The question bears repeating.
Were there to be a Republican primary pitting Governor Christie against Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who would you vote for?

Remembering too that the Republicans haven’t occupied the Oval Office since 2008.

I know it’s too soon to look to 2016, but as long as the sparring match continues between our governor and the libertarian senator, one can’t help but wonder if the Republican party has this penchant for shooting itself in the foot.

What does it say in the bible? A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Well, this one is about to topple, and we’re still 3 years away from the real action.

The Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie spat appears to be getting nastier.

Paul, a Kentucky senator, escalated his attacks on the New Jersey governor, saying on Fox News that it is "kind of sad and cheap" that his fellow Republican is using "the cloak of 9/11 victims" to criticize him on national security.

Christie followed up Tuesday with a shot about Kentucky's federal spending, along with his trademark straight talk. "Get in line" if you've got a personal problem with his bluntness, the governor said.

While Christie and Paul are both mentioned as potential Republican presidential candidates in 2016, their verbal fusillades aren't a sideshow. Their dispute about national security and federal spending exposes the fissures within the GOP -- similar to another battle being waged now over immigration -- that will likely be played out in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina during the presidential primaries.

This all began last week when Christie said at an Aspen Institute forum that there is a "strain of libertarianism" within the Republican Party by those who oppose the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program and other counterterrorism techniques. The governor said Paul and others in the GOP could come to New Jersey and explain their opposition to the "widows and orphans" who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Paul's first response Sunday was to go after Christie on federal spending, and what he called a "gimme, gimme, gimme" attitude when it came to Superstorm Sandy aid.

During a Fox News appearance Monday, the Kentucky senator teed off again. First, Paul said the Republican Party in the Northeast is "on life support" and that "it's not real smart for Republicans to be attacking Republicans." Then Paul threw 9/11 back at Christie before repeating the federal spending charge.

Christie said Tuesday that he's got "nothing personal" against the senator, but said Paul's words seem as though "he has something personal against me, but that's OK. He can just get in line on that front."

As for the charges on federal spending, Christie noted that New Jersey gets back 61 cents for every dollar sent to Washington while Kentucky receives $1.51. "Maybe he should start cutting the pork-barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky," the governor said.

It’s the overriding question of our time as to whether we favor national security at the expense of personal freedom. That plus who will be more adept at shrinking the size of government.

Paul has ardent support from many younger voters who supported the candidacy of his father. But just like his father, there’s the likelihood that once election season rolls around, he could be marginalized.

And Christie’s Achilles heal would be, besides his penchant for shooting from the hip, which some of us find endearing, is the fact that the last Republican Governor from the Northeast didn’t do too well in the last election.

Which presumptive Republican Presidential Candidates gets your vote? And which one do you feel has the best chance to beat the Democrat in 2016? (Hillary?)