Rand Paul: Marco Rubio Opposed Extra Scrutiny on Foreign Visas that Will ‘Keep the Country Safe’

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to voters at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum September 18, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina. Eleven republican candidates each had twenty five minutes to talk to voters Friday at the Bons Secours Wellness arena in the upstate of South Carolina. (Photo by
Sean Rayford/Getty
Washington, DC

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his plan to introduce legislation that would stop the United States from taking in more refugees from Syria.

During his announcement detailing his legislation, he stressed how his competitor GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) opposed increased scrutiny on foreign visas in the past.

“I think it’s always been a mistake to arm the allies of ISIS,” Paul said on a conference call with a dozen reporters when asked about his thoughts on the strategy to combat ISIS.

I think it’s been a mistake to arm the allies of al Queda. And really, President Obama and Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have all agreed they wanted to arm the allies of ISIS, arm the allies of al Queda. I think that was a mistake and I think that allowed there to be a vacuum to form and I think it allowed them to grow.

Paul wasn’t done separating himself from Rubio.

“The other point that I would make is many of the ideas I have in this bill I introduced in the immigration bill and were opposed by Marco Rubio,” Paul said, referencing the failed Gang of Eight immigration bill that was largely pushed by Rubio in 2013.

“We instituted special screening for student visas because we were concerned with, [even] many years after 9-11, that we really don’t know whose studying here – whether they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Paul explained.

He added that roughly 40 percent of visa overstays contribute to the number of illegal immigrants in the United States and “you apply that to the refugees population – those that are visiting us from countries that have large jihadi movements – I think its very worrisome.”

Paul said, “This is still and will be a bone of contention between Marco Rubio and I that he’s basically opposed the extra scrutiny I think will keep the country safe.”