Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traded barbs Thursday night over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. phone records. In the heat of the Republican presidential debate, Christie got the last word in — but who actually came out of the exchange on top?
Christie’s vigorous defense of the NSA’s spying powers might give him traction in the short run. But in the long run, the outlook isn’t good. As Americans have learned more about the intelligence community’s ability to hack, snoop and monitor — in some cases affecting millions of people at a time — the less they like it. Last January marked a turning point when polls began to show a majority of people opposing the NSA’s mass surveillance program.
Before we go any further, watch a clip of Christie’s spat with Paul here:
The most notable moment occurs about a minute and a half into the video, when Christie doesn’t merely defend the NSA’s powers, he argues for their expansion.
“I will make no apologies ever for protecting the lives and safety of the American people,” said Christie. “We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way.”
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