Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) presidential campaign fired back on Wednesday after one of his potential 2016 rivals fiercely attacked him.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) criticised Paul’s foreign policy statements in a 6-tweet tweetstorm earlier in the day. Doug Stafford, a senior Paul campaign adviser, responded by noting Jindal “cratered his own state’s economy.”
In the statement issued to Business Insider, Stafford also accused Jindal of flip-flopping on various issues, including his support for Paul’s policy positions.
“It’s ironic Gov Jindal would level such a charge when he flip-flops on crucial issues like common core and national security, and he has cratered his own state’s economy and budget. Just last week, Gov. Jindal spoke out in support of Sen. Paul and announced he now opposes the NSA’s illegal and unnecessary domestic bulk data collection, after previously cheerleading for it,” Stafford said.
The back-and-forth exchange between the two 2016 contenders began Wednesday morning, when Paul said Republican foreign policy hawks were responsible for the rise of the Islamic State jihadists (also known as ISIS) in the Middle East. Jindal took exception to Paul’s comments on Twitter and released a statement wherein he declared it “has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating Radical Islam and it’s time for the rest of us to say it.”
Despite Jindal’s criticism, Stafford doubled down on Paul’s remarks in his statement.
“As we have seen for the past few weeks, Senator Paul is the only Republican running it seems who is willing to learn from our mistakes in the Middle East in order to keep us safer and stronger,” he continued. “The American people are looking for a candidate who can express a coherent viewpoint, something Gov. Jindal and many other candidates have been unable to do thus far.”
Business Insider reached out to Jindal ‘s office and received a response from Timmy Teepell, a Jindal adviser. Among other things, Teepell criticised Paul for hiding “behind a staffer rather than defend his comments.”
“It’s astonishing that Sen. Paul will blame conservative Americans for the rise of ISIS but will hide behind a staffer rather than defend his comments,” he said. “This was clearly not a gaffe. What we’ve learned today is that Sen. Paul is to the left of President Obama and Hillary Clinton on foreign policy.”
Teepell went on to compare Paul unfavorably to President Barack Obama, who also sought the presidency with just one term in office.
“It is the kind of blame-America rhetoric we normally only hear from Hollywood celebrities and Al Jazeera commentators. Senator Paul is a one-term senator, with no executive experience, and we all know how that has worked out in the current administration,” he said.
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