By Meghashyam Mali - 08/14/13 11:27 AM EDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sidestepped questions about fellow Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) eligibility to run for president, saying he was not a “birther.”
“You won't find me questioning his eligibility. I decided a long time ago I wasn't going to be a birther for Democrats. I'm not a birther for Republicans,” said Paul, who is seen as a potential presidential contender, about his possible 2016 rival in an interview on CNN. “I'm just staying out of that one.”
The two Tea Party favorites are both seen as potential contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination, and have both made visits to early-voting states.
Paul also said he welcomed praise from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who said she was “on Team Rand” in his recent high-profile feud with Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.).
“I love an endorsement by Sarah Palin. What's not to love?” said the Kentucky senator.
Christie and Paul had a public debate over national security policy and government spending, with Christie slamming Paul’s libertarian views.
Paul sought to downplay the debate, inviting Christie to meet over a beer — a call the New Jersey governor said he didn’t have time for.
Paul on Tuesday said he was eager to “get rid of the grudge” between the two.
“I've offered him a beer. We can have a beer summit. I know he's busy. I could even come to New Jersey for him and I might buy the beer and I'm notoriously very cheap. And I would offer to buy the beer,” said Paul.
Paul also touted his libertarian views, which he said would help “grow the Republican Party.”
“Respecting people's privacy, respecting the fourth amendment, not spying on Americans, I think that appeals to a lot of young people and will bring new people into our party if we become the party of privacy,” he said.