Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal went after Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul on Wednesday, releasing a statement saying Paul is “unsuited to be commander-in-chief” for saying foreign policy hawks in the GOP led to the rise of ISIS.
Jindal, who is weighing his own GOP presidential run, blasted the Kentucky senator for saying on MSNBC that “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party.”
“This is a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander-in-chief. 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,” Jindal said in a statement.
Paul's chief strategist Doug Stafford responded Wednesday afternoon: "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. 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."
Jindal would enter the presidential race towards the bottom of an already crowded Republican field if he decides to run. A number of other current and potential GOP candidates, most notably South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, have targeted Paul for his criticism of the hawkish members of the party.
Paul said Wednesday that the GOP foreign policy hawks have been wrong for the past 20 years.
The Kentucky Republican has spent the early part of his campaign trying to assure Republican voters that he supports a strong military capable of taking on a growing number of threats around the world. But his criticism of past U.S. involvement overseas has allowed opponents to paint him as an isolationist.
“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,” Jindal said.
-- Andrew Rafferty