TALK TO THE HAND …
|| By FITSNEWS || U.S. Senator Rand Paul‘s 2016 presidential campaign was off to a swell start … until he did a satellite interview on Wednesday morning with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today show.
Questioned pointedly about his inconsistency on foreign policy issues – specifically flip-flops related to his views on Iran, Israel and military spending – Paul interrupted Guthrie and accused her of editorializing.
And she did … at least in her assessment of Paul’s foreign policy being “unorthodox.” But the specific policy reversals Guthrie laid out – much to Paul’s chagrin – were demonstrable facts worthy of responses. Beyond that, they were (and are) disappointing commentaries on the extent to which Paul the younger lacks the consistency and political courage demonstrated by his father, former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
Anyway, to the tape …
“You once said Iran was not a threat, now you say it is. You once proposed ending foreign aid to Israel, you now support it, at least for the time being. And you once offered to drastically cut …” Guthrie began before Paul interrupted her.
“Before we get a litany of …” Paul said, attempting to cut Guthrie short.
But Guthrie was having none of it … bound and determined to finish her question.
“You wanted to cut defense spending and now you want to increase it 16 percent,” she continued, talking over Paul’s increasingly vocal objections. “So I just wondered if you’d mellowed out?”
“Why don’t we let me explain instead of talking over me, okay?” Paul told Guthrie, seemingly oblivious to the fact he was the one who interrupted her.
Eventually, Paul got around to finishing his earlier interruption …
“Before we go through a litany of things you say I’ve changed on, why don’t you ask me a question: Have I changed my opinion?” Paul said. “That would be sort of a better way to approach an interview.”
Eventually, Paul got around to explaining – or attempting to explain – the evolution of his views.
On Iran, he claimed “2007 was a long time ago and events do change over long periods of time so we’re talking about eight years ago.”
“There has always been a threat of Iran gaining nuclear weapons and I think that’s greater now than it was many years ago,” Paul continued.
On Israel, Paul said eliminating foreign aid was a gradual process – and that America should “start with countries that hate us, that burn our flag.”
As for defense spending, that one never really got answered …
You can watch the entire exchange here …
(Click to play)
Again, ouch …
Worse than the interview? Paul’s reaction to it. He claimed Guthrie’s line of questioning was unfair (it wasn’t). He claimed she was a “hostile interviewer” (she wasn’t). He then trotted out the excuse that satellite interviews don’t permit interview subjects to read “cues” and “have a true interaction.”
Jeez … what a reach.
We suspect “Republican” voters will be willing to forgive Paul’s flip-flops. Hell, the “neoconservative” wing of the GOP flip-flops all the time – with far more dangerous and costly consequences.
But beyond the questions Guthrie raised regarding his fair-weather non-interventionism (which, by the way, is the preferred foreign policy of this website) … additional questions are now being raised regarding Paul’s readiness for prime time.
“When you’re running for president, all is fair in love and war. This is war. This is the big leagues,” fellow 2016 GOP aspirant Mike Huckabee said. “You’re going to have to expect that you’re going to have a lot of fastballs aimed right at your nose, and how you handle them is part of the process, it’s part of the game, if you will.”
We’re never thrilled to find ourselves agreeing with Huckabee, but in this instance he’s absolutely right …
Rand Paul has the potential to be the sort of presidential candidate this website could support (as we wrote HERE). But his refusal to stand fast against the shameful propaganda of the military-industrial complex is profoundly disappointing.
And apparently profoundly problematic for Paul …