- The Washington Times - Monday, May 18, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul said Monday that if the GOP nominates him to run for president in 2016, he will be able to compete for votes in a Democratic stronghold like Philadelphia, particularly against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I’ll ask Hillary Clinton, ‘What have you done for criminal justice? Your husband passed all the laws that put a generation of black men in prison,’” Mr. Paul said in an event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

The Kentucky senator, who has made cutting mandatory minimum sentences a key point in his touted outreach to minority voters, said Mrs. Clinton is changing her stances from her husband’s get-tough tenure in the 1990s, but said she’ll have to answer for the Clinton administration record.

Mr. Paul also said candidates should be asked hypothetical “knowing what we now know” questions, and said he intends to ask Mrs. Clinton one about the U.S. air campaign that helped topple the regime in Libya in 2011.

Mr. Clinton was secretary of state at the time of that invasion, and has crowed over the death of Moammar Gadhafi. But Mr. Paul said the country has been left a mess by the U.S.-led international effort to support rebels who toppled Gadhafi, and Mrs. Clinton must answer questions about it.

One of Mr. Paul’s potential GOP rivals, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, stumbled last week when asked a hypothetical about whether, knowing what he does now, invading Iraq in 2003 — as his brother, then-President George W. Bush did — was still the right call. Jeb Bush initially said yes, then later said he didn’t understand the question. In the days since, pundits and politicians alike have debated whether it’s right to ask those kinds of hypotheticals.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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