “esoteric, intellectual debates.” For better or worse, these are questions that we will need to be dealing with for many years to come, some of them are ideas that would have saved us a lot of grief had we adopted them long ago, and it’s simply irresponsible to close of debate on the issue in the manner that the Governor attempted to do last night.

The effort to demonize those who question the neo-con status quo in Republican foreign policy aren’t going to succeed, of course.  The debate has already been joined and polling has shown that there is, at the very least, a sizable minority in the GOP and in the country as a whole that is sympathetic to these arguments. Not even someone as bombastic as Chris Christie is going to be able to shut that debate down.

FILED UNDER: National Security, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. This is part of why I don’t see Christie doing so well in a GOP presidential primary.

    His go-to move is maximum dickishness. That’s fine when Republicans are familiar with seeing said dickishness directed at outsiders; but not when aimed at One of Us.

    Instead of saying something Romneyesque like, “I have great respect for my good friend Gary Bauer, but I must disagree with his proposal to intern Muslims”, Christie will go all out. “He’s a bigot and he can go down tonight” won’t fly.

    He appears to lack the maturity and imagination to dial it down.

  2. Mr. Prosser says:
  3. Moosebreath says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    “He appears to lack the maturity and imagination to dial it down.”

    I agree with much of your comment, but the word I’d use in that sentence is self-control.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    The problem Paul faces is that…whether you care to admit it or not…he is posing esoteric and quasi-intellectual debating points.
    I have no idea what Paul’s Foreign Policy would look like…he couldn’t be more vague…and your post certainly didn’t make an argument other than that Christie is wrong.
    Is Paul serious about major retrenchment and being far more isolationist? Because the truth is that…like most Libertarian theories…that will wither and die the minute it is exposed to the real world.
    Paul lives in a fantasy world…one where the Civil Rights Act is unnecessary.
    Sorry your feelings are hurt…but that’s what Christie does.
    I tend to believe that the Neo-Cons are on one extreme and the Libertarians are on the other.
    Just leave it to the Conservative party…the Democrats…to run important things like the economy and foreign affairs.
    Y’all can vote on repealing Obamacare some more.

  5. James Pearce says:

    Most importantly, though, Christie is wrong because he adopts the argument of many of those on the neo-conservative side of this argument that there has to be a choice made between liberty and safety,

    The problem with that is that A) that’s a distortion of the point Christie is making and B) when Rand Paul rails during his filibuster about drones killing American citizens, he really is engaging in an “esoteric, intellectual debates” that are so silly it is actually dangerous to give it any kind of consideration.

    If Libertarians wish not to be so easily dismissed, they need to step up their game. Start by not looking for foreign policy advice in a Bruce Springsteen song…..

    (Really???)

  6. stonetools says:

    I guess the the first shot in the Republican presidentia nomination has been fired.
    I think that , contrary to Doug’s fondest hopes, the Republican Party is never going to take up a libertarian/neo-isolationist foreign policy. For one thing, the Republican Party is far too closely allied wiith the military-industrial complex.Morever, the Republicans not only greatly expanded the surveillance state after 9/11, they still strongly support it-more so than the Democrats.
    In the latest vote to end bulk NSA surveillance,the House vote was 134 Republicans and 83 Democrats against, 111 Democrats and 94 Republicans for.
    Christie’s statements seem to be far more in accord with the opiions of the Republican base, than Rand Paul. HIs statement is a well-calculated shoutout to the base, saying , “Hey, I might have appointed a Muslim judge, but I really am one of you ra-ra defense hawk ‘Murican patriots, not like squish Ron Paul over there.”

  7. gVOR08 says:

    The Republican Party hasn’t had an honest debate about national security and civil liberties in decades.

    FTFY in two places.

  8. JohnMcC says:

    I imagine that in NJersey, standing up as a spokesman for the ‘widows and orphans’ of 9/11 is pretty good local politics, for what that’s worth.

  9. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    His go-to move is maximum dickishness.

