- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had blunt words of criticism for those in the Republican party who take a turn to the libertarian way of thinking: That’s dangerous.

He made the comments Thursday in the context of speaking about victims and families of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks on America’s soil, and explaining why he objected to intelligence and military policies furthered by the likes of Sen. Rand Paul.

“This strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought,” he said from a Republican governors’ conference in Colorado, the New York Times reported.

When asked if he was referring to Mr. Paul, Mr. Christie replied:

“You can name any number of people, and he’s one of them,” he said, The New York Times reported. “These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversations. And they won’t because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”

Mr. Christie then said that those who want to rein in U.S. surveillance programs ought to think twice.

“The next attack that comes, that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate and wondering whether they put — ” he said before he cut himself off, The Times reported.

Members of Mr. Paul’s camp in Washington, D.C., however, got the message. And they shot back a scathing reply.

“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,” one of Mr. Paul’s senior advisers said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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