Rand Paul Rips Hillary Clinton: Not 'Fit to Lead the Country'

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky.—Sen. Rand Paul delivered an unusually harsh rebuke of Hillary Clinton in Kentucky on Friday night, declaring that his potential 2016 rival is not "fit to lead the country."

Paul, who is laying the groundwork to run for president in 2016, began his speech by mockingly saying he was losing sleep over Clinton's money woes. Clinton, who is far atop the polls among potential 2016 Democratic candidates, had said during her recent book tour that she and President Clinton left the White House "dead broke."

Paul facetiously asked the crowd to observe "a moment of silence" for her finances.

"Somebody must have been praying for her," the Republican said seconds later, "because she's now worth 100, 200 million. I tell you it was really tough giving those speeches."

At least, Paul jabbed, she didn't have to suffer alone: "She had her limo driver with her for the last 17 years to commiserate."

"I hope she can deal with only 100 million [dollars]," he added. "I certainly wish that maybe she becomes preoccupied with something else because I don't think she's fit to lead the country."

Paul's red-meat speech came before several hundred GOP activists gathered in a converted indoor tennis court in far western Kentucky. It could be a warm-up act for Iowa, the state that kicks off the 2016 presidential nominating process, where Paul is headed next week.

Here in Marshall County, the Kentucky GOP crowd cheered repeatedly over their plates of fried catfish and baked beans.

Paul attacked his potential Democratic rival at length for her handling of security at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in 2012. Clinton was secretary of State at the time.

She treated the consulate "as if it were Paris. Benghazi's not Paris. Benghazi is a lot like Baghdad," he said.

Paul lashed out at Clinton, a more hawkish Democrat, even as his libertarian-infused international perspective has put him at odds with much of the traditional GOP foreign policy establishment.

In Benghazi, Paul blamed Clinton for ignoring requests for a plane and additional security, citing all the other things the State Department had purchased during that time: "$100,000 for an electrical charging station" in Vienna, "$650,000 on Facebook ads," and "$700,000 on landscaping for the Brussels embassy" among them.

And Paul said the excuse that her deputies handled requests from Benghazi was no excuse at all.

"If you don't read the cables from one of the most dangerous spots on earth, frankly, you preclude yourself from ever being our commander in chief," Paul declared.

Michael Czin, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, responded to Paul's comments, saying: "Rand Paul voted to shut down the government, wants the U.S. to retreat from our responsibilities around the world, opposes commonsense legislation like the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay legislation, and thinks employers ought to have the right to discriminate. With that record, he's got no credibility on the issue of who is fit to lead."

(Image via Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.