Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took an implicit swipe at newly reelected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday when he criticized the use of federal funding to air post-Sandy television ads.
At a Senate hearing on Sandy recovery efforts, Paul asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan whether it was appropriate for Sandy aid money to be used to air the ads – and while Paul never named Christie, it was a clear reference to ads made by the state of New Jersey in which Christie appeared after the devastating Oct. 2012 hurricane.
“Some of these ads, people running for office put their their mug all over these ads while they’re in the middle of a political campaign,” Paul said at the hearing, per ABC News. “In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. Do ya think there might be a conflict of interest there?”
Christie and his family appeared in a series of ads earlier this year called “Stronger Than the Storm,” which used some of the federal emergency disaster funding from Hurricane Sandy to encourage people to visit the Jersey Shore. At the time, New Jersey Democrats criticized Christie for using federal funding to make ads that they argued were essentially free campaign messaging.
“That’s a real problem. And that’s why when people who are trying to do good and trying to use taxpayers’ money wisely, they’re offended to see our money spent on political ads,” Paul said. “That’s just offensive. In New York, you actually have a rule. They’re not allowed to do it. So New York did the same thing, which I still object, but at least they didn’t put someone’s face on the ads and their family, and it looks like a bio ad.”
The comments are the latest in a back-and-forth feud between the two potential 2016 hopefuls, which earlier this summer resulted in Paul calling Christie the “king of bacon” for his use of federal funds in his state and Christie responding that Paul was “juvenile.”
Read more at POLITICO.