Paul blames Iraq crisis on Bush administration

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said he blames the current crisis in Iraq on those who backed the 2003 U.S. invasion, not President Obama. 

Paul was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether former Vice President Dick Cheney is a “credible critic” after he blasted Obama for his strategy for Iraq in an op-ed last week. 

“I think the same questions could be asked of the same people who supported the Iraq War,” Paul said. “What’s going on now ... I don’t blame President Obama. I blame the Iraq War, and I blame the people who supported the Iraq War for emboldening Iran.” 

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The Bush administration didn’t understand and foresee that a civil war would break out, Paul said.

Unlike his Republican colleagues, Paul said he wanted the Iraq War to end. A number of GOP lawmakers have blamed the unraveling crisis in Iraq on Obama’s decision to pull all U.S. troops out in 2011.

Obama administration officials, however, have argued it wasn’t that simple. The Iraqi government refused to sign a bilateral agreement that would allow a residual force to stay after 2011. 

Cheney and his daughter, Liz, slammed Obama’s doctrine in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal last week, which received a significant amount of blowback.

“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” they wrote.