Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal further explained Thursday why Sen. Rand Paul’s criticism of Republican war hawks made him “unsuited” to be President, but stopped short of saying the senator’s remarks were so grave he’d vote Democrat if Paul became the GOP nominee.
“We’ve had more than six years of blaming America and criticizing America. We would not have allowed President Obama to say this. This is a statement that’s even to the left of what Senator Clinton or President Obama would say. It needs to be condemned,” Jindal told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday.
But when pressed on Paul’s assertion that war hawks, including Republicans, helped create ISIS, Jindal would not say whether he would not vote for him if he became the Republican nominee.
“I don’t think he’s going to be the nominee,” Jindal said. “And I want to be very clear, this isn’t a personal disagreement. This is about policy issues.”
Jindal is weighing a run for President himself and said he would be making a decision soon.
Paul’s comments on both foreign policy and intelligence gathering have made him a target of other presidential contenders and would-be candidates.
The Kentucky senator is “getting particularly sensitive” when it comes to the debate over the Patriot Act, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday.
“If he thinks it’s not nice to disagree, he’s probably in the wrong race,” Christie, who is leaning toward a 2016 bid, said of the Kentucky senator who is running for president.
Earlier in the week, Christie slammed those lawmakers as “misguided ideologues who have no real world experience in fighting terrorism.”
On Tuesday, Paul said that comment “just wasn’t very nice” before defending his leading role in preventing the Senate from reauthorizing expiring Patriot Act provisions without any changes to that law, prompting the comments from Christie, who added “it wasn’t personal at all.”
The Patriot Act provisions may very well lapse now after the Senate failed to either extend the Patriot Act or pass the USA Freedom Act, a reform bill that overwhelmingly passed the House that would end the government’s bulk collection of millions of Americans telephone metadata.
Christie, who became New Jersey’s U.S. attorney months after 9/11 and served for nearly seven years, has warned of dangerous national security consequences if provisions of the Patriot Act lapse.
“There’s nobody who’s engaging in this national conversation other than me who’s used these tools,” Christie said Wednesday. “What they talk about is theoretical, what I talk about is actual and that’s a big difference. And I don’t think there is anything that we should be doing to lessen our ability to protect the homeland.”
Christie’s comments come despite the fact that that the Obama administration, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Director of Intelligence James Clapper, have endorsed the USA Freedom Act, and despite several official review groups that have found the bulk metadata collection program hasn’t been key to thwarting any terror plots.
None of that has stopped Christie from sounding the alarm on national security concerns, warning that people were beginning to take post-9/11 security for granted and charging that “you can’t enjoy your civil liberties in a coffin.”
That remark drew heat from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, the chief sponsor of the USA Freedom Act in the Senate, who called Christie’s remarks “absolutely ridiculous” and “tantamount to political pornography.”