RAND PAUL FOR PRESIDENT: Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens has made his choice for the 2016 Republican presidential candidate — Sen. Rand Paul. He writes that the GOP nominee has to be Paul and no-one else. Why? Because the Republican Party needs a “humbling landslide defeat.” Music to the ears of Democrats. Hillary Clinton, who would eviscerate him in a debate, particularly on his naivete on Iran. During an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Sen. Paul said that he didn’t think it was a good idea to rule out containment of Iran.
This man is Rand Paul, the junior senator from a state with eight electoral votes. The man who, as of this writing, has three years worth of experience in elected office. Barack Obama had more political experience when he ran for president. That’s worked out well.
Mr. Paul was in New Hampshire last weekend, speaking to conservative activists at the Freedom Summit, emphasizing the need for Republicans to do a better job of reaching out to Hispanics and African-Americans.
It’s a fine message. Or rather, it would be a fine message if it weren’t for Mr. Paul’s long political association with Jack Hunter, aka the “Southern Avenger,” a former radio shock jock who co-wrote Mr. Paul’s 2011 book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.” On April 14, 2004—the 139th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination—Mr. Hunter wrote a column titled ” John Wilkes Booth Was Right.” He also lamented that “whites are not afforded the same right to celebrate their own cultural identity” as blacks and Hispanics.
Mr. Hunter remained a member of Mr. Paul’s staff until last July, when the Washington Free Beacon broke the story. Afterward, Mr. Hunter recanted his views and pleaded amnesia. As for Mr. Paul, he defended his former aide, saying he had merely been “stupid,” that he had been “unfairly treated by the media,” and that “he got along fine with everybody in the office, treated everyone fairly, regardless of race or religion.”
So can we now, um, switch the subject?
Yes, we can. Let’s move on to a YouTube video of Mr. Paul in April 2009, offering his insights to a college group on foreign policy. Channeling Dwight Eisenhower, the future senator warned “we need to be so fearful of companies that get so big that they can actually be directing policy.”
“When the Iraq war started, Halliburton got a billion-dollar no-bid contract. Some of the stuff has been so shoddy and so sloppy that our soldiers are over there dying in the shower from electrocution.”
Then he gets to his real point: Dick Cheney, who opposed driving all the way to Baghdad when he was defense secretary in the first Bush administration, later went to work for Halliburton. “Makes hundreds of millions of dollars, their CEO. Next thing you know, he’s back in government and it’s a good thing to go into Iraq.”
Mr. Paul’s conclusion: “9/11 became an excuse for a war they already wanted in Iraq.” Source: Wall Street Journal
I have to admit, Bret Stephens had me going for a minute. But let me also add Sen. Paul tried to rewrite the whole civil rights movement during a speech at Howard University. That didn’t sit well with the black community, who won’t be coming out in droves to support a Rand Paul candidacy. While we are at it, he should pick Louie Gohmert (R-TX) as his running mate.
Um, get out the popcorn…the GOP infighting as we go into the 2016 presidential election cycle is just starting and promises to be chock full of fireworks and drama! By the way, Bret Stephens wasn’t the only one bashing Rand Paul today. Jennifer Rubin and Richard Cohen in the Washington Post both have scathing articles blasting him for a variety of ‘sins.’