Another victim of Chris Christie's bullying has come forward to criticize him: Rand Paul. During an interview this weekend with KTRK, Paul managed to compare Christie's bridge scandal to Obama's IRS scandal, and used the word "bully." Paul and Christie are obviously possible rivals for the 2016, and Paul is the face of Tea Party libertarianism while Christie represents moderate conservatism. But, beyond that, their dislike has a certain cattiness to it, which has led to a lot of public bickering. On Saturday Paul broke their semi-truce and said, according to CNN:
"It's important that people think that their government not be used to bully them," Paul told CNN affiliate KTRK in Houston. "So for example, one of the things that conservatives have been upset with President Obama is that it looked like he was using the IRS to target taxpayer groups."
"Nobody wants to think their government would shut down a bridge or do something just because you're a Democrat and I'm a Republican," Paul said. "It's unsettling and it's a serious charge. I don't know if it's true, but it's unsettling."
Last month, Paul was a little less eager to talk about bridgegate, though he did make the same IRS analogy and complained about traffic. "I don't know who emailed who and who works for whom," Paul said. "I have been in traffic before though and I know how angry I am when I'm in traffic and I've always wondered, 'Who did this to me.'" But now that it seems more likely that Christie was directly involved, Paul seems happy to go back to criticizing him.
In July, Paul and Christie began sparring over the NSA and spending. Eventually Paul said things had gotten "a little too personal" and tried to call a truce and invited Christie to D.C. for a beer, according to Politico. "I think we could sit down and have a beer and mend things," he said. And while sitting in a pub with Paul doesn't sound ideal, Christie could have thought of a nicer way to turn him down than saying he was too busy because of "issues that invariably come on the desk of a governor when you are responsible for actually doing things and not just debating.” Emphasis added, but the sass was there.
As we determined last year, Chris Christie is cooler than Rand Paul, and in light of bridgegate, turning down a beer from a nerdier colleague seems kinda mean. But since that beer summit that wasn't, Paul has been the worst of the two. In November he said Christie was Republican "if you have a very loose definition." That same month he made an even more disingenuous peace offering, calling for a "fried twinkie summit," and criticized him for expanding Medicaid and "embracing Obamacare." (Paul also once called Christie the "king of bacon") Christie might (possibly) be a bridge-clogging bully, but Paul's the one doing the fat shaming and name calling.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.