- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is “unsuited to be commander-in-chief” and that it has become “impossible” to imagine a “President Paul” defeating “radical Islam.”

In an interview that aired Wednesday morning, Mr. Paul, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, had blamed hawks in the Republican party for helping foment the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,” Mr. Jindal said in a statement.

“It’s one thing for Senator Paul to take an outlandish position as a senator at Washington cocktail parties, but being commander-in-chief is an entirely different job,” said Mr. Jindal, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid. “We should all be clear that evil and radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.”

Mr. Paul said in the interview that aired Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the Islamic State “exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS.”

“These hawks also wanted to bomb [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad, which would have made ISIS’s job even easier,” he said.

Though Mr. Paul has tangled with members of his own party at times on foreign policy, notably Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, he has also blasted the overseas endeavors of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, also dinging Republican hawks for supporting “Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya.”

“ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved — they loved — Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya; they just wanted more of it,” Mr. Paul said. “But Libya’s a failed state, it’s a disaster. Iraq really is a failed state or a vassal state now of Iran. So everything that they have talked about in foreign policy they’ve been wrong about for 20 years and yet they have somehow the gall to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise.”

But Mr. Jindal said Mr. Paul’s “illogical argument” clouds a situation “that should provide pure moral clarity.”

“Islam has a problem. ISIS is its current manifestation,” he said. “And the next president’s job is to have the discipline and strength to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth. It has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating radical Islam, and it’s time for the rest of us to say it.”

In response, Doug Stafford, a top adviser to Mr. Paul, said that the Kentucky Republican “is the only Republican running it seems who is willing to learn from our mistakes in the Middle East in order to keep us safer and stronger.”

“It’s ironic Gov Jindal would level such a charge when he flip-flops on crucial issues like Common Core and national security, and he has cratered his own state’s economy and budget,” Mr. Stafford said in a statement. “Just last week, Gov. Jindal spoke out in support of Sen. Paul and announced he now opposes the NSA’s illegal and unnecessary domestic bulk data collection, after previously cheerleading for it.”

“The American people are looking for a candidate who can express a coherent viewpoint, something Gov. Jindal and many other candidates have been unable to do thus far,” Mr. Stafford said.

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