It’s been said that the conservative movement is built on the three-legged Reagan stool. GOP nominees have to be economic, social, and foreign policy conservatives. It looks like Chris Christie is making a play to get the foreign policy leg.
That explains why Chris Christie recently attacked libertarian ideas, like those that Rand Paul supports, on how to deal with terrorism. The New Jersey governor said:
“This strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought. You can name any number of people and (Rand Paul is) one of them… 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.
“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… President Obama has done nothing to change the policies of the Bush administration in the war on terrorism. And I mean practically nothing. And you know why? Cause they work.”
By calling out Rand Paul, Christie is picking a fight he wants to have. He will never be able to out anti-government Paul but he figures he win a security battle with the Kentucky Senator. That’s a not a bad battle to have if your Christie.
If he can win that he’ll be seen as the defender of the military and American power – both are great things to be in a GOP primary. Despite all of his heresies against the party John McCain rode that to a primary win 2008. Don’t be surprised if figures like Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Dick Cheney, and John Bolton come to his side. In Christie’s ideal world it would break down like this:
How will Rand Paul respond? He should go to New Jersey or New York City and have a town hall meeting about security and make sure there are some 9/11 families there. It’s a gutsy move but it would call Christie’s bluff.