WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — Sen. Rand Paul took a jab at Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday, saying it was “offensive” that the governor appeared in New Jersey’s “Stronger Than The Storm” TV spots while campaigning for office.
The ads, which featured Christie and his family and were funded with federal disaster relief money, promoted tourism along the Jersey shore in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and ran on TV, radio and online.
Speaking at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing reviewing the ongoing recovery from Sandy, Paul, R-Kentucky, questioned whether storm relief funds should have been spent on the ads.
“Some of these ads, people running for office put their mug all over these ads while they are in the middle of a political campaign,” Paul said. “In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office.”
Democrats first blasted Christie earlier this year for appearing in the ad, saying it unfairly gave him more media exposure ahead of the upcoming election.
“Ya think there might be a conflict of interest there? You know that’s a real problem,” Paul said. “That’s why when people who are trying to do good and trying to use taxpayer’ money wisely, they are offended to see our money spent on political ads. You know that’s just offensive.”
While Paul said New York also ran ads in the wake of Sandy, he said “at least they didn’t put someone’s face on the ad and their family and it looks like a bio ad.”
“I think, oh yea come to New Jersey, but I don’t want to pay for ads for someone’s advertising out of Sandy relief funds,” he said. “It gives the whole thing a black eye.”
Christie has defended the ads, saying the purpose of the campaign was to let people know the Jersey shore had recovered from Sandy and was open for business.
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