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Sen. Rand Paul: Christie's win in large part due to federal money for New Jersey

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Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, has taken another jab at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, saying his recent re-election can be partly chalked up to Mr. Christie’s helping bring in federal money to his state after Hurricane Sandy last year.

Since Mr. Christie’s landslide victory on Nov. 5, Mr. Paul and some other Republicans have been characterizing Mr. Christie as a “moderate” — a not-always-complimentary tag attached to the GOP’s last two unsuccessful presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I think that his victory was in large form based on that he got a lot of federal money for his state,” Mr. Paul told a CBS Radio affiliate in Philadelphia. “The problem is, is that there were some of us who said, ‘Yeah, we do have federal funds available for disasters, but really we ought to probably spend it one year at a time, and if we have to increase the budget for disasters, we ought to take it from somewhere else.’”

“Unlimited spending is sort of a — you could call it moderate, or even liberal, to think that there’s unlimited amount of money, even for good causes,” Mr. Paul continued.

“If you’re a conservative Republican, the federal government will be involved in certain things, but when you spend money, particularly when you’re a trillion dollars in the hole, it shouldn’t be just this ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme all my money’ without any considerations or strings,” he said. “It should be, ‘Yes, this is why it’s necessary, but this is also why I’ll cut spending somewhere else.’”

Mr. Paul also slammed Mr. Christie once again for appearing in ads intended to get tourists back into the state after the hurricane, saying that “it should be against the law for any politician to put their image on TV at taxpayer expense.”

Mr. Christie was to have given a speech Thursday morning in Philadelphia but canceled the appearance. His office said the governor was “just not feeling well at all.”

More than 600 people had been expected to hear Mr. Christie speak at the annual fundraising breakfast for the Committee of 70, a government watchdog group. Organizers said the event will be rescheduled.

• Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

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