Rand Paul criticizes the Clintons, urges GOP to engage minorities
May 9th, 2014
06:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul criticizes the Clintons, urges GOP to engage minorities

Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul sharply criticized Hillary Clinton for her handling of Benghazi, which he argued should disqualify her to serve as U.S. president, in remarks Friday to members of the Republican National Committee.

He charged that when Clinton served as Secretary of State, the agency was spending money on items that were not needed instead of boosting security for the U.S. diplomats serving in Libya.

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“The thing is, is that this is about judgment and we are talking about should we, should we as a country have a commander-in-chief who didn’t provide added security in Libya, didn’t send reinforcements and then gave us nothing but spin?” Paul said. “My opinion is that Hillary Clinton has precluded herself from ever being considered for that position.”

His denouncement of Clinton drew hoots and hollers and loud applause from the room of politically weary Republicans who are anxious to take back the White House in 2016.

In an interview with CNN prior to his speech, Paul said he thinks Clinton should again testify to Congress about Benghazi.

“I think it’s really important that you know, for six months leading up to Benghazi, there were multiple requests for more security and she turned them down,” Paul said.

He was also highly critical of Bill Clinton, when he was asked his thoughts about the former president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Earlier this year, Paul described Clinton’s actions as “predatory behavior,” in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“I think that he harassed people,” Paul said Friday in the CNN interview. “He was sued multiple times for it, so yes, I think what he did was absolutely inappropriate. Is that being a predator? I don’t know how you want to define it but the thing is, most people would say that it’s contemptible.”

While Paul never mentioned his own political ambitions, his speech to the state GOP leaders and activists was an opportunity for the Kentucky Republican to promote his own agenda and policies, which will serve as his political platform if he decides to run for president. Paul, who publicly acknowledges he is considering seeking the Republican nomination, is frequently leading or consistently places in the top tier of candidates in early 2016 polling.

Paul also urged his fellow Republicans to do more to reach out to minorities — traditional Democratic constituencies - and offer solutions to help reinvigorate their communities.

“There is only upside potential,” Paul said. “There is no downside.”

Filed under: 2016 • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Rand Paul • RNC • State Department
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kuzak Ahmed

    Beside criticizing Obama,Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and the policies of the current govt, what does Rand Paul stand for? If the Democrats are bad and awful as he has painted, what alternatives does he bring to the table? It is high time we started to know what he would do if and only if he was elected in 2016?

    May 9, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    LOL. "My opinion is that the biggest threat to me ever being president is precluded from running against me."

    Pssssst, Randroid, the biggest threat to you ever becoming POTUS isn't HRC....it's you and the words that come out of your mouth.

    May 9, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Pandamonius

    GOP's version of "engaging" minorities is hiring a maid or gardener.

    May 9, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Vence

    No immigration reform, no Hispanic vote for the GOP. Period!

    May 9, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    When you can prove something other then the fact that the GOTP cut funding for security let us know Randy. Who was going to pay for this added security Randy? You?

    May 9, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Claude

    Benghazi is of extremely little interest to the average American. Much more interesting are questions about the economy, jobs, the cost of living, etc.

    May 9, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Geezer

    What a racist comment by Rand Paul–offer minorities a solution to help reinvigorate their communities. I live in a community with minorities $250,000 plus homes and we are doing just fine and dandy. That's like saying all white people live in trailer parks.

    May 9, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. BlackThought

    Don't bother as long as republicans hold on to their outdated political beliefs no one black or white in their right mind will vote for them.

    May 9, 2014 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    When anyone from the GOP, engages anyone else, it's because there's a chance for profitability. That profitability can take many forms, but few are more evident than raising prices on commodities, while lowering wages. They get the gravy, you get a diminished buying power. More for them, is all they care about.

    May 9, 2014 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. 2_indy1600

    The Clinton's name should be next to the definition of "war on women" in the dictionary. I say we should interview every woman Clinton ever harassed, threatened or raped..all the way back to Oxford. A very long list, may I add. What self-respecting woman of any race would vote for this tag-team?

    May 9, 2014 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. GonzoinHouston

    Get the defibrillator! Rand Paul is second-guessing Hillary Clinton. Wotta shock. Just out of curiosity, has this guy ever done any sort of work on passing a realistic solution to, well, anything?

    May 9, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Thomas

    The Aqua Buddha is going to go after Hillary Clinton for the next two years .

    Randy Paul is a scam artist with the ego of a preacher .

    May 9, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Leroy

    The more men attack Hillary, the more support she gets!

    May 9, 2014 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    Go for it Rand = presidency... you have about as much chance a you dad did in 2012.

    May 10, 2014 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  15. YoonYoungJo

    Engage minorities by listening to their struggles and actually caring. Raise the minimum wage as a matter of national security and to strengthen this nation. America is only as wealthy and strong as its middle class. It's the middle class that made America the sole super power of the world. It is very easy to make the comparison from other world super powers like Russia and the US during the Cold War era. Why did one super powers economy fail and another blossom into what it is today? You cannot keep crushing the middle class and believe there is no consequence to it.

    May 10, 2014 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    -–let me give more money to Koches, Trumps, jack welch etc,. Idiots. Ha!!!!

    May 10, 2014 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  17. Gurgyl

    -let us give more Monet to Koches, jack welch, trumps. Ignore raising minimum wage, bonuses, even Christmas bonus etc. Let us send all MANUFACTURING TO CHINA, INDIA, SHIP JOBS TO PHILIPPINES ETC. BRING MORE FOREIGN OIL, CHARGE HERE, REMOVE FULL-SERVICE GAS STATIONS, INSTEAD SELL SODA TO THESE GUYS AND MAKE MONEY.

    May 10, 2014 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  18. Tony in Maine

    Reagan's mishandling of Beirut should have disqualified him. I heard neither Democrats nor Republicans complain about St. Ronnie's 8 year disengagement wit reality

    GWB's multiple terrorist attacks on embassies and military units in "peaceful" places should have disqualified him from furher tenure yet I heard no outcry from any politicians of either party.

    But – Benghazi. OMG. 4 State Department people serving in a dangerous place are targeted by whackos and Republicans run around with their hair on fire. Could it be they're trying to raise money and win elections on the bodies of men who served honorably – something few Republicans have time for (see Uncle Dick's excuse).

    Disgusted with everything to the right of left. VOTE BLUE.

    May 10, 2014 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  19. Stand with Rand

    Say it how it is Rand. These clintons r that rotten smell that has taken over politics. Libbies lose 2016!!

    May 10, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  20. bcrunner

    Yeah... like if he is qualified to be president... Paul, you will never get the nomination from your party!!

    May 10, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. salty dog

    He's desperate, and pathetic. He only wants to tell you what you want to hear, he thinks your all dumb, for once I agree. We don't need a guy coming out on different costumes every month, its just silly.

    May 10, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. salty dog

    He might be appealing to those who don't go past the headlines, but see what he's doing, and not saying, he's just another puppet. How many times do you have to watch these fools give the rich tax breaks, with no strings attached, no questions asked, and want to cut help for the poor in return, and not question it? Does Warren Buffet need another tax break more than a kid reliant an food stamps need to have them cut? Shameless, then hide behind religion, helps their conscious?

    May 10, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Kate

    Sen Rand Paul, by far the best speaker our nation has.I fully agree with his statements which are clear and concise

    May 10, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. Thomas

    Rand Paul / Marco Rubio / Bobby Jindal

    Is there something lacking other then experience with these three ?

    May 10, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |