By Justin Sink
Democrats pounced on Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota Overnight Regulation: GOP slams new Obama education rules Paul blocks chemical safety bill in Senate MORE's (R-Ky.) joke Friday that the president should trade five members of his own party in the next prisoner exchange, blasting his comments as "completely out of line."
While addressing the Texas Republican Party convention earlier in the day, Paul said that Obama should propose a trade to bring back Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who was arrested earlier this year in Mexico after accidentally crossing the border with firearms that were illegal in Mexico.
The Kentucky lawmaker was riffing on the president's decision to trade five Taliban detainees being kept at the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the lone U.S. soldier captured during the Afghan conflict.
Republicans have criticized the decision, arguing the president has endangered the U.S. by freeing the Taliban militants.
Paul's joke quickly earned the ire of Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin, who called the suggestion "completely out of line."
"Comments like this are just the latest example of the GOP politicizing important national security matters to feed to their base," Czin said. "Try for a little more civility going forward.”
Paul isn't the only lawmaker to draw comparisons between the plight of Bergdahl and Tahmooressi.
“It’s ironic that we can deal with the Taliban and get an American soldier released but we can’t get a Marine across the border released,” Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) told 1080-KRLD in Dallas.
“What the President ought to do is just call the Mexican government and say ‘tell you what, we will trade five Mexican prisoners for the Marine – or – we’re not sending any more money to Mexico until you let him go.’”