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Rand Paul: Hillary Was 'Eager To Shoot First' In Syria

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AP Photo / Molly Riley

The Kentucky Republican and 2016 hopeful took to the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal to launch his latest broadside against the former secretary of state, saying her proposed foreign policy of arming the Syrian rebels would have emboldened Islamic militant group ISIS.

"To interventionists like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we would caution that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria created a haven for the Islamic State. We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn't get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria. That new regime might well be ISIS," he wrote in a piece published online Wednesday.

Paul added: "Those who say we should have done more to arm the Syrian rebel groups have it backward. Mrs. Clinton was also eager to shoot first in Syria before asking some important questions. Her successor John Kerry was no better, calling the failure to strike Syria a 'Munich moment.'"

The libertarian senator — a rare Republican advocating a more restrained foreign policy — cautioned against making "the same mistake of potentially aiding our enemies again."

The Democratic National Committee accused Paul of adopting "blame America" rhetoric.

"This week he's blaming the Obama Administration for another nation's civil war. That type of 'blame America' rhetoric may win Paul accolades at a conference of isolationists but it does nothing to improve our standing in the world," DNC spokesman Michael Czin said in a statement. "In fact, Paul's proposals would make America less safe and less secure. Simply put, if Rand Paul had a foreign policy slogan, it would be — The Rand Paul Doctrine: Blame America. Retreat from the World."

Paul has made a habit of attacking Clinton, a potential competitor in 2016, in part by channeling the war-weary sentiments of the American public. Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," he labeled her a "war hawk" and said lots of Democrats and independents don't want another war in the Middle East.