On ABC’s This Week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) completely reversed course by claiming that Dick Cheney loves America, and that he never criticized the former vice president’s motives for invading Iraq.
KARL: So I want to turn to foreign policy, some tapes of you over the last few years have emerged recently. You were very critical of Dick Cheney. You suggested that he was opposed to going into Baghdad in 1991…
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Dick Cheney then goes to work for Halliburton, makes hundreds of millions of dollars as CEO. Next thing you know, he’s back in government it’s a good idea to go to Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Do you really think that Cheney was motivated by his financial ties to Halliburton.
PAUL: I’m not questioning his motives.
KARL: Sure looked like you were questioning his motives.
PAUL: Well, here’s what I’m questioning, I don’t think Dick Cheney did it out of malevolence, I think he loves his country as much as I love the country…
KARL: But you said we don’t want our defense to be defined by people who make money off the weapons. Are you suggesting that’s why we went to war in Iraq?
PAUL: No. No.
KARL: That our defense was being defined by people who make money off weapons?
PAUL: No. And that’s why I’m also saying that I’m not questioning Dick Cheney’s motives.
There’s a chance for a conflict of interest. At one point in time, he was opposed going into Baghdad. Then he was out of office and involved in the defense industry and then he became for going into Baghdad.
Sen. Paul isn’t a leader. He is a coward, who is saying whatever he has to say in order to win the Republican nomination in 2016. It is not surprising that Paul would completely take back his criticism of Cheney. Sen. Paul has to shake the perception within the Republican Party that the apple didn’t fall too far from the fringe extremist tree.
Rand Paul is behaving just like Mitt Romney did in 2012. Both men were/are consumed with their desire to be president. The Paul folks seem to believe that they can say whatever they have to in order to win the nomination, then do whatever they want.
The problem is that Paul’s explanations are so convoluted that he is making it nearly impossible for anyone outside of his current base of support to take him seriously as a presidential candidate. It makes perfect sense for Rand Paul to bow down and kiss Dick Cheney’s ring. It may be hard to believe for anyone outside of the Republican Party, but the Bush/Cheney foreign policy remains popular within the GOP.
Anyone who goes against the Bush Doctrine gets labeled a radical outsider. Rand Paul’s best chance of winning the 2016 Republican nomination is to convince the party establishment that he’s, not like his daddy, and hopefully catch fire in the early primary and caucus states.
Rand Paul is revealing himself to be a less intelligent version of Mitt Romney. Nothing Paul says can be trusted to stand the test of time. Sen. Paul’s inability to keep his stories straight will be the downfall of his presidential ambitions in 2016.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association