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Where's the bacon? Rand Paul-Chris Christie feud all about 2016.

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Mel Evans/AP and Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

(Read caption) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (l.) and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have been going at each other during the past week. The two Republicans have very different views about the identity of their party.

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Many might be wondering about all that talk of bacon between two leading contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Well, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky aren’t exactly beefing about brunch orders.

Like two dogs sniffing each other in a crowded park, they’re testing each other’s mettle in advance of what’s likely to be a jam-packed GOP primary. They’re playing, as some reports suggest, for the “heart and soul of the Republican Party” by engaging in a feud about national security and government spending.

Will Senator Paul and the isolationists lay claim to a fractured and directionless GOP? Or will Governor Christie and the East Coast government-has-purpose centrists win out? With this feud, the politicians are also sampling messages, angling for headlines, and jockeying for position within the field of would-be contenders.

 
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