Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton 'as bad or worse' than President Obama on government surveillance
April 11th, 2014
07:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton 'as bad or worse' than President Obama on government surveillance

(CNN) - Presidential politics were in the air Friday in New Hampshire as Sen. Rand Paul took direct aim at potential 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.

The Kentucky Republican said Clinton, the former secretary of state and Democratic senator, is "as bad or worse" than President Barack Obama on issues of government surveillance.

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Making the case that the GOP should be ardent defenders of the Fourth Amendment, Paul said the youth vote can be won on issues of government infringement on Americans' privacy

"Obama won the youth vote three-to-one but he's losing them now," Paul said.

"Hillary Clinton is as bad or worse on all of these issues," he added.

Striking a tone of inclusion and the need for broader Republican appeal, Paul said, "We can win again, but we have to be proud of the Fourth Amendment as much as we are of the Second Amendment."

Paul, who is mulling a bid for the White House, has made no secret of his disapproval of Clinton's record heading the state department.

The GOP senator tore into the former top diplomat following the 2012 Benghazi attacks in Libya, saying that the incident "should preclude Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office ever again."

Democrats were quick to dismiss Paul's comments as Republicans trying to score cheap political points and drag down Clinton's approval among other potential 2016 contenders.

"Secretary Clinton's strong record of public service, ranging from restoring America's standing in the world, to fighting for middle class values, is admired by a significant majority of Americans," Adrienne Elrod, communication director for "Correct the Record," told CNN. "This is exactly why Rand Paul is, yet again, grasping at straws, desperately trying to tarnish her record."

Paul's made his opposition to the National Security Agency a staple of his issues campaign, bringing a lawsuit against the Obama administration over electronic surveillance.

While the administration has announced reforms to the agency and its program of collecting bulk telephone and other electronic data, Paul and his supporters say the changes haven't gone far enough.

But while Paul had biting words for Clinton, he also backed-up a fellow Republican with potential 2016 aspirations, Jeb Bush, defending his recent comments on immigration in an interview Friday.

Bush said recently illegal immigration is "an act of love" - a comment that sparked criticism from the Republican base as well as another potential 2016 GOP candidate, Ted Cruz. Bush is known to clash with his party at times, as is Paul.

Paul said the former Florida governor's comments were "well-intentioned," if clumsily delivered, in an interview with RealClearPolitics.

Paul has been taking his libertarian-leaning message on the road, sometimes in uncharted territory for Republicans, hoping to draw appeal from groups like younger voters and minorities.

His visit to New Hampshire, the first state in the nation to hold a presidential primary, further stokes speculation that he'll jump into the presidential sweepstakes.

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Rand Paul
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    My favorite Rand Paul senate campaign moment was when his followers boot stomped a girl who carried a sign they did not like. I decided at that time that neither he nor his father had any business in politics.

    April 11, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thank you Senator Cuckoo Bird!

    April 11, 2014 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. edprout

    this woman is afar left zealot that will bring our country down farther than obummer has shedoesnot have a ounce of moral
    fiber and she has no idea what to do about any thing in her life she is asosialist commie sympathizer and more

    April 11, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Judy

    Wikipedia Plagiarist Rand Paul is back!

    "Bill Clinton is a serial philanderer"
    "Barack Obama- NSA should not be collecting DATA"
    "Hillary Clinton as bad or worse President Barack Obama"

    Where do they find these people?

    April 11, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    Although Sen Paul received a warm welcome by a liberal Berkeley audience, he is mistaken if his odious positions on social issues is acceptable to them.

    April 11, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. Kelby in Houston

    ...and STILL better than ANYTHING the Republicans have to offer

    April 11, 2014 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  7. woman from New York

    You will never make president. It makes you shake knowing a woman will put you down. All this time you were putting down women. GO HILLARY........

    April 12, 2014 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  8. Thomas

    First of all , I would never vote for the Aqua Buddha .

    Another GQ looking dude with no military service who wants to play with soldiers.

    April 12, 2014 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  9. glennrobert

    Mrs. Clinton, our next president. I would like to vote for her twice but I would be 87 and 91, she will make it!

    April 12, 2014 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    -–so these idiots are as good as Bush, Reagan that farmer with Wars later to trickle down nonsense to mess this nation? Nonsense. Yes, on Hillary16.
    PS: none of the republicans are worth your Dime.

    April 12, 2014 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  11. don in albuquerque

    What would be worse then Obama is if Aqua Buddha got elected.

    April 12, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    It is clear, that Hillary could actually be WORSE than Obama, which may SOUND unbelievable........but it is highly likely to be the case. There can be........no WORSE candidate, for America, in ANY party.

    April 12, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  13. Lily

    Oh! young lad, can you give it up already and start attacking your fellow GOP contenders. One advice though you didn't ask for it. If you continue to attack this well experienced woman (Hillary Clinton) with full credentials which yourself don't have, won't take you anywhere. Be sensible and think first before taking any action. Thats what clever people do. Yourself has no exception.

    April 12, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  14. RWB1956

    Another one trick pony. NSA. NSA. NSA. No real ideas. Just as usual, Obama bad. After awhile people get tired of the same old sound bytes.

    April 12, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  15. just saying

    hillary clinton has already proven she is at least as incompetent as obama with her failed tenure at the state dept. no achievements in 4 years, one supposed russian reset accomplishment that has turned out to be a disaster, $6 billion dollars missing and four dead americans she refused to help and then lied about.

    anybody willing to put somebody this incompetent in the white house truly hates this country.

    April 12, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Minnie Mouse

    Who has any privacy in this country? Our country needs security in all forms to keep our neighborhoods, schools, colleges, streets, roads, public events, businesses, airports ect.. safe from threats that can be harmful to our country.
    Whether it's through the land lines, cell phones, technology, cameras, police, security officers, FBI, ect.. "What difference does it make? Your running for president, don't you want security if you were to win the election?? Is it really going to matter how it's done? You have to do what you have to do to keep people safe, regardless if people don't like how it's done. As long as your not doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about??? I see Hilary and Obama equally the same on security, knowing that it's 100% necessary.

    April 12, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. len

    Voting for these wing nuts only means we as a country will not be protected by our government at all. We will all have guns and make up our own rules., No healthcare , no education policies, no clean air or water policies, should I comtinue or do you get it. Vote in 2014 and get these gop /tea party folks out of offices. Please wake up.

    April 12, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |