- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) - Potential Republican president candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul steered clear Friday of commenting on Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health, while sharply targeting her about the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya.

The Kentucky senator helped draw a 600-strong crowd Friday evening to the Hamilton County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan dinner. Paul drew one of his several ovations when criticizing Clinton for not doing enough as secretary of state to protect the Benghazi compound from the 2012 attack that killed four Americans.

“I think Hillary Clinton has precluded herself from ever being considered as commander in chief,” said Paul, who made similar comments recently to Republican National Committee members.

Some Democrats have said Republicans are raising Benghazi and other topics for political reasons as Clinton considers running.

Paul, though, refused emphatically to comment when asked whether Clinton’s health could be an issue, as suggested recently by Republican strategist Karl Rove. A Clinton spokesman has said she is “100 percent” and ripped Rove’s comments as thinly veiled attacks that show Republicans fear her potential candidacy.

Paul’s theme in the swing state of Ohio was the need for the GOP to broaden its appeal.

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