The DNC decided to “welcome” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) “to the 2016 field” on Wednesday with a video showing him repeatedly seeming to contradict himself.
Critics on both sides of the aisle have been attacking Paul in recent weeks for allegedly changing his positions on the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL). Paul and his aides have denied his views on how to handle ISIS have evolved.
The DNC video, which is entitled “The First GOP Debate,” highlights several issues where Paul has espoused seemingly different positions including ISIS, the Civil Rights Act, foreign aid to Israel, same-sex marriage, and the government shutdown.
It begins with CNN host Wolf Blitzer asking Paul if he would “end all foreign aid including the aid to Israel as well.”
“Yes,” Paul replies.
In the following clip Paul is shown disputing “headlines” saying he’d cut funding to Israel.
“Headlines saying ‘Rand Paul Wants To End Aid To Israel,’ it’s just not true,” he says.
On ISIS, the video shows footage of one interview where Paul says he’s “not so sure where the clear cut American interest is” in launching airstrikes against the group. In the next clip, Paul says he would definitely back strikes.
“Yes, I would vote yes and I would do it in a heartbeat,” says Paul.
The clip is styled as a mock presidential debate with Paul, who is widely expected to launch a White House bid in 2016, debating himself.
“It’s been a big week for Rand Paul. His shifting views on issue after issue have come under scrutiny. His aides continue to walk back his unpopular or ill-conceived positions. And Paul himself refuses to even acknowledge whether he has changed his mind or if he is simply trying to maintain contradictory positions on multiple issues,” DNC National Press Secretary Michael Czin said in a statement about the video. “But today, he’s taking to the Senate floor to give a big speech on his views on the Middle East, and tomorrow he heads to a major libertarian conference to stoke up the base that helped him rise to prominence. It’s clear: Rand Paul is firing up the presidential campaign machine.”
Czin said Paul’s apparent presidential aspirations inspired Democrats to make the clip “previewing the big showdown in the first GOP presidential debate: Senator Rand Paul vs. Senator Rand Paul.”
Watch the full DNC video below.
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