    Yes, but that’s what GOP voters want. Think of the Republican presidential campaign, when a biiiiig part of Gingrich’s appeal was based upon the notion in the debates he would give that snooty, ivory-tower Chicago-machine thug* some MAJOR what-for. It’s a huge reason why Ted Cruz is so popular with the base: He’s an unapologetic asshole.

    No, Christie tripped up with the GOP when his beliefs were exposed as that of a successful northeastern Republican.

    * – Blending mutually-exclusive narratives, of course; GOP couldn’t settle on one so they, having not a lick of sense, muddled the message.

  10. Laurence Bachmann says:

    I don’t think this is an entirely fair representation of Christie’s intent.

    1) I don’t think he was trying to stifle debate. I think he was responding to a House vote that Neo-
    cons and the administration nearly lost–something that was unthinkable to either just a year ago
    and has Neo cons in a panic. They are trying to stanch the bleeding with tried and true rhetoric–
    “look the weeping widows in the eye…what good are rights if we are dead…freedom isn’t free…..”
    Dragging the weeping widows of 9/11 out one more time, is in my opinion, cynical and tawdry but
    as one who has been run over by that juggernaut while worrying about civil liberties, I assure it
    has been effective in the past. This is the knee-jerk, go-to Neo con response. Further, I think he
    actually believes it is true. I don’t think christie is so cynical that he invokes families to bolster his poll numbers. I think he is wrong and short sighted.

    2) what is undeniably true is that the debate has shifted–well before the end WWII internment of
    Japanese Americans ended as the public realized it was a hysterical over reaction, and saner
    voices prevailed. What is remarkable is it has taken 12 years for a shift in public opinion to
    catchup to the knee-jerk go-to Neo con hand wringing response. I am not sure what it says about the American public, but it is nothing good.

    And for that I blame Obama. Nobody has done more damage over the last five years to our civil liberties and a debate about them then this two-faced, constitutional “scholar” from the University
    of Chicago Law School. Christie is wrong, bombastic and deserves our push back. Obama is a whore who deserves our contempt, compromising every principle he claimed he held. One is ignorant, the other cynical.

    3) I disagree too that it is a bad political move for Christie. Libertarians are going for rand Paul or the candidate he supports. That was never going to Christie, so there is no upside to pandering to them. Might as well shore up your base.

  11. mantis says:

    Most importantly, though, Christie is wrong because he adopts the argument of many of those on the neo-conservative side of this argument that there has to be a choice made between liberty and safety, and that the threat of international terrorism is so great that we must give up more and more of our liberty in the name of this elusive goal of “safety.”

    Apart from airport security, what liberty have we given up, exactly?

  12. michael reynolds says:

    I suspect this has less to do with policy than politics. I think Christie is picking his opponent and marking his donor pool. Remember, the traditional GOP wings are: Money! Bombs! Jesus! Now we may be adding the Fantasy! wing with people like Paul.

    Christie doesn’t want to run against Rubio or some moderate governor. He wants to run against the unhinged libertarian nut. So he calls him out. And presto! we’re all talking about it as a Christie v. Paul race.

    And of course Christie will need money. He just made his play for the Bombs! donors. Paul will get the Fantasy! money from the Koch brothers and their ilk. Some mental patient or other, a Bachmann or whoever gets in takes the Jesus! money, Christie was never going to get any of that. But Christie may now get the neo-con money, which can be considerable.

    The donor primary then comes down to the Money! wing. The greedy bloodsucking bankers (Romney supporters) will be fought over by Christie and Paul. The Money! wing backs the likely winner – they don’t care about ideology, they’re focused on actual power. So if Paul looks weak the Money! boys swing to Christie.

  13. Chris M says:

    @michael reynolds: That is the most depressingly accurate synopsis of modern politics I’ve read in years.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @Chris M:

    Quick: have a cup of coffee! As I noted in another comment thread, coffee cuts suicide risk.

  15. Pinky says:

    If I were a Democrat, I’d be starting to get worried. Not panicking, but worried. Not necessarily about these two guys – I’m not sure that either of them could win the presidency. But the debate going on in the country is taking place within the Republican Party.

