McCain: 'Tough choice' picking between Clinton and Rand Paul
July 31st, 2013
08:45 AM ET
12 months ago

McCain: 'Tough choice' picking between Clinton and Rand Paul

(CNN) – Choosing who to vote for in a potential 2016 matchup between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rand Paul would be hard for Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican joked in an interview published Wednesday.

"It's gonna be a tough choice," McCain, laughing, told "The New Republic."

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee hasn't hidden his opposition to some of Paul's positions in the past, including the libertarian-minded senator from Kentucky's stance on drones and U.S. intervention in foreign conflicts.

Condemning Paul's 13-hour filibuster over the use of drones, McCain called his colleague, along with fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, "wacko birds."

Other Republicans have also joined the back-and-forth – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Rep. Peter King both chastised Paul for his opposition to government spying programs.

In response, Paul has hit back on those lawmakers' records on spending, saying they've been over-dependent on federal funds for things like disaster relief.

In an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" Tuesday, Paul defended himself against Christie's most recent allegations that the senator was bringing home too much money for his state.

"This is the king of bacon talking about bacon," Paul said about Christie. Both are considered potential 2016 contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: John McCain • Rand Paul
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "This is the king of bacon talking about bacon," Paul said about Christie.
    -------------------
    Keep talking, Senator. Keep up the good work of destroying your chance to become POTUS. America does not want a President who uses such crude and offensive language.

    July 31, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. Warren

    And let the in-fighting begin.... Just goes to show that no Republican should run in 2016....

    July 31, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Dixie

    I just think we need to elect people who are willing to work together to get us out of the mess we have now. None of the ones we have can do it so we need new people NOT THE SAME OLD BUNCH! Time for term limits and house cleaning!!!

    July 31, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. plain&simple

    Everyone "takes" too much....except for me and the people who vote for me!!! When we "take" it's because it's necessary,when you take it's because your lazy and you spend other people's money. Yep,sounds like Rand Paul and the party of "ME". It's not "tea party" it's "ME"party!!! Ego knows no boundaries.

    July 31, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    A tough choice between wacko bird and Sec. Clinton? Get real McSenile.

    July 31, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Data Driven

    Liberals may want to take note. I mean, we could say, "Well, McCain is getting all moderate and mavericky again in his sunset year. This is true self," or we could contemplate the notion that McCain, and neoconservatives like him, are quite comfortable with Hillary Clinton. To be quite frank, I prefer Paul's dovish foreign policy pronouncements over Clinton's established neoconservative track record in this area. (Too bad Paul is a complete nutter on almost every other subject.)

    2016 is a long way away. I'm hoping Kirsten Gillibrand decides that she doesn't need to live under Clinton's shadow and takes the Presidential plunge.

    July 31, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. plain&simple

    Will someone please explain to Mr. Rand....when one receives money back,that they have paid into taxes over the years....it is not called being to dependent!!! It's call getting what you paid for.... Assistance in a time of need. No one wants a natural disaster!!! Thank God we have a government that takes it's responsibility to it's people seriously!

    July 31, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. emskadittle

    Paul has about as much of a chance as his father did

    July 31, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    No problem, John McCain. Rand won't be the GOP nominee. He (Rand Paul) has turned into nothing but a whiny little brat who gets way too much air time airing his hurt feelings. Libertarians are like that ... all about their hurt feelings and not being taken seriously.

    July 31, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. Gunderson

    Huh?,
    Oh. Gunderson understand. Hillary wants to expand Nanny State, Paul wants to kick them out of nest. What you think?

    July 31, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. S.B. Stein

    If I were McCain, I would either stay silent on support or critize them both until they both fall apart.

    July 31, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Larry in Houston

    LOL – after reading this article – I will have to say : I agree w/ McCain. ( This Time)

    McCain said :

    """Condemning Paul's 13-hour filibuster over the use of drones, McCain called his colleague, along with fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, "wacko birds"""

    I typically don't agree w/ 'ol McInsane, but this time, I do. LOL

    Only if he knew what kind of attorney 'ol Cruz is –
    (the most prominent Republicans down here, think he's either the best attorney in the State of Texas, ( and possibly in the country)

    July 31, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. mungo

    Rand represents a "section" of the Republican party.

    McCain just blew the silent dog whistle.

    I hope all Americans understand. McCain is referring to the racist trator "section of the party"

    July 31, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "It's gonna be a tough choice,"

    President Romney agrees.

    July 31, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. PJ

    So, the gospel according to Paul is:
    It's okay for Kentucky to get more money back than they send to Washington, because there are two military bases
    there. But it's not okay for storm ravaged people to get help for States that get back less money than they send
    to Washington.
    All of this, plus Rand wants to cut defense spending, but apparently closing bases in Kentucky would not be
    acceptable.
    Curly is constantly contradicting himself, whether it is drones or defense spending, or whatever, he
    always has an excuse for talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    July 31, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |