(CNN) – Presidential politics were in the air Friday in New Hampshire as Sen. Rand Paul took direct aim at potential 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.
The Kentucky Republican said Clinton, the former secretary of state and Democratic senator, is "as bad or worse" than President Barack Obama on issues of government surveillance.
Making the case that the GOP should be ardent defenders of the Fourth Amendment, Paul said the youth vote can be won on issues of government infringement on Americans' privacy
"Obama won the youth vote three-to-one but he's losing them now," Paul said.
"Hillary Clinton is as bad or worse on all of these issues," he added.
Striking a tone of inclusion and the need for broader Republican appeal, Paul said, "We can win again, but we have to be proud of the Fourth Amendment as much as we are of the Second Amendment."
Paul, who is mulling a bid for the White House, has made no secret of his disapproval of Clinton's record heading the state department.
The GOP senator tore into the former top diplomat following the 2012 Benghazi attacks in Libya, saying that the incident "should preclude Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office ever again."
Democrats were quick to dismiss Paul's comments as Republicans trying to score cheap political points and drag down Clinton's approval among other potential 2016 contenders.
"Secretary Clinton's strong record of public service, ranging from restoring America's standing in the world, to fighting for middle class values, is admired by a significant majority of Americans," Adrienne Elrod, communication director for "Correct the Record," told CNN. "This is exactly why Rand Paul is, yet again, grasping at straws, desperately trying to tarnish her record."
Paul's made his opposition to the National Security Agency a staple of his issues campaign, bringing a lawsuit against the Obama administration over electronic surveillance.
While the administration has announced reforms to the agency and its program of collecting bulk telephone and other electronic data, Paul and his supporters say the changes haven't gone far enough.
But while Paul had biting words for Clinton, he also backed-up a fellow Republican with potential 2016 aspirations, Jeb Bush, defending his recent comments on immigration in an interview Friday.
Bush said recently illegal immigration is "an act of love" - a comment that sparked criticism from the Republican base as well as another potential 2016 GOP candidate, Ted Cruz. Bush is known to clash with his party at times, as is Paul.
Paul said the former Florida governor's comments were "well-intentioned," if clumsily delivered, in an interview with RealClearPolitics.
Paul has been taking his libertarian-leaning message on the road, sometimes in uncharted territory for Republicans, hoping to draw appeal from groups like younger voters and minorities.
His visit to New Hampshire, the first state in the nation to hold a presidential primary, further stokes speculation that he'll jump into the presidential sweepstakes.