Christie Passes on Beer Summit, Heads To Vegas to Raise Money

Credit: Mel Evans/AP Photo

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may have said he's too busy for a beer summit with Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, but he's not too busy to go to Las Vegas to attend a fundraiser for his gubernatorial re-election with billionaire casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson.

On his weekly "Ask the Governor" radio show Wednesday evening, Christie said of Paul's suggestion for a beer summit to bury the hatchet, "I don't really have time for that at the moment. I'm running for re-election."

Thursday he was busy raising funds for that re-election at a private fundraiser held by Adelson and his wife Miriam at the Palazzo, an aide to the campaign confirms.

He is also attending the KIPP School Summit while in Nevada to discuss education reform. KIPP is the Knowledge is Power Program, a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools. Christie is a strong proponent of charter schools and he spoke at the School Choice Now National Policy Summit last year when it was held in Jersey City.

Adelson spent at least $98 million of his own money throughout the 2012 election, including giving $20 million to a super pac funding Newt Gingrich's failed Republican primary bid.

The news was first reported by the Las Vegas Sun, who noted Christie once had some negative words for visiting the steamy gambling city in the summer, especially when you can visit New Jersey and go to Atlantic City.

"There is no reason people should go to Las Vegas in the summer," Christie said in September 2011. "Why would you go to the middle of the desert in the summer? You'd have to be stupid to do that."

Christie is doing just that now, of course, but it's to raise money in his heavily favored race to re-election in November.

A Quinnipiac poll of Christie and his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, from earlier last month showed Christie 32 points over Buono, 61 percent to 29 percent.

Paul was also in Nevada early last month to attend a Nevada Republican Party fundraiser.

The two may be visiting to raise money for themselves and the party, but Nevada is also an important early voting state, one they each may be in often if they decide to run for president in 2016.

Paul and Christie have engaged in a war of words since last week as the two have criticized each other's stances on issues ranging from national security to pork barrel spending.

In an interview on CNN Tuesday, Paul categorized Christie as the "king of bacon" after the New Jersey governor criticized the Kentucky senator for excessive spending on pet projects for his home state.

On Wednesday, Christie answered back in that radio show, saying Paul's name calling was "juvenile."

"I didn't call him names, I didn't use any childish like phrases like he did - gimme gimme gimme - I just assume he's using me to get attention," Christie said, making it clear he may not want to make up as easily as Paul does.

"And that's fine. He's not the first politician to use me to get attention and he probably is not the last," Christie said. "I'm not offended by Senator Paul calling me names. I think it's juvenile. I'm not offended by it."

The fight started last week when Christie warned that Paul's brand of "libertarianism" is dangerous for the country.

ABC News' Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.

This story has been updated since it was first posted.