DALLAS – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., certainly seems to have no doubt Hillary Clinton will run for president, after delivering a number of pre-emptive broadsides on her fitness to hold the highest office in the land.
Speaking to the “Defending the American Dream Summit” sponsored by Americans for Prosperity over the weekend, Paul zeroed in on the one incident alone he believes disqualifies her: Benghazi.
Paul, who is widely considered to be preparing his own run for the White House, pointed to one mistake in particular he believed she made as secretary of state when terrorists overran the U.S. embassy compound in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, and killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
It’s been described as bigger than Watergate or Iran-Contra, and the details of the Benghazi terror attack scandal all can be found inside “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know,” autographed by New York Times bestselling author Aaron Klein.
The senator said when Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 23, 2013, he asked her if she had read the numerous cables sent from Benghazi requesting more security in the weeks before the attack. “Cries for help,” he called them.
“She said, ‘Oh no, that wasn’t my job, that was the assistant’s job,'” recounted Paul.
He added, “For her to say she didn’t have time to read them, it was someone else’s job, it wasn’t her responsibility, is a dereliction of duty.”
The senator concluded that should disqualify Clinton from becoming president.
“If she wants to be commander in chief and she cannot protect our embassies … I think it precludes her from ever being commander in chief.”
Paul compared Benghazi to the Oct. 1993 incident in Mogadishu, Somalia, in which 18 American special operations forces died at the hand of terrorists, as was immortalized in the film “Black Hawk Down.”
The senator pointed out how the slaughter caused President Bill Clinton’s defense secretary, Les Aspen, to resign in disgrace.
“If Hillary Clinton had worked for Bill Clinton, she probably would have been fired,” Paul noted.
Paul said, of all the many scandals under President Obama, the one that sticks out the most in Benghazi.
He said Democrats may call the furor “political spin,” but politics includes determining whether decision-makers have the ability to be commander in chief.
“Decision after decision was made incorrectly,” according to the senator, with the worst being the one to guard the compound with only two Marines, as though it were Paris. “It was more like Baghdad,” he quipped.
Paul also blasted the administration for Obama’s admission that he had no strategy to deal with the terrorist army ISIS, which recently captured huge swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Sarcastically, he asked rhetorically whether Gens. Patton, McArthur and Eisenhower ever would have engaged the enemy without a strategy?
Paul didn’t just go after the Obama administration, he targeted big government in general.
“The wheels of government have ground to a stop because we can’t do anything. We are so dysfunctional that we can’t pass legislation even when we agree on it. We are so dysfunctional that, even when we shut the government down, it costs more money to keep it closed than to open it again.”
He recalled how, during the government shut down last year when only “essential employees” were kept on the job, 90 percent of IRS workers and 95 percent of EPA workers were sent home, saying, “There’s a real lesson we can learn from this.”
Another lesson learned, he said, was how many government employees were wasting taxpayer dollars by downloading porn or running side-businesses on the job, or not even showing up for work, sometimes, for years.
“The definition of a dysfunctional government is you can’t fire anyone, even people who lie, cheat and steal and who don’t show up for work. It’s crazy.”
The likely presidential candidate also emphasized his focus on Fourth Amendment rights against government snooping by bluntly declaring, “It’s none of the government’s damn business what you do on your phone.”
He blasted the government’s contention that even a citizen’s credit-card bill is not protected by privacy rights. Paul noted that just the information on people’s spending habits could reveal much about their personal lives, such as whether they drink, smoke, or gamble and what kind of medications they take.
He said he had no problem with law enforcement gathering all that information on someone the government suspected of being a terrorist, if officers go to a judge and get a warrant.
But, he proclaimed, but, “I don’t want the government looking at the records of 300 million innocent Americans.”