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. Anthony in California

    But SHE WILL. And if she chooses Elizabeth Warren to run with her, or even if Warren runs on her own.. Republicans are in deeeeep dooo-doooo.

    May 10, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. USA

    After this president I dont think we will see another Lib tard president for a lloooooooooooooong looooooooooong time.

    May 10, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Rand Paul: Clinton should never hold high office"

    And Randroid should never hold anyone's attention.

    So what was his point again?

    May 10, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Canada 1

    Wow, Republicans are terrified of Hilary.....

    May 10, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Brobin

    And Rand Paul shows he doesn't understand how large organizations work, which is a good reason never to vote for him.

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

    It should read the Aqua Buddha is not presidential material !

    May 10, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Name VA865

    keep beating that dead horse,2014&2016 Will be HERE sooner than you THINK..AND the poo party OF NO WILL LOOSE AGAIN AND AGAIN...

    May 10, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. just askin

    Hey Boo, O'Rielly "explained" that last night. The incidents you refer too happened in Iraq & Afghanistan, war zones, not like peaceful Benghazi, Libya....Sonny Chapman
    There is your problem right there listened to O'Reilly..lolol

    and yet you offer zero evidence to refute the statement. just some lame personal attack which is all you lefties have these days as the facts around benghazi indicate horrendous incompetence and failure by both obama and clinton. and the truth is just starting to come out. it only gets worse, much worse, for them and the democrats as each day passes.

    now even obama's sycophants in the lsm are starting to probe and ask questions. will you also attack them and eat your allies? i'm sure you will.

    May 10, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Charles

    Send everyone who obstructed justice in this coverup to jail. Even the President should go to jail.

    May 10, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. RINO Bill

    Funny, I believe the same about Rand, Ron and Ru Paul.

    May 10, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |

    Meh. He's scared of women; and especially of Hillary Clinton.

    May 10, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    Boy, they're scared of her, aren't they? I can't think why, since she has demonstrated Belfast-approved neoconservative tendencies in foreign policy. She also scores pretty low on the socially liberal index as well, especially when one recalls the anti-gay-marriage claptrap she spouted back in the 90s. Presumably she's more liberal on domestic economics, given her history on healthcare, but who knows.

    Whatever. Paul won't be President anyway.

    May 10, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    Hey Gary & Vic; is it ya'll or me? The O'Reilly comment was supposed to be sarcasm.

    May 10, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Chuck

    Don't bet the farm on that.

    May 10, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Jules

    Rand Paul should never hold high office. I think you will see a Democrat in the presidency in 2016 unless Christey runs and stands up to the nutty wing of his party and brings some common sense back to the GOP. If the far right has their way, there is no way the GOP nominates someone who carries the independents.

    May 10, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Justin

    This comming from the party that thought Saddam caused 9-11.

    May 10, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Steve from Kentucky

    Rand Paul is an embarrassment to this state of Kentucky. The continued arrogance of this junior Senator is disgusting. To make comments about former Secretary of State Clinton, "if I was President, I'd have relieved you of your office.". Thank heavens this kind of person is not president. Hilary Clinton has busted her tail for this country and stated the truth, Benghazi was a terrible tragedy, let's learn from this and move on". But the junior senator can't leave it alone in his attack on one of the most respected women in the world. Please do Kentucky a favor Rand Paul and move to another state!

    May 10, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. NameFrank Deery

    Paul is correct! While the liberal media keeps
    pushing this Cleveland, Ohio abduction story
    to extremes(it was a one day story, not a week-while Benghazi hearings unfolded), The
    facts of Benghazi come out. Of course, the liberal media sees their heroes for what they truly are: inept! From Benghazi to Boston, Obama is accountable, not their go-to target.
    Bush. He kept US Safe! Obama?

    May 10, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Solomon Walker

    It is dereliction of duty for a high public official charged with the oversight of guaranteeing the security of American Embassies overseas to fail ambassadors in this regard or to fail to maintain absolute presence in another nation if the American people have compelled that presence, and American presence is agreed to by the hosting nation.

    May 10, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    LOL, "Belfast-approved" - I meant BELTWAY-approved. Autospell strikes again! Heck, maybe Belfast also approves neoconservatism for all I know.

    May 10, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. trendcartoons

    Republicans seem inordinately scared of Clinton. They should stick to what they do best: damaging the country through inaction in hopes of manacling Obama and strangling his legacy. It seems to me that also trying to damage the reputation of the next president is too ambitious and could become self-fulfilling prophesy. After all, if a man can get re-elected after dragging his country into a bankrupting and unnecessary war, then comparatively speaking, Benghazi is a trifle.

    May 10, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Ccampa

    And there you have it! The real reason of the probe! Republicans are so stupid they don't even notice their transparency! Long live Hillary!!! Remember fellow citizens of America, when Hillary wins 2016 the retrograde-dead-wood of American politics will die of a heart attack and the nation will be cleansed of waist!!!

    May 10, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Republicans and Tea Partiers are desperate to think the Benghazi witch hunt will stick. Three years from now the Benghazi incident will be forgotten by most voters. Changing demographics and immigration reform will determine what happens in 2016. The Republican will continue its decline as the party of angry old white men.

    May 10, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Rob

    The amount of cables come in from around the world to people in that high of a level are probably screened so that the truly important ones requiring immediate response are handled right away. That is not to say reports/cables sent are not important because they are. If she didn't read the report the question is why? Did she not receive notice of it from someone not handling incoming information properly? Was it presented to her in a fashion that didn't truly represent the concerns of the Ambassador? She is stepping up and owning responsibility of what happened under her leadership.

    May 10, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. DEBBIE

    Of course the Republicans are going to TRY to discredit Mrs. Clinton as much as they can. That's because they know for a FACT, when she runs for president in 2016, that it WILL be the BIGGEST landslide in political history!!! Just remember how GREAT the Clinton years were and the FACT that at that time we had JOBS and NO deficit . Matter of FACT we had a SURPLUS!!! GO HILLARY!

    May 10, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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