Politics

Rand Paul Goes Nuclear

Senator says Rubio, Fiorina could have fired nukes at Russia in Cold War

Struggling Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Thursday took pointed swipes at a pair of primary opponents who urge more aggressive confrontation with Russia in the Middle East, suggesting they could get the United States into a nuclear war.

“We’re lucky that neither Rubio nor Fiorina were president during the Cold War, because we might have well had a nuclear outcome,” Paul said during an appearance on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Paul said that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is wrong to call for imposing a no-fly zone in the region. He also said former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina would make the world more dangerous by eschewing diplomacy.

Paul brings a libertarian strain to foreign policy and generally shies away from military intervention. He told Ingraham that his primary opponents would make a bad situation in the Middle East worse. He criticized Fiorina for saying that she would refuse to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Boy, is that a recipe for war,” he said.

He criticized Fiorina for saying that she would refuse to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Boy, is that a recipe for war,” he said.

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Rubio has called for a no-fly zone in Syria to protect fleeing refugees in the war-torn country. Paul said Rubio’s no-fly zone would be a repeat of the mistakes of the past.

“One of the things that we ought to do is absolutely think about what got us into this situation, and be very, very careful that we don’t get drug into World War III,” he said. “People like Rubio want to have a no-fly zone over there. They want a red line in the sky. But that’s a recipe for war with Russia. And I think it’s a big, big mistake.”

Paul pointed out that Iraq and Syria both have welcomed Russian forces.

“How are we going to possibly say that we’re going to push Russia out when they’ve been invited by the very country that has us in there?” he asked. “They also have Iran. Iran is in Iraq. And now Russia is going to be flying over Iraq.”

“It also weakens us to put a trillion dollars into Iraq and get nothing out of it,” he said. “What did our trillion dollars buy? We got nothing.”

Paul said he supports a strong military, but suggested that the United States should be less eager to use it abroad.

“We need to be strong as (Ronald) Reagan was — peace through strength,” he said. “Strong enough to deter attacks, to repel attacks. But also strong enough to know when an intervention may well backfire.”

Paul said the current problems in the region underscore how big a mistake the Iraq war was.

“It also weakens us to put a trillion dollars into Iraq and get nothing out of it,” he said. “What did our trillion dollars buy? We got nothing.”

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