At the CNN Republican debate on Tuesday night, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) suggested that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) could start World War III if he were elected president.
Paul was asked to respond to Christie saying that he would implement a no-fly zone in Syria and shoot down Russian planes that violate it.
“I think if you’re in favour of World War III, you have your candidate,” Paul said, gesturing to Christie. “… What we want in a leader is someone with judgment, not someone who is so reckless as to stand on the stage and say yes, I’m jumping up and down, I’m going to shoot down Russian planes.”
Paul continued, saying that the US needs to confront Russia “from a position of strength,” not a “point of recklessness that would lead to war.”
He also got in a dig about the “Bridgegate” controversy, for which three former officials linked to Christie faced charges. Court documents showed that David Wildstein, a longtime Christie ally and former Port Authority executive, was involved in a scheme to punish a political rival by ordering lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.
“When we think about the judgment of someone who might want World War III, we might think about someone who might shut down a bridge because they don’t like their friends,” Paul said.
Christie shot back, seeming to attack Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“I’ll tell you what reckless is,” Christie said. “What reckless is is calling Assad a reformer.”
Earlier in the debate, Christie noted that Clinton had previously called Assad a “reformer.” In 2011, she said that “many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe [Assad] is a reformer.”
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