New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn't trying to avoid Sen. Rand Paul during Paul's upcoming trip to New Jersey, Christie said Tuesday — he'd just rather spend time with his wife, Mary Pat.

"It was a very tough choice, but I had to choose between my wife and Rand Paul," Christie said.

Christie plans to take a short getaway next weekend with his wife to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Meanwhile, Paul, R-Ky., will be visiting New Jersey on Sept. 13 to campaign for Republican Steve Lonegan, who is running in a special Senate election against Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the clear frontrunner.

Friction between Paul and Christie was on public display recently when Paul called Christie the "king of bacon" for accepting funding to aid in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, and when Christie charged that Paul's brand of libertarianism is "dangerous."

Both men are widely considered to be top potential Republican contenders in the 2016 presidential race.