September 3rd, 2013
08:09 PM ET
11 months ago

Rand Paul compares John Kerry to a 'clairvoyant'

(CNN) - Following his tense exchange with John Kerry at Tuesday's Senate hearing on Syria, Sen. Rand Paul said the secretary of state is overstating his certitude that a military strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad will make the Middle East safer.

"Well, he sounds like he must be a clairvoyant because he can predict the future now and so we should ask him for stock picks, you name it, who's going to win the Kentucky Derby next year if he can guarantee the future," the Kentucky Republican said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Kerry argued at the hearing that allowing al-Assad to go unpunished for what the administration alleges was his regime's use of chemical weapons could escalate tensions in the Middle East, given that Iran and Hezbollah are two of Syria's biggest allies.

5 things from Senate hearing on Syria

And when Paul argued it's not known whether Assad would use chemical weapons, Kerry interjected, saying: "Senator, it is not unknown."

"If the United States of America doesn't hold him accountable on this, with our allies and friends, it's a guarantee Assad will do it again, a guarantee. And I urge you to go to the classified briefing and learn that," Kerry said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first public hearing after the president said he would seek congressional approval before attacking Syria.

Paul continued to say Tuesday night the situation is too unpredictable.

"No one can guarantee the future. We don't know how Assad will react and I think there's an equal argument to be made if the U.S. bombs him, that it will be more likely that he launches another gas attack, more likely that he might attack Israel. More likely that there will be more instability in the region," Paul said, adding that it's also more likely that Russia and Iran may get more involved.

"So, I think there are arguments to be made on both sides of this, but it's not some kind of slam dunk guarantee that Secretary Kerry makes it out to be," Paul said.

The secretary of state said Israel is prepared to defend itself should Hezbollah decide to attack, and the consequences of inaction by the U.S. far outweigh action when it comes to regional stability and chemical weapons.

"If Iran and Hezbollah are advantaged by the United States not curbing Assad's use of chemical weapons, there is a much greater likelihood that at some point down the road, Hezbollah…will have access to these weapons of mass destruction," Kerry said at the hearing.


Filed under: John Kerry • Rand Paul • Syria
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Winston Smith

    I compare Rand Paul, to a tree stump.

    September 3, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. gabberattack

    Where's the proof Assad did it? So called rebels were caught redhanded with chemical weapons in the past.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Evergreen

    I hope Mr. Paul takes Sec. Kerry's advice and attend the classified meeting (and keep the Intel to himself). The more info the better the decision making.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. bill bennett

    Rand Paul needs to go away. He is scarier than Sarah Palin!!!!

    September 3, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. G

    Rand reminds of the guy that shoots his mouth of from a distance,but is a no show for the fight

    September 3, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. vikingwoman

    I Hate war! "Can't we just all get along!"-Rodney King

    September 3, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  7. Rozzie

    Rand Paul is a freaking ghost! Do you know who his main supporters are? White supremacists & Nazis!! yes! Check them outt for yourself - he was named "Rand" due to his father's love ( and his later) of Ayn Rand - a wierdo rightist kooik!
    God forbid he runs for Prez! No, wait! It's probably a good thing because he'll be a laughing stock!

    September 3, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. Tony in Maine

    Rand Paul is not a well man.

    September 3, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  9. Jack

    Mr. Paul, please zip your lip!

    September 3, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. manhandler1

    Seems as if Nations did nothing until the outcome is guaranteed, nothing would ever get done.

    September 3, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  11. Mike Texoma

    John Kerry is the real deal. Rand Paul is all hat – no cattle.

    September 3, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. Lori

    Love how the General ended the dressing down with a great joke. Rand Paul looked like the inexperienced rookie he truly is.

    September 3, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    Imagine ALL THE PEOPLE in the republican party having this attitude when George W. Bush went looking for those WMD. What silly little people they are. While I am against anymore U.S. involvement (especially in the middle east), why all the faux outrage and name calling now? We don't need theatrics, what we need are serious discussions and well thought out decisions by grown-ups who are getting paid to act in our best interests. Paul is not one of them.

    September 3, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. rs

    I'll say this, the more I hear from Rand Paul (and his performance today during the Senate hearing), the more I am convinced he is simply an idiot- one with no internal compass, or belief system. A perfect example of everything that is wrong with the GOP today.

    September 3, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  15. Dallas

    It's a shame Rand Paul is so ignorant. Kudos to Secretary Kerry for putting him in his place. Go back to Kentucky Rand, you aren't ready to play in the big leagues.

    September 3, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Perhaps if Rand would actually read the reports he is given, he would not look like a spoiled child.

    September 3, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. Dean

    Bush, Kerry, Obama, etc. They're all the same. Time to vote Libertarian and give these dry-rot politicians a real wake-up call.

    September 3, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  18. G

    Bush 8yrs 5000 plus killed ,30 to 50 thousand injured.trillions spent 1 bad killed sadam.-Obama 4yrs 2 bad guys dead ,osams bin laden.gadafi no soldiers killed 200 million spent.what are the republicans afraid of running out of bad guys

    September 3, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  19. Dixie

    Mr. Paul should be ashamed. All he did today is push buttons and shoot his mouth off. He made a fool out of himself.

    September 4, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  20. Beyond_X

    Its really hard to understand Rand Paul's intentions here. How much "more involved" does he want Russia and Iran to get before he justifies action? They've been pretty involved in enabling the regime to use CW's over a dozen times already...

    And, blaming Obama for inaction for the past two years is preposterous. How many times has he gone to the U.N. to propose action, to help the Syrian people, only to be veto'd by "again" Russia and china? If this type of finger pointing were an art it would rival some of the best paint by numbers book's i've seen...

    September 4, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  21. Thomas

    This is so funny , Randy Paul " Aqua Buddha " .
    Feb 3, 2013 – Here we go again. Randy Paul says a preemptive strike on Iran should be on the table. Amazing.

    And when Paul argued it's not known whether Assad would use chemical weapons, Kerry interjected, saying: "Senator, it is not unknown."

    Kerry served in Vietnam , Randy Paul never served in the military . Randy did volunteer as a member of a secret organization known as the NoZe Brotherhood.

    Randy Paul / Michele Bachmann 2016 ?

    September 4, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. DixonIV

    I can see why Rand Paul thinks Kerry is a clairvoyant. Any educated person must seem that way to a Senator from Kentucky. I sure don't want to see us in a war with another middle eastern country, but depending on the disfunctional House and Senate for advice is to scary for me.

    September 4, 2013 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  23. tulelakenewtimes

    Anyone that supports Rand Paul needs to get a mental health check up. Thinking that he knows what will happen if we strike Syria and what Assad will do. Makes him a clairvoyant that he accused Kerry of being. It's time Rand Paul fine another line of work as he is a complete and utter failure.

    September 4, 2013 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  24. Cephus

    And the Circus continues between the Democratic musketeer and the Republican aqua-buddha!

    September 4, 2013 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  25. The Great Pontificator

    Remember John Kerry and his "botched joke" insulting US service members? He sure loves them now. That guys whole life is just one big botched joke.

    September 4, 2013 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
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