Christie Slams Rand Paul: He's Siding With 'Criminal' Snowden on NSA
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) tore into GOP senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee this morning for their criticism of the Patriot Act.
Paul, who again outlined his problems with the NSA's massive surveillance program last night on The Kelly File, claims that the data collection actually makes the country less safe and violates the Fourth Amendment.
Christie, on the other hand, believes the NSA should have broader powers. He said that as a former U.S. attorney, he has used the Patriot Act and knows first-hand how valuable it is.
"The fact is all the different people expressing opinions on this, in the Senate right now, none of them have used the Patriot Act, none of them have prosecuted terrorists. I have. So, they talk about it from a different perspective, I talk about it from a real-life perspective, which is why I feel I have to speak out about it now, because no one else in this national conversation right now has the practical experience I have," said Christie.
Lee called out Christie specifically, saying he should be "ashamed of himself" for saying that we have to choose between following the Constitution and being attacked by terrorists.
Christie disputed that he ever said Americans would need to make a choice like that. He said Lee and Paul are "wrong" when they claim that the Patriot Act is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
He said Lee's comments are "typical' of Washington politicians and slammed Paul and Lee for aligning themselves with a "criminal" in Edward Snowden.
"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. That’s who Mike Lee and Rand Paul are siding with? Edward Snowden? Come on."
In the latest Fox News poll on GOP presidential contenders, Christie garnered 6% support, seven points behind Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. He said if he decides to run, he believes he can change minds during the campaign.
Christie said he'll make a decision on whether to run next month.
Watch the full, wide-ranging interview above.