“Is Hillary Clinton fit to be commander-in-chief?” Rand Paul asked the 3,000 people packed in a hotel ballroom at Americans for Prosperity’s annual Defending the Dream summit on Friday. They answered in unison: “No!”
With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, the Kentucky senator isn’t exactly subtle about whom he has in his crosshairs. But then again, subtlety has never been his trademark.
Paul compared Clinton’s failure to secure the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, where American ambassador Chris Stevens and three others died in September 2012, to those of former secretary of defense Les Aspin, who resigned in disgrace after admittedly mishandling requests for military support that led to the deaths of 18 Americans in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993.
“I think if Hillary Clinton had worked for Bill Clinton she’d have probably been fired,” Paul said.
He is clearly making progress. Americans for Prosperity board member Frayda Levin, who introduced Paul, called herself a “‘Stand for Rand’ gal,” referred to the senator as “my man,” and said that associating with Paul “makes me seem cool.”
That is precisely the response Paul hopes to elicit from Republicans writ large. Whether he can pull it off remains to be seen, but it’s probably a good sign that, when the music began to play, Oscars-style, as a sign for Paul to exit stage left, the crowd booed.