By Jonathan Easley - 08/15/13 11:15 PM EDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), both attacked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) over his address to the Republican National Committee on Thursday.
“We are not a debating society,” Christie argued. “We are a political operation that needs to win."
Ron Paul fired back first, telling Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s "The Situation Room" that Christie’s argument was superficial.
“There's more to it than just power,” he said. “To say and do anything you want just to be in government? You have to believe in something and understand economics, or you just keep doing the same things and deficits keep running up.”
"That’s why nothing changes whether you have a Republican or a Democrat because, basically, it’s one party, and that’s where the frustration comes from. And now they’re arguing over power alone and not issues.”
Ron Paul continued, saying that if Christie won the Republican nomination, he wouldn’t back his party’s candidate.
“He offers nothing,” Ron Paul concluded.
Rand Paul’s team also weighed in on Christie’s comments Thursday.
“So if I translate Gov. Christie correctly, we shouldn’t be the party of ideas,” Paul adviser Doug Stafford told CNN in an email. “We shouldn’t care what we stand for or even if we stand for anything. We reject that idea. Content-free so-called ‘pragmatism’ is the problem, not the solution.”
Rand Paul and Christie engaged in a high-profile public dispute earlier this month over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. Christie says they’ve kept the country safe, while Rand Paul argues they’re a violation of civil liberties.
Both men are considered likely Republican presidential candidates in 2016.
Ron Paul on Thursday said his son would make a “capable” candidate.
“He’s certainly capable. Compared to the rest, yes he certainly is capable,” he said, adding that he “certainly” thinks his son can win the GOP nomination.