Tags: John McCain | Rand Paul | NATO | term limits | Senate | Montenegro

Rand Paul: McCain 'Unhinged,' Makes Case for Term Limits

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Thursday, 16 Mar 2017 12:51 PM

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has maybe "gotten unhinged" and made a "really, really strong case for term limits" when he accused him from the Senate floor Wednesday of "working for Vladimir Putin."

"I think maybe he's past his prime, maybe he's gotten unhinged," the Kentucky senator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday. "I do think that when we talk about NATO, there can be a rational discussion about the pros and cons of expanding it."

While speaking about a bill Wednesday to add Montenegro to NATO, McCain noted Paul objected to the legislation, and by doing so, he was "achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin."

When the camera turned to Paul, the Kentucky Republican commented, "Mr. President, I object," before putting down his microphone and leaving the Senate floor.

McCain continued to blast Paul, saying the only conclusion that could be reached by his walking away was that the senator has "no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians" and repeating that he works for Putin.

But Paul said Thursday his objection is that there are currently combat troops in six nations, and others actively stationed in a couple dozen others, an the nation is carrying a $20 trillion debt.

He referred to an article that stated if there were active troops in combat zones where an "angry McCain" wants them, they would be "virtually everywhere."

"His foreign policy would greatly endanger the United States and greatly overextend us," Paul said. "There has to be the thought, whether or not it's in our national interest, to pledge to get involved with war if Montenegro have an altercation with anyone.

"There's also another argument, when you ask the people, only about 40 percent or slightly less are slightly in favor of this."

There are many considerations when it comes to Montenegro, Paul said, but "to call someone somehow an enemy of the state or a traitor might be considered by most reasonable people over the top."

Several other senators voted for the measure, it was noted, but Paul said there is a "bipartisan consensus that the whole world should be in NATO."

"If we had Ukraine in NATO, we would be at war now," Paul said. "I think having former satellites or former parts of the Soviet Union is NATO is very provocative. You have to decide in advance whether you are ready go to war.

"If you are ready to send a million troops to Ukraine and fight World War III, you are going to do it without my support."

When asked if he thought Albania or Croatia should have been admitted to NATO in 2009, Paul responded there is a debate about whether adding more nations is more provocative than good.

There is also a move to add Ukraine and Georgia to NATO, but Paul said he does not believe the American people will agree with "the so-called bipartisan consensus up here that spent us to oblivion."

While Paul said he would not prevent anyone from volunteering to fight, he would not send U.S. soldiers to places like Ukraine, as he does not believe that to be in the national interest.

"Probably, I was the one who unilaterally stopped them from rushing Georgia in a couple years ago," Paul said. "I look at that as saving thousands of American lives being lost in a country that is of no security to the United States."

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has maybe "gotten unhinged" and made a "really, really strong case for term limits" when he accused him from the Senate floor Wednesday of "working for Vladimir Putin."
NATO, term limits, Senate, Montenegro
Thursday, 16 Mar 2017 12:51 PM
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