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Published On: Fri, May 29th, 2015

Chris Christie attacks Rand Paul on NSA, says Edward Snowden is a ‘criminal’

New Jersey Governor and likely 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie took aim at Republican Senators over the National Security Agency’s data collection program, the Patriot Act and Edward Snowden.

Christie attacked Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), for their 0pposition to the legislation that authorizes the controversial NSA surveillance programs. Christie took on Lee and Paul, who launched his 2016 campaign last month, for defending NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

“He’s a criminal, he’s a criminal and he’s hiding in Russia, and he’s lecturing to us about the evils of authoritarian government, while he lives under the protective umbrella of Vladimir Putin,” Christie said, while addressing the whisteblower Snowden during an appearance on Fox News.

“That’s who Mike Lee and Rand Paul are siding with – with Edward Snowden? Come on,” he added.

Lee told CNN that the Christie “should be ashamed of himself” for suggesting Americans have to choose between privacy protections guaranteed in the 4th Amendment and death, referring to Christie’s Town Hall remarks

CHris Christie jogging suit donkeyhoteyLee was referring to Christie’s comment at a in Hudson, New Hampshire that “you can’t enjoy our civil liberties if you’re in a coffin.” Lee then added that “if Mr. Christie wants to play a part in the national discussion … he should choose his words more carefully.”

In response to Lee’s advice, Christie said on Wednesday that he didn’t feel the need to choose his words more carefully and added that Lee was “dead wrong” on the issue.

“Nobody else that’s in this national conversation right now has the practical experience that I’ve had,” he said, presumably referring to his past years as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2002 to 2008 and now as the state’s governor.

Christie threw a punch at surveillance skeptics like the Michigan Republican Justin Amash and libertarians back in 2013: “As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now … I think is a very dangerous thought.” “These esoteric, intellectual debates” won’t mean anything when “the next attack” kills “thousands of Americans.” “I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001,” Christie declared – more below.

“You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this,” he said of Paul directly. “I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. … I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in.”

Christie went on to characterize these debates as “esoteric” and “amnesiac.”

“I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don’t,” he said. “And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001.”

Edward Snowden NSA background donkeyhotey

 

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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