May 10th, 2013
11:19 AM ET
10 years 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.

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"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. Jeffro211

    Every single word or deed from many republicans reeks of the long view for political gain. Self serving agendas and "a government by the people for the people" mixes like oil and water. Democracy is dead and gone forever in "God bless America."

    May 10, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. LL

    That is one bizarre, and I do mean bizarre, hair cut that Rand Paul is rocking there.....

    May 10, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. lottie

    this from the party that endorses people using tax payers money to go on love trips out of the country to see girl friends. I guess that's not a lack of judgment call? What a party.

    May 10, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Boisepoet

    I find his view that racial discrimination should be allowed under the guise of personal freedom to be very offensive, and it should disqualify him for office. Of course if that topic did, half the Republican caucus would be deemed unfit.

    May 10, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. EDDIE

    Little rand is still a little miffed at Hillary laughing at his stupid question in the benghazi hearings about arm's being shipped to Turkey.And by the way this loonatic should nevere hold any knid of office....

    May 10, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. ladeeda

    Geeez – this guy is looney

    May 10, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Bush. He kept US Safe! Obama?"

    Last I checked, no planes have flown into skyscrapers in major metropolitan areas during Obama's presidency. Dubya however? Not so much.

    May 10, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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