It looks like 2016 can't come soon enough for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) The increasingly likely presidential candidate lobbed an early salvo at Hillary Clinton in an NBC interview set to air Sunday, calling the presumptive favorite for the Democratic nomination a "war hawk."
If you wanna see a transformational election, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton, and you'll see a transformation like you've never seen.”
The comments were sent out by NBC on Friday as a tease for its extended interview with Paul on Meet the Press, which was conducted during his trip to perform free eye surgeries in Guatemala. (Paul is an ophthalmologist.) Elected in 2010, Paul has been ramping up his political operation and is likely to test his more libertarian views in a presidential run in 2016.
Clinton, the former secretary of state, has long been seen as more hawkish than President Obama, and she made news in an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg earlier this month by criticizing the president's decision not to arm Syrian rebels beginning in 2012.
Paul sat for the NBC interview in a blue doctor's gown. Democrats on Friday criticized him for turning a trip organized for "much needed aid work" into a "crass campaign photo op."
In a memo sent to reporters, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee also denounced him for criticizing Obama's foreign policy to the Guatemalan president – and then bragging about it to a conservative website.
The DNC's Michael Czin wrote:
America has a proud tradition of letting politics stop at the water’s edge, but Paul doesn’t think that tradition applies to him. Paul not only attacked President Obama while in a foreign country – he said it directly to the leader of another country.
Regardless of political party, we do not go abroad and slam our own because of policy differences. We are better than that."
Here is the NBC clip from the Paul interview: