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Paul says Sandy aid reason for Christie blowout victory

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Wednesday dismissed the significance of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's blowout re-election victory, saying the decisive win was largely due to federal aid the state received in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

"His victory was, in large form, based on that he got a lot of federal money for his state," Paul told radio Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano after being asked why he previously labeled Christie a moderate.

"Unlimited spending is sort of, you could call it moderate, or even liberal, to think that there’s an unlimited amount of money, even for good causes," Paul said.

The two potential 2016 presidential hopefuls have not shied from taking recent swipes at each other. Paul has been critical of Christie's appearance in a series of television ads aimed at fueling New Jersey's economic recovery after the storm devastated some of the state's most popular tourist destinations. The Kentucky Republican said allowing politicians to appear in federally funded advertising during  political campaigns was "offensive" and a "black eye" for the the relief efforts.

"It's one thing if you want to put your image on TV and say, 'I'm going to give a million dollars to help Sandy funds of my money," Paul said Wednesday. "But you're getting somebody else's money, and if you're doing that, should you then take part of that money to promote how good you are at getting somebody else's money to come to New Jersey?"

Paul and Christie have been dinging each other since July when the Garden State governor criticized libertarians in Congress for supporting legislation that would have defunded the NSA's phone record collection program. "This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought," Christie said.