Rand Paul blasts Clinton, Obama policy on Syria
August 28th, 2014
01:25 PM ET
2 months ago

Rand Paul blasts Clinton, Obama policy on Syria

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul continued his recent blitz against Hillary Clinton as a “war hawk,” blasting the former secretary of state for having a “shoot first” foreign policy.

In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, the Kentucky Republican highlighted Clinton’s advocacy to arm Syrian rebels when she was the nation’s top diplomat.

The militant Islamist group known as ISIS originated from the Syrian opposition forces, and Paul argues that those who sought to arm the rebels and help unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have done more harm than good.

“We aided those who've contributed to the rise of the Islamic State,” he said.

The Obama administration didn’t agree to send weapons until after Clinton left office, and it only sought to aid moderate elements among Syria’s opposition groups.

There’s been no clear indication, however, that U.S. assistance to Syrian rebels have directly benefited ISIS in a significant way.

Paul, who labeled Clinton a “war hawk” in a recent interview with NBC News, said Clinton was “eager to shoot first in Syria before asking some important questions.”

“We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn't get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria,” he continued. “That new regime might well be ISIS.”

CNN reached out to Clinton's spokesperson for comment but did not receive a response. Adrienne Elrod, spokesman for the pro-Clinton group Correct the Record, argued in a written statement that Paul's "belief in extreme isolation" is "wrong for our country, our people and our place."

While the United States has conducted air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, the administration has now taken steps that signal it could take similar action against ISIS in Syria.

Falling in line with his non-interventionist views, Paul said it would be “more realistic” to recognize that while some regimes are bad, they may be helping keep stability in a country.

“There are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but...America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe,” he wrote.

While he didn’t offer any specific solutions moving forward, he detailed how he would handle the solution in a separate interview.

“If I were in President Obama’s shoes at this time, I would have called Congress back, I would have had a joint session of Congress, and I would have said ‘this is why ISIS is a threat to the United States, to the stability of the region, to our embassy, to our diplomats, and this is why I’m asking you today to authorize air attacks,’” he told the conservative news outlet Breitbart.


Filed under: Iraq • Rand Paul • Syria
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Grow up already...

    Well Ron... It's a good thing for everyone in the world, you're NOT the President. Now why don't you go talk to your fellow Republicans about Syria...

    August 28, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    What do you want? Go to war with Syria? Russia? Iran? Nonsense talk. This is exactly that landed in trouble. First fix this Immigration system, Jobs-Bill, raise minimum wage. Focus on home front. Idiotic talk, this guy is vying for WH–May be for cook position.

    August 28, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "While he didn’t offer any specific solutions moving forward, he detailed how he would handle the solution in a separate interview."

    Specificity is going to haunt this man until KY votes him out of office and he is no longer seen or heard from again. I suspect those foolish enough to vote for him in the primaries - should he run for president - will become disillusioned fast enough during the general election when it becomes apparent to ALL that this man has no link to reality whatsoever.

    August 28, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Sniffin

    If Hillary Clinton was President she'd already have us in a war in Syria.

    August 28, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Marty

    It's still unclear to me what the Obama policy is?

    August 28, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. rs

    Mr. Paul is a hopeless, helpless whiner totally lacking in anything that resembles a solution to anything of substance.

    August 28, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. sock puppet

    I particularly enjoyed his last unscripted town hall meeting in Iowa with senator King, now that's funny! He seemed to lose his appetite rather quickly.

    August 28, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. soaked sock puppet

    Did they sweep the place for illegals? We wouldn't want one popping up unannounced, SMH.

    August 28, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP THE NATIONAL JOKE PARTY , WE WONT PASS ANYTHING AND STILLGET PAID

    This GOP GOOF has 0 foreign policy experience and should just SHUT his worthless BIG mouth.