    Look at immigration. The Republicans in the Senate were the instigators behind the bill, and now the Republicans in the House are addressing it. The Democrats in the Senate just voted aye. A couple of articles earlier on OTB was talk about the budget debate. The debate is silly, about strategy rather than policy, but to the extent that there’s any discussion about policy, it’s among the Republicans. Entitlement reform. Tax policy. Syria. Drones. The DoD budget. To some extent, the party in power is limited by the president, but this president hasn’t been a strong voice, and really, the Democrats have been voting en masse and taking it easy. Policy debates are hard, and can ruffle feathers. But the party that stops having them pays the price.

  16. aFloridian says:

    I guess I must still be registered Republican because I am waiting for that “Fantasy!” wing to fully emerge, but some of Paul’s fantasies don’t jive with me.

    Oh, and Doug, you used way too damn many “unnecessary” quotation marks.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    If I were a Democrat, I’d be starting to get worried. Not panicking, but worried. Not necessarily about these two guys – I’m not sure that either of them could win the presidency. But the debate going on in the country is taking place within the Republican Party.

    Uh huh…one man’s “policy debate” is another man’s civil war…perhaps Democrats aren’t going to worry too much about this, but rather, stand back and enjoy the show of Republicans ripping each other to shreds…

  18. Rob in CT says:

    I think reflectionephemeral has a good point about Christie. He really loves taking shots at people. Nasty stuff. It’s all good (from the perspective of The Base) if he’s shooting his mouth off at Democrats. I’m not so sure it will fly as well when he’s aiming at fellow Republicans. He’s already got the “Northeasterner” and “gets along with Obama” baggage.

    I do agree this may have to do with making a play for the “bombs” wing of the party. Not sure it’ll work.

  19. Woody says:

    I don’t know if I’d describe Governor Christie’s remarks as “unhelpful” if you are in favor of a true debate within the GOP. I don’t agree with his remarks much either, but a good number of Republicans do, and their POV has some merit.

    By the way, this debate is also taking place within the Democratic coalition – just not as publicly between possible presidential candidates.

    Personally, I wish we could have this vital discussion without the R v. D limitations, but then, that would make it impossible for the courtier press, as it would be about policy and not personality.

  20. Eric Florack says:

    While I find much to reccomend about Ron Paul’s domestic thinking, I find his thoughts on foreign policy nothing short of abysmal. That said, Christie is a full on idiot RINO with little to reccomend him in eiither area. Christie in terms of the next election, is another John McCain, and for the same reasons.

  21. ernieyeball says:

    Christie is a full on idiot RINO…

    Savvy political commentary from the Court Jester for Princess 1/2 Term!

  22. Dave D says:

    Look at immigration. The Republicans in the Senate were the instigators behind the bill, and now the Republicans in the House are addressing it.

    My knees would be shaking but my cantaloupe sized calves prevent that from happening. But, you’re right Republicans never party line vote and because of that the party that hasn’t offered a plan for anything is obviously the clear winner. If only they had a plan for anything policy-wise we could maybe back it, but hey you know they’re having this grand “debate” in the interest of the public. Sigh when will the lefty party line voting no good “Democrat” party learn.

  23. sam says:

    @Pinky:

    If I were a Democrat, I’d be starting to get worried. Not panicking, but worried. Not necessarily about these two guys – I’m not sure that either of them could win the presidency. But the debate going on in the country is taking place within the Republican Party.

