Paul: Clinton wants to blame Benghazi ‘on somebody else’

Anne Wernikoff

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday reiterated his view that the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, should disqualify Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

Paul said Clinton’s failure to beef up security at the diplomatic mission where four Americans were killed was a “dereliction of duty” for the former secretary of State.

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“She wants to blame it on somebody else,” Paul said during a speech at The Citadel military college in South Carolina. “It is absolutely her responsibility. And her failure to provide our ambassador and his mission with adequate security should preclude Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office again.”

Paul also said a call for troops in Tripoli to stand down the night of the Benghazi attack was made by a politician and not a military commander.

“It is my opinion that I cannot believe that a military commander did not send reinforcements. I fully believe that in Benghazi a politician was involved — we won’t name any names — but I think someone was involved with that decision,” he said.

Paul made similar comments in a May op-ed for The Washington Times.

Tuesday was the first speech for Paul since the charges emerged that he had plagiarized portions of his writings. His office last week said the vetting process for speeches had not been thorough enough and would be changed.

The Washington Times dropped Paul as a columnist after the plagiarism charges surfaced. Paul then signed up as a columnist for the conservative site Breitbart.com

Speaking broadly about foreign policy, Paul on Tuesday said the United States should adopt a standard used by President Eisenhower.

“Is our current foreign policy good for America? Is our engagement or involvement in Egypt and Syria Pakistan to our benefit or to our detriment?” Paul said. “I think we must have the strongest military on earth not because we are eager to use it, but because no one would ever dare to challenge us.”

Paul said he would form a task force in the coming weeks that would audit the Pentagon in order to cut out fraud and waste. He said new modernizations would allow it to fix the broken Veterans Affairs system.

“It means you have to have the strength to look even at military spending and say nobody gets a blank check,” he said.