May 10th, 2013
11:19 AM ET
7 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.

"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. tim

    The 5 most dangerous places in America are city's controlled by demacracts does that tell you something.The Clintons are the best liers in modern history.I did not have sex with that women and 4 Americans dead what does it matter now.A pathetic couple. Two of the top demacracts in this country.What a party the dems are dem.

    May 10, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Joi Gibson

    Pot, meet kettle!

    May 10, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. California Gary

    Rand Paul isn't fit to shine Hillary's shoes........

    May 10, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Marty

    Senator Paul, please resign.

    May 10, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Eugene9

    Unlike Secretary Clinton, the Republicans never took full responsibility for the embassy deaths that happened during the Bush administration, let alone the thousands killed on 9/11, or the hundreds of thousands who died from needless wars started by our late, not so great Chief Executive. Secretary Clinton welcomes all the attention lavished on her by the Republicans in these ridiculous hearings. They will only make the Grand Obstruction Party look smaller by the day and Secretary Clinton look like the solid leader she is and has been.

    May 10, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Ronnie

    Democrats try to block the question every American wants the answer too, who told our troops to stand down 4 times when they were ready to save the Ambassador and Staff's lives? We want answers, and we want them now......

    May 10, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Vince

    Benghazi.....yawn....someone wake me up when we're doing something about fixing the tax structure and the jobs market.

    May 10, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Leroy

    Come high noon on January 20, 2017, Mr. Rand Paul will have to properly address Mrs. Clinton as "Madam President". So let it be let it be done!

    May 10, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota


    This is not a very smart move for Republicans.


    May 10, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Eli Cabelly

    If Rand Paul is saying that I shouldn't vote for Clinton to be our next president then that's all I need to hear. I will be voting for Clinton.

    May 10, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Boo

    Radn Paul should be reminded that it was the REPUBLICANS who vetoed more security for our embassies.

    May 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    Rand – why don't you throw your hat into the ring ? and see IF you get THE Nomination – then you can back up what you say –

    May 10, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Boo

    Hey Ronnie – google how many embassy workers were KILLED during the Bush administration....then get back to us.

    May 10, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Larry in Houston

    another thing Rand – I seriously doubt if you can raise 1/2 as much money as she can – >sorry< to inform you.

    May 10, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Ronnie asked:

    Democrats try to block the question every American wants the answer too, who told our troops to stand down 4 times when they were ready to save the Ambassador and Staff's lives? We want answers, and we want them now......
    According to yesterday's testimony by Mr. Hicks, the order was given to evacuate and abandon the premises. Don't you think that getting the Hell out was much better than evading attack for another two hours, waiting for four guys to show up to fight a mob. According to Mr. Hicks, there were at least 30 attackers already inside the compound.

    May 10, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    Forgive us our sins AS we forgive the sins of others. So Rand, have you led that sterling of a life that you can still cast your stones? I'm talking about reality, not your imagination.

    May 10, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Patrick in Wisconsin

    ...and neither should Rand Paul.

    May 10, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    Hey Boo, O'Rielly "explained" that last night. The incidents you refer too happened in Iraq & Afghanistan, war zones, not like peaceful Benghazi, Libya.

    May 10, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Free Man in the Republic of Texas


    The Lib/Progressive/Democrat UTOPIA end
    justifies ANY and ALL behaviors.

    FORWARD >>> >>> >>>
    To absolute depravity !!!

    May 10, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. The Dude

    Rand Paul will never hold a high office. The GOP are doing everything they can to discredit Clinton because they know they will be locked out of the White House for the next 12 years and beyond. Politics as usual.

    May 10, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. sonny chapman

    "Dereliction of Duty". Oooh how these Chicken Hawks love to spout Military Lingo, " Ordered to Stand Down". What would you call George W.'s action or inaction in the months leading to the REAL 9-11? How about "CF".

    May 10, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. timverba

    I wonder if Senator Paul has asked what Senator John McCain did after Ambassador Stevens told McCain of his concerns with security in Libya.

    May 10, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Pete

    @Tim,read up on your own partys liars bud and more than 4 were murdered under their watches than all democrates combined..Reagan,Bush two of your favs that you and others deny you voted not once but twice for and you're lying now to America if you say you didn't do that,right Tim!!Quit being not only sanctumonious but ignorent as well and I've proven it against your kind with facts about your party many times without breaking a sweat, Tim..So clean up your own republican partys messes before pointing fingers at mine and at least mine isn't going down in midterms like yours will!!

    May 10, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. MaryM

    Ronnie, if you want to know who gave the order to evacuate, Read the transcripts. That is all you have to do

    Rand Paul please do run for POTUS . Hillary Clinton with wipe the floor with you. And with Bill backing Hillary, you don't have a chance in Hell

    Clinton/Warren 2016

    May 10, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "who told our troops to stand down 4 times when they were ready to save the Ambassador and Staff's lives?"

    Who told you that only 4 spec ops officers would be capable of saving everyone against a few dozen radicals armed to the teeth?

    Answer: Hollywood.

    May 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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