- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky prepares to kick off his campaign for the White House Tuesday, a nonprofit advocacy group is rolling out a million-dollar ad buy in early presidential states hitting Mr. Paul on Iran.

“The Senate is considering tough new sanctions on Iran,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot from the Foundation for a Secure & Prosperous America. “President Obama says he’ll veto them. And Rand Paul is standing with him.”

Mr. Paul, the ad continues, supports Mr. Obama’s negotiations with Iran, “and he doesn’t understand the threat.”

“Rand Paul is wrong and dangerous,” the ad continues. “Tell him to stop siding with Obama.

“Because even one Iranian bomb would be a disaster,” it concludes with a shot of a mushroom cloud.

Politico reported that the group plans to air the ad Wednesday through Sunday on broadcast TV in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada and nationally on Fox News.

Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to Mr. Paul, said that “these attacks are false.”

“The Washington machine is worried that our message is resonating across all 50 states,” Mr. Stafford said. “Senator Rand Paul has voted for Iran sanctions and continues to believe that Iran should be forbidden from acquiring nuclear weapons. Senator Paul will oppose any deal which does not guarantee Iran giving up its nuclear ambition. Finally, any deal with Iran should be approved by Congress and not exclusively by the Obama administration.”

Establishment Republicans have viewed Mr. Paul with a wary eye on foreign policy issues, though he was one of 47 GOP senators who recently signed a letter to Iranian leaders warning them that the next president could simply undo any deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

But he has also said that the letter should actually help the president’s position.

“I want the president to negotiate from a position of strength, which means that he needs to be telling them in Iran, ‘I’ve got Congress to deal with,’” Mr. Paul said at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas, last month.

A spokesman for Mr. Paul’s political action committee told Bloomberg that the details of the deal aren’t known yet and that any deal should ensure that Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon.

“Senator Paul will be watching closely and believes any deal must make clear Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon, allows for full verification and is approved by Congress,” said spokesman Doug Stafford. “He voted for sanctions both times they were put before Congress and believes only Congress should remove those sanctions.”

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