    Riiiight. Here’s the most truthful description of Pinky’s Republican Debate Club I’ve read to date:

    The Republican Party has spent 30 years careering ever more deeply into ideological extremism, but one of the novel developments of the Obama years is its embrace of procedural extremism. The Republican fringe has evolved from being politically shrewd proponents of radical policy changes to a gang of saboteurs who would rather stop government from functioning at all. In this sense, their historical precedents are not so much the Gingrich revolutionaries, or even their tea-party selves of a few years ago; the movement is more like the radical left of the sixties, had it occupied a position of power in Congress. And so the terms we traditionally use to scold bad Congresses—partisanship, obstruction, gridlock—don’t come close to describing this situation. The hard right’s extremism has bent back upon itself, leaving an inscrutable void of paranoia and formless rage and twisting the Republican Party into a band of anarchists. [Chait, Anarchists of the House]

  24. cleverboots says:

    Except for his response to Sandy, Christie has been a rotten Governor and would be an even worse President. Neither he nor Hillary Clinton(probable Democratic choice) deserve to win the Presidency EVER.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    Lord knows who will make it through the Republican primary, but neither rof these guys will make it to president. Christie’s fatal flaw isn’t just that he’s nasty but that he gets off on being nasty to those he considers his inferiors. It wasn’t exactly a positive in Jersey but they have a high tolereance for things like that. Paul, well he’ll dump the libertarian 13 year old bravado soon enough, but he can’t get away from the fact that he and his father bothhave a history of bring ing virulent and delusional racists into their inner fold. You can make excuses but with so many examples my conclusion, and I suspect many others, is that Paul and his father at best simply cannot see minorities as full human beings.

  26. Jrod says:

    @Eric Florack: What does Ron Paul have to do with this discussion, he’s retired. And if you think the U.S. governments intervention in the internal affairs of other nations doesn’t breed contempt and terrorists flying plans into buildings, than I have a bridge in the desert to sell ya on the cheap.

  27. cleverboots says:

    @MarkedMan: Very true and well said. Christie is a disaster in NJ and MUST NOT become President. Everything you said is true and then some.
    I know he will be reelected Governor but it MUST stop there.

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    That said, Christie is a full on idiot RINO with little to reccomend him in eiither area. Christie in terms of the next election, is another John McCain, and for the same reasons.

    “Idiot RINO”? Right now, Christie would do better than Romney did, and Romney lost by only 4.5%

  29. Eric Florack says:

    @reflectionephemeral: Dial it down?
    Are you really suggesting its possible to be even a psuedo conservative and bend far enough left to be liked by liberals? I should think the last several RINO losses should have killed THAT nonsense off once and for all.

  30. cleverboots says:

    I don’t think it’s likely. I’m an independent so I vote by candidate, not by Party. I think the next election will mirror 2012-2 lousy candidates. I think we will Clinton v. Christie-a horror show on both sides.

  31. An Interested Party says:

    I should think the last several RINO losses should have killed THAT nonsense off once and for all.

    This must be the party line among the delusional Hard Right–that the GOP can only win if Hard Rightists are nominated…it will be nice if this crowd finally gets its wish so they can watch their hero/heroine go down in flames in a general election…I wonder what delusions they will spout once that were to happen…

  32. FLV19 says:

    How about federal agents being able to write their own search warrants without judicial oversight? Or maybe the surveillance state spying on Americans in violation of the 4th Amendment? Just because you don’t know it’s happening doesn’t mean your rights haven’t been violated. Don’t be such a sheep. Baaaaaaaaaaa!

  33. cleverboots says:

    @al-Ameda: Christie will probably run against Hillary in 2016. Any other Republican is too far to the Right. He is now mouthing off about foreign policy in a battle with Rand Paul. The last person you want representing on the world stage is Christie. He has a short fuse and would be an embarrassment.

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @cleverboots:

    @al-Ameda: Christie will probably run against Hillary in 2016. Any other Republican is too far to the Right. He is now mouthing off about foreign policy in a battle with Rand Paul. The last person you want representing on the world stage is Christie. He has a short fuse and would be an embarrassment.

    I’m a Democrat and I have to say that Governor Christie is light years ahead of the dismal bozos Republicans are offering up these days – Santorum, Trump, Gingrich, Cain, Pain, Bachmann, West, Perry, Cruz, Rubio, Rand Paul. Seriously, Christie is less embarrassing than any of those people by a factor of about 100.

