Sen. Rand Paul hit out at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as an "authoritarian" over the National Security Agency's bulk data collection due to his willingness to "give up" liberty in the wake of terror attacks over the past few weeks.

Appearing on "Morning Joe," Paul went after Christie, along with Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, over the their stances on metadata collection, adding that they should focus on securing the border in an effort to "defend the country."

"I think it's actually made us less safe," Paul said about the bulk data collection. "Because I think the haystack is so large that we're getting lost in the haystack. I would like to target the people that are coming here to attack us, and I think people like Rubio and Christie and Bush, they're not willing to defend the border, and I think, really, we shouldn't have let this woman in from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. We need to have some limits on who comes to visit us. We need to make sure they're not intent on attacking us. That's how you defend the country."

When pressed by host Joe Scarborough on whether a middle ground could be reached on data collection, Paul argued that the program didn't stop the Boston bombing or the French terror attack, adding that the French data collection program is "1,000 times more invasive" and "on steroids" compared than the U.S.'s.

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