    August 28, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Tom l

    rs,

    Let's take Rand Paul and the repubs out of this entirely. Do you feel comfortable with how things are going in Syria? Do you feel fine that ISIS is being handled well. Do you feel Obama and this administration has any part in the growth of power with ISIS? How about when he referred to ISiS as JV? Was that a smart assessment or a misread? Just curious if you have any criticisms of the administration.

    August 28, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    Mary, because of good Foreign policy, we have No wars, no loots, no boots....dinginaburra.

    August 28, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. rick

    Of course no responce by Hillary. Did anyone actualy EXPECT a straight answer from her?? Havent got one in last 20 years. Why expect one now? Must be time to restock the liquor cabinet. Too busy to reply..

    August 28, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. soaked sock puppet

    Hey here's a just asking kinda question, now aren't you glad we didn't let McCain talk Obama into giving weapons to the group of guys, where's his photo with them now. This president has more tack then the entire Republican party.

    August 28, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. soaked sock puppet

    Tom, where's your criticism for the Republicans, they were clamouring for our giving weapons and money to these guys, we know these guys, ring a bell, please, your quiet on every post regarding the Republicans poor advice, hypocritical, at best.

    August 28, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. Namelinda

    Rand Paul is full of his own self. If Hillary or Obama were shoot first ask questions later many more US soldiers would be dead in Iraq and Afganistan. The Bush administration and Republicans created this mess. If Hussein was left in power and Iraq; the region would not be in chaos and billions of dollars lost on two wars we did not and could not win. At least Hussein had control of his own people.

    August 28, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. MaryM

    Hahahahaha, poor Randi, still trying to stay relevant. Oh well, guess he will also be part of ther republican clown car next year

    August 28, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Tom l

    soaked sock puppet says:
    August 28, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm
    Tom, where’s your criticism for the Republicans, they were clamouring for our giving weapons and money to these guys, we know these guys, ring a bell, please, your quiet on every post regarding the Republicans poor advice, hypocritical, at best.
    --–

    You just can't answer the questions on their own merit even though my questions specific asked to leave the repubs out. I have many many criticisms of the Republicans. However it is now Obama who's in charge. Let's just remain focused on Obama and his decision. Do you feel that they have been good ones? How about just answering the questions I laid out?

    August 28, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. soaked sock puppet

    Well namelinda, I believe that the two behind the war achieved what their goal was, and I'm all but certain they appreciate the sacrifices of our young soldiers. Leaving the whitehouse the richest president in history was his burning desire only cost us our economy, armed forces,and good standing on the global stage. A price they both admitted they would do again, argue that!

    August 28, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. soaked sock puppet

    I missed the questions tom, I don't have a problem answering if I can. I was current on this article, but after short break, refreshed past some posts, sorry.

    August 28, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    smith
    @Lynda My grandparents weren't born rich and my father was from a really poor family. I understand what are you are saying with regards to not having much of a choice in work. My father faced the crossroads of either having to work multiple jobs and go to college or go work at a factory. He went to college.
    --------------

    What a blessing for him to have been able to make that choice ... yes? :)

    Have a very nice day, smith ...!

    August 28, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. soaked sock puppet

    Got it, for the most part I do agree with his actions, and Isis has grown since his initial assessment, I don't think we can act alone anymore after the wars, and little interest shown by others yo engage with us on intervention. That good?

    August 28, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. soaked sock puppet

    Syria, I'm not inclined to think we could be very effective there, Assad or Isis? Crappy situation, but again, working in unison with other powers is critical . I'm no expert, but I assume we're not privy to crucial info that us being factored in?

    August 28, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. it must be said

    Marty
    It's still unclear to me what the Obama policy is?
    --

    From the last 5.5 years it can best be stated as "Speak stupidly, don't do anything, go golfing."

    August 28, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. SJJJA

    Tom I, 1) what gives you this expertise on this? 2) What would you do different?

    August 28, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. smith

    @Lynda- I hope you have a nice day as well :)

    August 28, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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