  35. cleverboots says:

    I’m an Independent from New Jersey. Christie has been a lousy Governor. I know he will be re- elected because the Democrats have thrown their Candidate under the bus very publicly. I don’t intend to vote for him or Hillary. I would have voted for Huntsman last year as the only Candidate with integrity AND brains. 2016 looks like another vote for the lesser evil year.

  36. Rick Almeida says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Eric,

    Could you explain why you think moderate voters would prefer more conservative candidates?

  37. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda:
    I doubt that, given we’ve heard such tripe the last several cycles… “If you guys would only be more like Democrats and dump your principles, you’d get elected.”
    News flash… the GOP has been doing that… Romney,McCain, Dole, etc, while dumping on real conservatives.

    You may notice they lost each time… not because they didn’t go liberal enough. Rather the reverse.

    Here’s what you’re missing… year over year, Americans are increasingly not voting. Mostly, because they feel with both parties moving ever further left, they feel they have nobody to vote for. Reagan, OTOH was thought too conservative by the GOP leadership. the landslide he got in both elections was brought about by large numbers of people voting for the first time in years, perhaps the first time in their lives.this large number of new voters WANT a conservative.. a real one. they’ve since faded away again, of course.

    I tell you…putting up another northeastern liberal under the GOP banner is another surefire loss for them. its that simple.

  38. cleverboots says:

    Christie is NOT a Liberal. His is anti-union, ant- medical coverage for first responders, anti everyone but the rich, pro life and anti gay marriage. There is NOTHING liberal about him. He sucked up to Obama after Sandy because he need Federal money for the state. He does NOT work well with others, especially the Democratic State Senate. He was elected ONLY as the anti-Corzine in a Blue State-First Republican since Whitman.

  39. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    I tell you…putting up another northeastern liberal under the GOP banner is another surefire loss for them. its that simple.

    Go for it, put up a Northeastern nut like Rick Santorum.

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @cleverboots:

    Christie is NOT a Liberal. His is anti-union, ant- medical coverage for first responders, anti everyone but the rich, pro life and anti gay marriage. There is NOTHING liberal about him. He sucked up to Obama after Sandy because he need Federal money for the state. He does NOT work well with others, especially the Democratic State Senate. He was elected ONLY as the anti-Corzine in a Blue State-First Republican since Whitman.

    It kind of looks like Christie knows how to govern, which puts him at odds with the 99% of the Republican Party.

  41. cleverboots says:

    That would cost them the election for sure.

  42. cleverboots says:

    @al-Ameda: If you like bullying, threats and sheer bloody mndedness. He is a tyrant. Not a Governor who negotiates and does what is right for the people .His religious beliefs and my way or the highway attitude form his method of “governing” if you can even call it that and it is offensive.

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @cleverboots:

    @al-Ameda: If you like bullying, threats and sheer bloody mndedness. He is a tyrant. Not a Governor who negotiates and does what is right for the people .His religious beliefs and my way or the highway attitude form his method of “governing” if you can even call it that and it is offensive.

    All that I’m saying is that Christie is all of that and he is still a far better candidate than any current prospective Republican. Is he any less appealing than Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or Newt Gingrich to name a few prominent Republicans?

  44. Eric Florack says:

    @cleverboots: look at his as on gun control and tell me the guy isn’t a liberal. he’s not driven by freedom, he’s being driven on all points by pragmatism.

    @al-Ameda: Ponder… what is it about Ron Paul’s domestic policy that people find attractive, do you suppose? Mind, I think his foreign policy abysmal. still let’s use him as a marker for the moment.

  45. cleverboots says:

    @al-Ameda: None of them are any damn good. Now, Jon Huntsman I can vote for.

  46. cleverboots says:

    @Eric Florack: Ron Paul is attractive because he doesn’t tax & spend or intervene in the affairs of other countries.

  47. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    @al-Ameda: Ponder… what is it about Ron Paul’s domestic policy that people find attractive, do you suppose? Mind, I think his foreign policy abysmal. still let’s use him as a marker for the moment.

    I suppose that some people find Ron’s proposals to: (1) abolish the Federal Reserve and let Congress run our monetary policy, (2) put us back on the Gold Standard … to be attractive, I think both would be catastrophic.

