Michael Grimm Picks a Fight With Rand Paul

Rand Paul. (Photo: Getty)

Rand Paul. (Photo: Getty)

Raging against libertarian-minded presidential hopefuls is normally the territory of Long Island Congressman Pete King, but this morning, Staten Island’s Michael Grimm stepped up to the plate, labeling Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s comments regarding Hurricane Sandy aid “disgraceful” and “simply moronic.”

Mr. Rand had blasted fellow Republicans like Mr. King and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the weekend, characterizing their mindset as, “Gimme, gimme, gimme — give me all my Sandy money now.” He further argued, “Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense.”

Needless to say, Mr. Grimm disagrees.

“Senator Rand Paul’s remarks are disgraceful. I saw the Sandy devastation with my own eyes. I comforted those who lost children and husbands, and others who lost every treasured possession they own,” he said in a lengthy, three-paragraph reaction. “Sandy relief and national defense are not mutually exclusive, and for Senator Paul to argue that one diminishes the other is simply moronic.”

(Mr. King further called Mr. Paul’s remarks “indefensible.”)

Mr. Grimm represents a swing district and faces a competitive election next year against the likely Democratic nominee, Councilman Domenic Recchia. Mr. Recchia has already shown an inclination to tie Mr. Grimm to national Republicans when it comes to Hurricane Sandy relief and other issues.

View Mr. Grimm’s full statement below:

“Senator Rand Paul’s remarks are disgraceful. I saw the Sandy devastation with my own eyes. I comforted those who lost children and husbands, and others who lost every treasured possession they own. To criticize Northeast Republicans for fighting tooth and nail to bring relief to the very people we represent is reprehensible. This is what we were elected to do and we delivered.

“Libertarians like Rand Paul are continually hurting the Republican brand. Even after a storm as devastating as Sandy, it’s clear that Senator Paul would rather put ideology before humanity. Unfortunately, ideology will not rebuild a home or help a small business recover. This type of rhetoric we continue to hear from Senator Paul and others is not only unproductive in Congress, but a threat to all Americans who put their faith and confidence in elected officials should disaster strike – whether it is Superstorm Sandy or 9/11.

“As a Marine combat veteran and a former FBI agent, I have always fought to strengthen national security. Sandy relief and national defense are not mutually exclusive, and for Senator Paul to argue that one diminishes the other is simply moronic. There are plenty of areas to cut wasteful spending without turning our backs on the very people we were sent to Congress to represent.”

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