VIDEO: Chris Christie decries libertarians, praises Obama for being like Bush

Speaking at the Aspen Institute (to a gathering of establishment figures within the Republican party) Chris Christie praised president Obama for being like Bush and attacked Rand Paul and the ‘strain of libertarianism’ rising in both parties. Governor Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence and Scott Walker all echoed his concerns.

Sen. Paul’s staff fired back, “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…”

The full video is posted here. Unfortunately, the audio is out of sync in the original.

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(New York Times 7/26) Mr. Paul’s advisers back 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.

“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,” a senior adviser to Mr. Paul said.

“Defending America and fighting terrorism is the concern of all Americans, especially Senator Paul,” said the adviser, who would not speak on the record about Mr. Christie. “But it can and must be done in keeping with our Constitution and while protecting the freedoms that make America exceptional.”

Gov. at the ‘Whaling Wall’

(Washington Post 7/25) “As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought…”

Asked whether he includes Paul — a fellow potential 2016 presidential candidate — in his criticism, Christie didn’t back down.

“You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this,” he said. “I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. … I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in.”

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