Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election How low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? MORE (R-Ky.) argued Sunday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policies had created a terrorist utopia in Libya.
“Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya, I think, made it less safe,” Paul told host John Catsimatidis on his New York radio show “The Cats Roundtable.”
“It was a big mistake for us to go in there in the first place, because a lot of the times when we topple secular dictators, we’ve gotten chaos and then we’ve gotten the rise of radical Islam,” he said of Clinton’s decision in 2011 to help oust then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“It made it a hotbed for jihadists,” Paul added. “And, in fact, I think Libya is now a jihadist wonderland.”
Paul’s harsh criticism comes as the 2016 presidential race first heats up.
The Kentucky lawmaker is seeking the GOP nomination, while Clinton is pursuing the Democratic nomination.
Paul on Sunday additionally touted his liberty credentials as the best in the entire 2016 field.
“I’m one of the few in the race that thinks that we need to defend the country, but sometimes being involved in foreign war doesn’t help us,” he said.
“And I’m one of the few who thinks we need to talk about defending the entire Bill of Rights, not just a couple of ones cherry-picked here and there,” Paul said.
Paul said among the GOP contenders, he stood out for his opposition to the nation’s current intelligence policies.
“I’m probably the only Republican in the race who thinks that the government shouldn’t be collecting all of our phone records … without a warrant,” he said.
“I want to be a part of the leave-me-alone coalition, which basically says if you’re not hurting anybody, the government, particularly the federal government, ought to stay out of your life,” Paul added.
Paul’s remarks followed a federal appeals court ruling Thursday that the bulk warrantless collection of phone records by the National Security Agency was illegal.
The GOP senator hailed that judgment Friday as a “monumental decision for all lovers of liberty.”
He vowed Sunday to continue his work on privacy rights while still making progress on what he saw as the average American’s real concern.
“The top three issues are the debt, the debt and the debt,” Paul said.