The intra-party feud between New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie (shown) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took on a dietary flavor Tuesday when Christie responded to Paul's criticism of pork ingredients in aid to Hurricane Sandy victims by charging the Kentucky senator with an inordinate appetite for federally funded bacon for the Bluegrass State.
"This is the king of bacon talking about bacon," Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer regarding the ongoing verbal joust that may be a preview to a 2016 primary battle that could threaten party unity while alienating the nation's hog farmers. Christie and Paul are both likely candidates for the party's next presidential nomination. Rep. Peter King of New York, who has said he is also considering a presidential bid, called Paul's criticism of Christie over disaster relief appropriations for victims of last fall's hurricane "indefensible" in an interview with Huffington Post.
"Gov. Christie, and others, have been part of this 'gimme, gimme gimme,'" Paul said in his CNN interview. "'Gimme all this money.'" Paul said he supported relief for Sandy victims, but he would have phased it in "year by year, $9 billion the first year, and I would have offset that with spending cuts in foreign aid. I think we can take care of our country after [a] natural disaster, but only if we're not sending billions to Egypt and Pakistan. So really the question is, where's the money going to come from that the governor wants?"
Paul said the amendment he offered to the supplemental relief package would have also provided "adequate oversight," and would have "eliminated fisheries in Alaska and all the other pork barrel stuff from the bill." The Kentucky senator made similar comments at a fundraising event in Franklin, Tennessee, Sunday, when he responded to criticism from both Christie and King over the issue of national security.
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Photo of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: AP Images