Sen. Rand Paul's bizarre defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin has all but ended his chances of being a serious presidential contender in 2016, says political opinion writer Brent Budowsky, a blogger for The Hill.
"What Rand Paul said was outrageous and, frankly, ignorant . . . Rand Paul is living on another planet," Budowsky told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Earlier this year, Paul said: "Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time, and I don't think that is a good idea."
Budowsky said Wednesday that as a result, Paul can't be a "credible presidential candidate."
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"It's a dangerous world, and Vladimir Putin is a relic from the 1930s. He is a pathological liar who recently admitted that he was lying when he said that there were no Russians in Crimea," he said.
"Nobody's telling Ukraine what to do. They are pleading with us for help, for support, for military aid, and for tougher sanctions. I don't know what Rand Paul is talking about."
Budowsky said the U.S. must make clear to Putin "unequivocally" that the West will enact sanctions that include the withdrawal of oil, gas, banking, minerals, and arms sales.
"It will decimate and destroy the Russian economy, and there will be people surrounding the Kremlin angry at Putin for the economic damage that he will have caused," he said.
"The problem we have now is when the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post all report within the last week that [Secretary of State] John Kerry and [the Department of Defense] have advocated stronger sanctions, but have been overruled by the White House.
"That is an advertisement for Putin to take as much as he will get, which he will do unless he develops a respect for us that he does not have right now."
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