Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed President Barack Obama for not seeking congressional authorization to take military action against ISIS, and argued that the president’s declaration that he must act unilaterally “sounds really like something out of the bizarre third world where there is no rule of law” on Wednesday’s broadcast of “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
“This is the president who now says ‘if Congress won’t act, I must. I must act with or without authority because Congress won’t act.’ That sounds really like something out of the bizarre third world where there is no rule of law. He’s done it on Obamacare. He’s done it on immigration. Now he’s doing it on war powers. So, he is a reckless president who is acting in a lawless way. We can try through the court system, but ultimately the courts often say that you just have to un-elect him, that you have to do it through a political recourse,” Paul stated.
He added that “no intellectually honest person will say that when we voted in 2001, which I supported, going into Afghanistan to get the people who attacked us on 9/11, that that has anything remotely to do with today. I’m in support of going after ISIS. I think they threaten our consulate. I think they threaten our embassy, and they threaten American interests, but I’m for doing it legally and constitutionally, and I think he’s [Obama] dreaming if he thinks the 2001 vote on Afghanistan has anything remotely to do with what we’re doing now.”
Paul also said that Congress also deserves part of the blame for allowing executive power to grow unchecked, declaring “it’s not only the president’s to blame, it’s the Senate and the House for not acting on the use of authorization of force or a declaration of war. We have the power to do it. Typically, the president asks for it in a joint session of Congress. That’s what FDR did. He did the right thing … Obama could have acted in a constitutional way. He could have asked, but they are petrified by elections.”
Regarding his recent disagreements with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Paul said he was concerned about giving arms to the Syrian rebels, and that most of the weapons that had been given to them had “gone on through to ISIS … we don’t even know who the head of the Free Syrian Army is, there are three different who say they’re the head of the Free Syrian Army.” And that, “I don’t really want to make it [my disagreement with McCain] personal, but we do have some disagreements … I’ve been called a whacko bird. I’ve been called a terrorist. I’m willing to engage, but just more on policy, and less on personalities.”
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