If you’ve been following this Rand Paul-Chris Christie fight, which blew in last week after the latter called the former’s libertarianism “dangerous,” you might know that on Neil Cavuto’s show yesterday Paul offered, in recognition of the consternation that an ugly intra-party heavyweight fight between prospective 2016 presidential candidates was causing, to settle things over a beer.
That seemed like a nice offer, and certainly something which would necessitate a positive response by a man with designs on leading a nation.
But this is what Paul got for his trouble…
“I’m running for re-election in New Jersey. I don’t really have time for that at the moment,” Christie said. “If I find myself in Washington, I’ll certainly look him up, but I don’t suspect I’ll be there anytime soon.”…
“I don’t know why Senator Paul is so out of whack about this,” Christie said tonight. “At the end of the day I never called him any names, yet he called me names. I didn’t use any childish type phrases like gimme, gimme, gimme, he did. I just have to assume from that that he’s just trying to get attention. That’s fine. He’s not the first politician who’s used me to try to get attention in the national media and I’m sure he won’t be the last.”
Always ready to mix it up, Christie has labeled his detractors all sort of colorful names. Last night, he said he’s “not offended by Senator Paul calling me names.”
“I think it’s juvenile, but I’m not offended by it,” he said.
If Christie wasn’t offended by Paul calling him the “King of Bacon,” then why wouldn’t he have a beer with him?
Seems petty, and small.
And politically stupid to boot.
Why didn’t Christie tell Paul, “Hey, make your way to Atlantic City and we’ll do a beer summit at Trump’s Taj Mahal?” Or better yet, somewhere else along the Jersey Shore that has been rebuilt since Hurricane Sandy went through it last year. That would have put Paul in a rather tough spot – he’d have to go to New Jersey and deal with the locals who might gripe about his opposition to aspects of the Sandy relief bill. Paul can explain that opposition, of course, but Christie is in a position to make it difficult on him.
And the conversation between the two – the dialogue within the GOP that would come from it – could only be good for the party.
Refusing that dialogue wastes that opportunity.
It’s classic Stupid Party. It ranks right up there with the brain-damaged John McCain calling Hillary Clinton a “rock star” and declaring a prospective Clinton-Paul election a “tough choice.”
Christie, for all his loud noises, is showing himself to be a member of the same trapped-in-the-box Republican establishment which can’t capture the public’s imagination, can’t make substantive change and can’t lead.
He’s going to need to learn from this mistake, or his 2016 campaign – however well-supported by the money men in the party we keep hearing are in love with him – will be a short one.
Christie’s cache’ within the GOP was