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Rand Paul on Christie: ‘The party is big enough for both of us’

In this July 19, 2013 file photo, Sen. RandPaul, R-Ky. speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)-------right--------------New Jersey Gov. ChrisChristie speaks to fellow Republicans, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 during the Republican National Committee summer meeting in Boston. Republican officials are looking to promote a fresh group of diverse rising stars to help resolve their election woes, while frustrated party elders insist that all Republicans must offer more solutions for the nation's most pressing issues. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, Pool) In this July 19, 2013 file photo, Sen. RandPaul, R-Ky. speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall). New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (L) speaks to fellow Republicans, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 during the Republican National Committee summer meeting in Boston. Republican officials are looking to promote a fresh group of diverse rising stars to help resolve their election woes, while frustrated party elders insist that all Republicans must offer more solutions for the nation's most pressing issues. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, Pool)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday encouraged Republicans to debate their views, saying the GOP is "big enough" for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and himself.

"The party is big enough for both of us," Paul said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's big enough for a lot of different Republicans. And this all started with him saying, 'Oh, we don't have room for libertarian Republicans.' The thing is, that's how we grow our party."

Paul's remarks appeared at odds with what Christie said last week about the future of the party.

"We are not a debating society,” the governor said in a remarks at the Republican National Committee's summer meeting. “We are a political operation that needs to win."

Christie and Paul have clashed in recent weeks over national security. Paul said Sunday that to claim there is no room for different ideas in the party is a "big mistake," and that growing the GOP depends upon welcoming different viewpoints into the fold.

"The party in the northeast is shrinking, almost down to nothing," Paul said. "They need to be looking to people with new and different ideas."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on ABCs' "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," "a healthy family debate is not a bad thing at all."

Updated at 11:58 a.m.

 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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