No More Mr Nice Guy: Republicans Start 2016 Primary Battle

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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NASHUA, N.H. — Game on. Republican Presidential contenders and candidates are now distinguishing themselves by taking shots at one another. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. George Bush, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are no exception.

The tension is rising between Rubio and Bush. Fights over donors and former staff are spilling out into public.

Bush “feels disappointed because he’s cared for him for so long,” Bush adviser Al Cardenas told The Associated Press. “You just don’t want to go to battle against someone you care for.” It should be noted that Cardenas also attended Rubio’s wedding.

Policy-wise candidates are taking turns slamming each other in their remarks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit. Rubio and Paul described explicitly where they stood on privacy versus national security issues as well as where others might stand.

“The Fourth amendment says you can’t get into someone’s records without naming the person–naming the records and going to a judge and saying, ‘I’ve got probable cause of a crime.’ But it doesn’t mean collecting 300 million people’s phone records,” Paul said Saturday.

He explained, “The fourth amendment is not consistent with a warrant that says Mr. Verizon on it. Last I heard Mr. Verizon’s not a person. And collecting hundreds of millions of records is not right. I tell people, ‘Look, your phone records are yours. You have a privacy interest you maintain no matter who is holding them. Your phone records are yours. And the government, it’s none of their damn business what you’re doing on your phone.'”

Rubio, however, calls Paul’s claims “hyperbole” stating on Friday night, “Let me add another point, which we have not confronted until lately. We used to be concerned and still should be about someone from abroad coming to America and carrying out a terrorist attack. That threat still there.”

“We then should be concerned about someone in this country that has never left this country, and yet is radicalized online and as a result is inspired to carry out a terrorist attack,” he said. “All three of these risks exist and they are real. You can listen to all the hyperbole about how they’re listening to your phone calls and everything. God forbid that happens the first question people will want to know is why didn’t we know about it and why didn’t we stop it. This is not a game.”