Jan 8, 2016 10:59 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
CONCORD – Marco Rubio says when it comes to his war of words with Republican presidential rival Chris Christie, “it’s not personal,” it’s policy.
And in an interview with NH1 News Friday, the senator from Florida took aim at the New Jersey governor’s policy, saying “Christie doesn't want people to know he's for gun control.”
While there was sniping between the two GOP White House candidates in recent weeks, partially over Rubio’s record of missed votes in the U.S. Senate, the fight escalated earlier this week. The catalyst, TV ads by the pro-Rubio super PAC Conservative Solutions.
“Chris Christie could well be Obama's favorite Republican governor. Why? Christie's record,” said the narrator in one of the PAC’s spots.
Christie’s campaign fired back with a ad of their own. The commercial started with on screen graphics saying “Marco Rubio is Attacking Governor Chris Christie. The Governor’s Response…”
“Do not be fooled: any significant division within the Republican Party leads to the same awful result - Hillary Rodham Clinton in January of 2017 taking the oath of office as president of the United States,” said Christie.
And an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Christie targeted Rubio’s over his youth and inexperience, saying “this isn’t my first rodeo.”
“This guy’s been spoon-fed every victory he’s ever had in his life,” he added.
And asked about the Conservative Solutions ad, Christie said "I just don't think Marco Rubio's going to be able to slime his way to the White House."
Speaking with NH1 News, Rubio fired back.
“There's policy differences and they're important. Listen, we've had a disasterous president the past seven years. Our Republican nominee needs to be someone who will reverse these things, not agree with them. The President is undermining the second amendment. We need some one who’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and Chris Christie's not. We need someone who's going to cancel any work the federal government's doing on Common Core. Chris Christie supports Common Core. So again, I think it's just on a policy issue it's important that our nominee and the next president be someone that wipes out all the damage that Barack Obama’s done to America,” Rubio declared.
And Rubio defended the TV commercials by Conservative Solutions.
“I've seen the ad. Obviously it's not our ad. We didn't put it up. But I’ve seen it. It's 100 percent factually accurate. It's not slime. That's policy differences. It's not personal. You'll never hear me personally attack someone else in this race, but if there are policy differences or things that they've done, that is legitimate. So I understand that Chris Christie doesn't want people to know he's for gun control. He doesn't want people to know he supported Planned Parenthood. He doesn't want people to know he's a supporter of Common Core. But these are legitimate policy issues and everything the ad said is factually accurate,” he said.
Responding to Rubio’s comments, Christie campaign communications director Samantha Smith told NH1 News "this is the difference between a senator and an executive. While Senator Rubio has no doubt given some nice speeches on these issues, Governor Christie has vetoed Planned Parenthood funding, ended Common Core in New Jersey, and protected the rights of gun owners."
Rubio spoke with NH1 News on board his campaign bus, minutes before he headlined a rally at a jam-packed Red Blazer restaurant in Concord. Joining Rubio at the restaurant on the south side of Concord, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who formally endorsed the senator.
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