Rand Paul Responds to Neocon Attacks: In Reality, They Have Been On Obama's Side, Made The Mideast More Chaotic

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WOLF BLITZER, CNN: I want you to respond to this new ad that came out yesterday apparently a million dollar buy by some Republican group out there. They said that basically charges that your foreign policy is very close to President Obama's foreign policy, and they specifically have a quote from you back in 2007. I'll play a little clip of it.

AD NARRATOR: The Senate is considering tough new sanctions on Iran. President Obama says he’ll veto them, and Rand Paul is standing with him. Rand Paul supports Obama’s negotiations with Iran, and he doesn’t understand the threat.

RAND PAUL (video): You know, it's ridiculous to think that they're a threat to our national security.

NARRATOR: Rand Paul is wrong and dangerous. Tell him to stop siding with Obama because even one Iranian bomb would be a disaster.


BLITZER: Alright, I want you to respond to that, but specifically, the 2007 quote where you said that Iran was not a real threat to the United States.

SEN. RAND PAUL: You know, I think the whole thing's sort of a farce and factually incorrect. In fact, PolitiFact said it was mostly false. When you look at the actual facts on the ground, I have been one of the leading proponents saying that any agreement that we come to with Iran has to come back and be voted on by Congress.

I have been saying repeatedly that I'm skeptical for the main reason that Iran's Foreign Minister is now tweeting out in English that the agreement doesn't mean what President Obama says the agreement means.

So, really, I think that people are desperate somehow to latch on to the status quo and so they put out falsehoods but there's really nothing about the ad that's correct. Even the statement from 2007, even in 2007 I did believe that Iran was potentially a threat and developing a nuclear weapon was bad, and now eight years later, which is a long time, I think the threat has become heightened. I think it's unfair to take statements out of context from eight years ago and then to basically lie about my position on Iran now.

BLITZER: Because in 2007, you did say, we heard you say it, it's ridiculous to think they're a threat to our national security. But what I hear you saying is your views have changed.

PAUL: That's not to say -- but that's not to say that in 2007, them developing a nuclear weapon wouldn't be a threat. Really, the threat to the United States that we have always been concerned with is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and developing a nuclear weapon. So that statement taken out of context even in 2007 isn't to say that I didn't believe developing a nuclear weapon was a good thing or that that might not be a threat. But I think after eight years, one thing we do all know is that events change and as you've seen, their capacity and their ability to quickly build a nuclear weapon has become more significant and more immediate over time.

But I think the main thing about this is these are people -- this is sort of this neocon community and the neoconservatives have really never met a war they didn't like. And so what you'll see is these attacks saying, 'Oh, you're close to Obama's position. In reality, the neocons have been with President Obama on the war in Libya; they have been with President Obama on wanting to bomb Assad; and, they were really also for taking out [Saddam] Hussein. Everything that they have been for over the last decade has really been to make America less safe and to make the region more chaotic. So I think we could have a good intellectual debate about this, but attack ads like this that are mostly untrue if not entirely false probably don't serve the public very well.

BLITZER: You want to name names when you are criticizing or blasting the so-called neocons?

PAUL: Well, you know, if these people would release their donors then we would know who they are. But these are people who want to be in the shadows and have something secret and then put up a bunch of lies. But I think there are people you will see in the Senate who basically favored giving arms to Gaddafi and then the next year they were favoring giving arms to the so-called freedom fighters. But now it turns out that the war they had in Libya, which was supported by the neocons and President Obama, the war's a disaster; radical jihad has run amok in Libya. It's chaotic and I think we are more likely to be attacked by people organizing in Libya than we were before the war. So people need to think through when war's in our interest and when war is not in our interest.

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