  48. cleverboots says:

    @al-Ameda: Ron Paul is part of the 1% and doesn’t care about people. His fans are those who are also wealthy and believe in a kind of financial Darwinism. Not good for anyone in the real world.

  49. Eric Florack says:

    @cleverboots: Huntsman… statist, and RINO, as well as being about as interesting as watching paint dry.

    @al-Ameda: OK… but are those not both, by their nature, staunchly constitutionalist in nature, IE what is these days being called “extreme right wing”? Point being, the American people are far more conservative constitutionalist than the left and the press for example would have us belive… and certainly more so than the GOP leadership would like to admit. But I repeat myself.

  50. cleverboots says:

    Huntsman is the ONLY candidate, Republican or Democrat, who has intelligence and integrity. I don’t care if he is a RINO. The Party is far less important than the character of the individual. All of last year’s candidates, except for Huntsman, have NO integrity and in 2016, IMHO, neither Clinton nor Christie have any integrity. We don’t need another President who is primarily interested in their own agenda rather than what is best for the country

  51. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:
    @

    al-Ameda: OK… but are those not both, by their nature, staunchly constitutionalist in nature, IE what is these days being called “extreme right wing”? Point being, the American people are far more conservative constitutionalist than the left and the press for example would have us belive… and certainly more so than the GOP leadership would like to admit. But I repeat myself.

    What is “conservative constitutionalist”?

  52. cleverboots says:

    @al-Ameda: Conservative Constitutionalism won’t feed the family when you have no job and neither will fiscal Conservatism. This country is stalled by a ridiculous sequester which they say is costing us 1.6 million jobs. At this point we need to rebuild our infrastructure to create good jobs and get this stagnant economy moving. Republicans are more concerned with tearing down than with building up. Conservatism in ANY form does not work in these circumstances. Just ask FDR.

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @cleverboots:

    Republicans are more concerned with tearing down than with building up. Conservatism in ANY form does not work in these circumstances. Just ask FDR.

    I generally agree with you on this.

  54. cleverboots says:

    Hallelujah! We agree on something at last! What do you disagree with?

  55. al-Ameda says:

    @cleverboots:

    Hallelujah! We agree on something at last! What do you disagree with?

    Well, I disagree with the notion that House Republicans would not be happier if they were forcibly deported to their ancestral homeland of North Korea.

    Of course they would be happier – low taxes, no diversity, comprehensive law and order state, low wages, no unions – it’s a House Republican paradise for god’s sake.

  56. cleverboots says:

    Self deportation? You ARE joking, are you not?@al-Ameda:

  57. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda: call it double clutching “conservative”, which is to say, strict constitutionalist. certainly, the opposite of what passes for “liberal” in the days of Obama.

  58. cleverboots says:

    @Eric Florack: Americans are not Conservative by nature and I doubt that a strict interpretation of the Constitution is something most Americans worry about. Even Obama, a Constitutional Law teacher, has been known to reshape the constitution to suit his needs.

  59. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    @al-Ameda: call it double clutching “conservative”, which is to say, strict constitutionalist. certainly, the opposite of what passes for “liberal” in the days of Obama.

    Strict constitutionalist? No such thing.

    I’m sure many so-called “strict constitutionalists” would disagree with Justice Roberts in his Citizens United decision that corporations are people, right? Or how about that “well regulated militia” part of the Second Amendment? Many “strict constitutionalists’ act as if that language has been excised from the amendment. Or the infallibility of a document that stated that blacks were 3/5th of a person?

    Frankly, I do not consider “strict constitutionalists” or “constitutiona originalists” as any more sage or wise than any other legal expert of scholar who interprets the constitution.

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @cleverboots:

    Self deportation? You ARE joking, are you not?@al-Ameda:

    I believe I said forcible deportation.

  61. cleverboots says:

    And how do propose to do that?

  62. cleverboots says:

    Sorry! I goofed. I meant to say How do you propose to do that.