A group run by a high-profile Republican on Tuesday an intense advertisement taking aim at presidential candidate and US Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) over his comments about the threat Iran poses to the United States.
The 30-second ad — released by the group run by former United Nations ambassador John Bolton — attempts to link Paul’s past statements about Iran to a possible nuclear attack.
As a happy family sits down for dinner in the video, a nuclear bomb explodes. The ad then cuts to a video of Paul saying in 2007 that “our national security is not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon.”
The video ends with text appearing over a mushroom cloud: “It only takes one.”
The group isn’t the first to slam Paul over his past comments about Iran. Earlier this year, another conservative-leaning group ran a similar ad linking Paul to President Barack Obama using Paul’s quote.
The comments used in both videos came during a speech in that Paul made while campaigning for his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), during the 2008 Republican presidential primary.
Rand Paul — who questioned Iran’s threat to the US multiple times during that campaign — attributes his past scepticism to the state of Iran’s military capabilities then, which he maintains were far less advanced than they are now.
“These ads are from statements made eight years ago. I think events do change. I think Iran has always been a threat, but I think they are increasingly a threat,” Paul said in April, according to MSNBC. “So I’m not sure that it’s, my view has changed on whether Iran is a threat, I think Iran has become more of a threat over the past eight years.”
Iran has become a major campaign issue following Obama’s push to gain support for a multinational nuclear agreement with Iran.
Paul has faced criticism from some of his Republican presidential rivals over his past foreign policy positions. GOP presidential rival and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said last month that any prominent politician, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, could’ve made a better nuclear deal with Iran that Obama.
“Except maybe Rand Paul,” he said.
Paul’s campaign didn’t immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
The attack ad on Paul is at least the second major ad in the 2016 cycle to use the threat of nuclear annihilation to sway voters. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) released a video last month implying that a nuclear deal with Iran could lead to an attack.
Watch the video below:
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