Off to the races: Paul hits back at Christie, King

Rand Paul: “They’re precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their `Gimme, gimme, gimme — give me all my Sandy money now.’” Paul said. “Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense.” That prompted Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to fire back at Paul.

AP: “Republicans hoping to reach beyond the party’s white, aging core must do more than retool campaign strategy and tactics, say young GOP leaders pressing elected officials to offer concrete policies to counter Democratic initiatives.”

Beth Reinhard looks at what some Republicans are trying to do with overhauling their digital strategy.

Politico: “Of all the obstacles standing between the Republican Party and the White House, preventing heavily Latino, trending-blue Western states from settling comfortably into the Democratic column is high on the list. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval are two Republican politicians winning in precisely those kinds of places — and GOP officials who’ve been watching them say the party would be wise to pay attention.”

NEW JERSEY: Cory Booker was given a heads up by Lautenberg’s chief of staff that he was going to retire, but he requested that Booker let Lautenberg bow out on his own terms, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. “The answer was no. And on Dec. 20, Booker all but declared his candidacy for the seat. Although neither Katz nor Matzen would comment, Lautenberg’s son, Josh, confirmed the conversation. … For that and many other perceived slights, Lautenberg’s family members have not forgiven Booker. They’ve made it clear on the campaign trail by supporting one of Booker’s rivals, U.S. Rep. Pallone (D-6th Dist.), in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary, which was called after the senator’s death last month.”

NEW YORK:Daily News: “Weiner campaign paid private eye $45,000 to investigate own 2011 Twitter ‘hacking’ lie, reports show.”

WYOMING: Republican senators are backing incumbent Mike Enzi over Liz Cheney, something she says she’s just fine with. “Wyoming voters know very well that the Washington establishment is the problem,” she said.