Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Monday walked back a jab at his colleagues, after accusing some in Washington of secretly wishing for an attack on the U.S.
“People here in town think I’m making a huge mistake,” he said during debate over renewing key provisions of the Patriot Act, which Paul attempted to block over the weekend.
“Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.”
During a Monday morning interview on Fox News, anchor Bill Hemmer asked: “To whom were you referring?”
“I think sometimes, in the heat of battle, hyperbole can get the better of anyone. That may be the problem there,” Paul said. “The point I was trying to make is that I think people do use fear to try to get us to give up our liberty.”
Hemmer asked if Paul was taking back the statement.
“Sometimes going after people’s motives and impugning people’s motives is a mistake, and in the heat of battle sometimes hyperbole can get better of all of us,” Paul responded.
“So are you standing by that or not?” Hemmer repeated. “I’m just trying to nail that down.”
“I think by calling it hyperbole, that means I may well have exaggerated the case,” the senator said.
Watch the exchange below: