Rand Paul: 'War Hawk' Hillary Clinton Will Transform 2016 Race

Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 05:10 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The 2016 race for the White House will be "transformational" if the Democrats "put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton," Sen. Rand Paul said on NBC.

"You'll see a transformation like you've never seen," the Kentucky Republican, who is mulling his own presidential run, said in an interview for "Meet the Press," which airs on Sunday.

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Paul has openly sparred with GOP leaders on many issues, particularly over using military force abroad.

In fact, he charged this week that the police response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer illustrated the "militarization" of local law enforcement.

"Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies — where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement," Paul said in an opinion piece in Time magazine.

Further, Paul has attacked Republicans who call for greater U.S. involvement in civil wars in Iraq and Syria, CBS News reports, and he has blamed fellow GOP legislators who supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq as contributing to the root cause of the current crisis in Baghdad.

He also has warned of the consequences of the extensive use of unmanned drones in the war on terror, according to CBS.

Paul's positions have drawn the ire of some potential Republican presidential opponents, leading Texas Gov. Rick Perry to cast Paul as "isolationist" in a column this month in The Washington Post.

Perry argued that it was critical for the United States to pay attention to such world terrorism groups like the Islamic State, which beheaded American journalist James Foley this week and holds several other U.S. hostages.

King told Newsmax in July 2013 that one reason he was considering a run was to counter Paul's libertarian positions. He is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and is an outspoken supporter of a strong national defense.

As for Clinton, she has said that she will decide later this year on whether to seek the Democratic nomination.

As President Barack Obama's first secretary of state, Clinton supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, though she said in June that voting for it as a senator was now a mistake.

She also has slammed the president for not giving early support to rebel fighters in Syria and for not working better with Republicans.

In other comments in his "Meet the Press" interview, Paul lamented the partisan gridlock in Washington and praised Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon for appointing Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson in charge of security to help quell in the Ferguson protests.

Johnson, who is African-American, grew up in the St. Louis suburb.

"What disappoints me most about Washington is that even when we agree, even when Republicans and Democrats agree … , it still doesn't get fixed," said Paul, who was interviewed while volunteering at a hospital in Guatemala. "There's such [dysfunction] that nothing gets voted on."

"One of the best things they've done so far in Ferguson, was send an African-American police officer down there to talk to people in the community," Paul added. "That hadn't worked completely, I'll admit that, but it's better than shooting tear gas at people in their front yard."

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