The Washington Times - January 6, 2014, 08:17AM

Rep. Peter King criticized Sen. Rand Paul Monday for threatening to sue the Obama administration over the National Security Agency’s controversial shopping program.

Mr. King said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that instead of using an intelligent argument, Mr. Paul is “resorting to fear and appealing to the lowest common denominator.”

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“I find it very offensive,” the New York Republican said, adding that Mr. Paul never talks about the role the NSA has in stopping terrorist attacks, including a foiled 2009 bomb plot on New York City. “Hundreds if not thousands would be dead, and what would Rand Paul say then?”

Mr. Paul, a Kentucky Republican and likely 2016 GOP presidential contender, said the government should not be allowed to so easily access people’s cell phone records and suggested that he would support a class-action lawsuit against the NSA’s spying program.

Mr. King pounced on Mr. Paul’s remarks over the weekend, saying on Fox News that, “the NSA is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing” and that Mr. Paul does not deserve to be in the U.S. Senate.

“Rand Paul does not know what he’s talking about,” Mr. King said. “And, Rand Paul is really spreading fear among the American people.”

“To me, he’s either totally uninformed, or he’s part of that ‘hate America’ crowd that I thought left us in the 1960s,” he said. “In any event, he doesn’t deserve to be in the United States Senate for spreading that type of misperception and absolute lies to be honest with you.”