Rand Paul: Bolton ‘Totally Unfit’ for Secretary of State — Giuliani ‘Very Similar’

Tuesday on CNN’s “Wolf,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said President-elect Donald Trump should not appoint former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani or the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as secretary of state.

Partial transcript as follows:

BLITZER: What’s your reaction to what was just reported about Rudy Giuliani, Former New York mayor. Do you think he would be a good secretary of state?

PAUL: Worrisome, ties to foreign governments. concern for many of us about Hillary Clinton and his ties and money received from foreign governments. This is very important. More important than that is I think Trump should pick a secretary of state that agrees with his foreign policy. The thing Donald Trump said over and over again was that he was opposed to the Iraq War. He learned that lesson that regime change in the Middle East was not a good idea. Yet I don’t see Giuliani coming out with statements like that. I certainly don’t see John Bolton. Both have been big cheerleaders for the Iraq War and more intervention in the Middle East. I hope Donald Trump will pick someone consistent with what he said on the campaign trail that the Iraq war was a mistake. Having a regime change in the Middle East is a mistake.

BLITZER: You’ve written sharp words criticizing him. Would you go so far as to vote not to confirm him as secretary of state if President-elect Trump goes ahead and nominates him?

PAUL: I couldn’t vote for Bolton unless he repudiated his vote for war in the Middle East, and regime change throughout the Middle East. You want a diplomat in charge of diplomacy, not a bomb thrower. So, no. John Bolton’s totally unfit to be secretary of state. And I hope that the Trump administration will say, ‘You know what? He does not represent what Donald Trump represents,’ which is change, and which is the understanding the Iraq War was a mistake, and that regime change in the Middle East has been a mistake.

BLITZER: Rudy Giuliani, what about him? Would you vote to confirm him?

PAUL: I think it’s less clear. I think Giuliani shares most of John Bolton’s statements toward Iran, toward the Iraq war. A stiff uphill climb for me with Giuliani. He’d have to convince me he understands now the Iraq War was a mistake and  I’ve never heard anything like that coming from him. Giuliani and Bolton are very similar. Bolton has a more extensive cheer leading  background with regard to the Middle East.

(h/t RCP Video)

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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