September 3rd, 2013
08:09 PM ET
10 years ago

Rand Paul compares John Kerry to a 'clairvoyant'

(CNN) – Following his tense exchange with John Kerry at Tuesday's Senate hearing on Syria, Sen. Rand Paul said the secretary of state is overstating his certitude that a military strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad will make the Middle East safer.

"Well, he sounds like he must be a clairvoyant because he can predict the future now and so we should ask him for stock picks, you name it, who's going to win the Kentucky Derby next year if he can guarantee the future," the Kentucky Republican said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Kerry argued at the hearing that allowing al-Assad to go unpunished for what the administration alleges was his regime's use of chemical weapons could escalate tensions in the Middle East, given that Iran and Hezbollah are two of Syria's biggest allies.

5 things from Senate hearing on Syria

And when Paul argued it's not known whether Assad would use chemical weapons, Kerry interjected, saying: "Senator, it is not unknown."

"If the United States of America doesn't hold him accountable on this, with our allies and friends, it's a guarantee Assad will do it again, a guarantee. And I urge you to go to the classified briefing and learn that," Kerry said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first public hearing after the president said he would seek congressional approval before attacking Syria.

Paul continued to say Tuesday night the situation is too unpredictable.

"No one can guarantee the future. We don't know how Assad will react and I think there's an equal argument to be made if the U.S. bombs him, that it will be more likely that he launches another gas attack, more likely that he might attack Israel. More likely that there will be more instability in the region," Paul said, adding that it's also more likely that Russia and Iran may get more involved.

"So, I think there are arguments to be made on both sides of this, but it's not some kind of slam dunk guarantee that Secretary Kerry makes it out to be," Paul said.

The secretary of state said Israel is prepared to defend itself should Hezbollah decide to attack, and the consequences of inaction by the U.S. far outweigh action when it comes to regional stability and chemical weapons.

"If Iran and Hezbollah are advantaged by the United States not curbing Assad's use of chemical weapons, there is a much greater likelihood that at some point down the road, Hezbollah…will have access to these weapons of mass destruction," Kerry said at the hearing.

Filed under: John Kerry • Rand Paul • Syria
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Compared Kerry? He should compare himself if anyone. If we dp this what happens. If we don't do this what happens. He was the one giving examples on both sides and not coming up with a single answer or coherent thought.
    The one sounding and looking the fool it's the I would have voted for the civil rights act but I still think people should serve who they want to. He is flip flopping in the wind just like what's his name who lost the presidency in 2012.
    This guy is definitely a KY turkey (thousand pardons to the real turkeys around the world).

    September 4, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  2. L@me

    Rand Paul, like most congressional members, has become sadly predictable. Pick everyone else's plans to pieces while continuously failing to produce any of your own. All the while we, the working public, are stuck footing the bill for all of these hearings that say little and produce even less results...

    September 4, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |

    The Guns Over People Partial Government Shudown tea potty are stuck with dopey Rant Paul and Rapheal Cruz,two loose cannons.

    September 4, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  4. Colorado

    This guy really needs to work on his public speaking. He never sounds presidential.

    September 4, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, I would take Kerry's judgement over that of a man who knowingly hired an advocate for secession to a position of importance in his office, and then tried to downplay the significance of that horrible hiring decision. Paul's statements are showing nothing more than he is incapable of making a decision one way or the other. He says he wants a guarantee, yet he gives no indication as to what would satisfy him: as a person with a medical background, I'm sure that he has seen the forensic evidence gathered by the teams that have gone in, so how can he question that? Unless he skipped his chemistry classes during his pre-med " Aqua Budda" days, he should be able to connect the dots, or at least be able to request the medical reports. He has not done those things, preferring to use this as another opportunity to raise his profile in the eyes of those who's world view is about as advanced as Bob Taft's back in 1948.

    September 4, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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