May 10th, 2013
11:19 AM ET
11 months ago

Rand Paul: Clinton should never hold high office

(CNN) – Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is stressing his disapproval of the way former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handled the deadly Benghazi attack, saying the potential 2016 presidential contender should be precluded from ever holding high office again.

Paul blasted the former secretary of state for saying in her Senate testimony earlier this year that she did not read the cables requesting more security for the Benghazi post in Libya.

"I find that inexcusable," Paul said Thursday night on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. "Libya's one of the five most dangerous places on the planet, probably, and if your ambassador's asking for more security and you don't read the cables and then you respond and say we don't have any security to give you, that is a really - it is a dereliction of duty,"

"The person who made that decision should never be in place or a position to make that decision again," he added. "I stand by that."

Paul, who's considering a presidential bid himself, made the same argument to Clinton during her testimony before a Senate committee in January over the September terror attack, which left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans killed.

"Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador (Chris) Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it's inexcusable," he said.

While Clinton has stated she takes "responsibility" for the security of U.S. diplomats, she has also pointed to an independent review board's assessment that the security failures fell at the hands of the assistant secretary level and below. The same review board is now being investigated by the State Department's inspector general after the report received wide criticism.

Witnesses at Wednesday's House hearing on Benghazi disagreed with the review board's findings, saying the level of blame went higher up.

The senator from Kentucky reiterated his position Friday in an opinion piece.

"The evidence we had in January already suggested that Mrs. Clinton ignored repeated requests for more security in Benghazi. The new evidence we have today – and that continues to mount – suggests that at the very least, Mrs. Clinton should never hold high office again," he wrote in the op-ed for the Washington Times.

Paul is one of many Republicans who have targeted Clinton over the Benghazi attack in recent days, as the House held a controversial hearing Wednesday featuring three State Department employees who testified they were dissatisfied with how the Obama administration handled the attack.

Clinton is widely considered the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination at this point.


Filed under: 2014 • Hillary Clinton • Libya • Rand Paul
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Debbie from Arizona

    Of course Rand Paul doesn't think Mrs. Clinton should hold higher office. He's scared to death that he will have to run against her for President in 2016.

    May 10, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. ST

    Rand Paul has no clue at all what he is talking about. People's votes hold anyone (like it did on Romney) not to hold Office especially in the White House. Rand can go and start campaigning from now until 2016, I doubt whether a lot will buy his words if not only his Party.

    May 10, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sen. Paul, with your stance on the Civil Rights Act, YOU should never hold high office nor your Senate seat for that matter.

    May 10, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. MS

    Rand Paul shouldn't hold the office he holds now.

    May 10, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Sniffit

    The mother of all psychological projection statements right there.

    May 10, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "The same review board is now being investigated by the State Department's inspector general after the report received wide criticism."

    That "investigation" is looking back at least a decade and is not specifically focused on just the Benghazi report that the ARB produced. Presenting it as narrowly focused in that manner is a misrepresentation.

    May 10, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "Libya's one of the five most dangerous places on the planet, probably, and if your ambassador's asking for more security and you don't read the cables and then you respond and say we don't have any security to give you, that is a really – it is a dereliction of duty,"
    -----------------------------------------------
    I beg to differ. I can think of five places that top Libya in most dangerous places on the planet: The U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, The West Bank, Gaza Strip and then Libya.

    May 10, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. rs

    Ahhh, the power of denial and fantasy. I am sure Rand Paul wishes all Democrats could be made to disappear. Maybe all minorities, and poor people, and ..... oh, well you get the idea. People like Paul live a rich fantasy life- speaking of fitness to hold public office.

    May 10, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Poor Misunderstood Rand

    Does that mean Rand will step down when Hillary is elected President of these United States in 2016? With all of this GOP attention – they have cast their vote and it is now a 100% thing that Hillary will be the next president.

    May 10, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Mr. Bland Paul, "I'm against drones – kill 'em with drones" keeps 'droning' on and on... We ALL will be tired of him by 2016. He just can't keep his trap shut can he?

    May 10, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Wake up People!

    Oh that's how you're going to play me today Fox-lite??? I don't know why you don't officially change your name.

    May 10, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    And finally, a republican admits what this circus is all about. Very fitting that it's coming from somebody with 2016 aspirations.

    May 10, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Rand...what makes you think anyone other than the sheep care what you think? If she runs, she WILL win, no matter what you and the rest of the party of no do

    May 10, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Mr. Moderate

    Pot...meet kettle.

    May 10, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. MTATL67

    This is not a very smart move for Republicans. It seems that they always forget to look back at their own track record. There were 54 attacks on diplomatic facilities with only 3 hearings under Republicans watch. Actions like this makes many more determined to get these lazy obstructionists takers out of office.

    May 10, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. RF

    When Mr. Paul becomes president he will defund the state department. After all it's not a constitutional requirement is it?

    May 10, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Steve

    Well, keep in mind, good ol Rand did say "probably"...

    LOL...way to step on your own argument there Rand.

    May 10, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Bessy

    Of course he said that. What do you all think this is all about ? These Republicans do not care one little bit about what happened in Benghazi. They just want to besmirch Hillarys name and of course the president.

    May 10, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Go Rand! 2016!

    May 10, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Alicia E. West-Colbert

    This coming from someone who doesn't think a businessman should have to put in elevators to service disabled people...they just have to go somewhere else...really!!!! You don't have a moral compass to be placing judgement on anyone else!!!

    May 10, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. oldtexan

    Right, Rand. That's what this is ALL about: discrediting Clinton because conservatives can't come up with a presidential candidate who they think can defeat someone who hasn't even announced their candidacy. What a bunch of frightened little children you are.

    May 10, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    If Rand Paul,runs he can count on my vote. Funny thing is i really dont like the guy,his hair even bothers me for some reason. But voting for people that i do like has not worked out to well,time to move the country in another direction.

    May 10, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Dan Kimrey

    How much security was lost due to the sequester that Republicans wanted so bad??

    May 10, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Jefferson

    Rand is right, Hilary should never hold officer again after her inexusable handling of this. Good for Rand, Rand will be the Republican nominee in 2016 and likely president, unless democrats win using voter fraud like they always have to.

    May 10, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. ja

    Rand paul was mute on the wmds that were never found in iraq, he should resign, we have wmds in america, the lose gun laws

    May 10, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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