An aide to Paul clarified on Tuesday that Paul believes the president assumes the role of commander in chief of the armed forces once Congress has officially declared war. The aide pointed to Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution, which grants Congress the sole power to declare war.
Some critics of President Obama’s decision to use military force to enforce a United Nations-backed no-fly zone in Libya point to a comment he made to The Boston Globe while campaigning in 2007.
"The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation," Obama said at the time.
Paul also argued that if Moammar Gadhafi falls from power, the U.S. might be paving the way for other “thugs” to take over.
"We might be bringing one dictator in and getting rid of another one for all we know,” said Paul. “I mean, the intent is good. Everybody feels good about it and wants to help. But just like going into Iraq … look at the tragedy that came from that."
Paul added he believes that U.S. efforts to bring stabilization are bringing "the opposite.”
"I think for us to be in another Muslim country doesn't sit well with the other Muslim countries," said Paul.