Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Benghazi will be an major issue for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she failed to pick up the “3 a.m. phone call.”
The jab was a reference to Mrs. Clinton’s own 2008 campaign TV attack on then-Sen. Barack Obama, which questioned whether he would be ready to answer a emergency 3 a.m. phone call to the White House.
“I think Benghazi was the 3 a.m. phone call that she never picked up,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Mr. Paul also said that he couldn’t think of one success Mrs. Clinton achieved as secretary of state, although she is poised to run on her experience in that job as a qualifier for president.
“I think she took her eye off of a very important zone,” he said. “She’s also a big believer in putting arms indiscriminately into the Syrian civil war. I think that made [the Islamic State] stronger.”
Mr. Paul took shots at Mrs. Clinton just hours before she was expected to announced her Democratic presidential run.
His remarks likely were a harbinger for attacks that Mrs. Clinton will encounter in the campaign over the 2012 terrorist attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.