Jindal: Rand Paul 'unsuited' to be commander in chief

Rand Paul separates himself from GOP hawks
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Rand Paul separates himself from GOP hawks 02:21

Washington (CNN)Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took a swing at his would-be presidential primary foe Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday, calling the Kentucky senator "unsuited" to take over as commander in chief.

Jindal, who is expected to join the GOP fray next month, fired off the missive after Paul said Wednesday morning that "ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party."
"This is a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander in chief," Jindal said in a statement just hours later. "We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position."
    Jindal also slammed Paul's argument as "illogical," insisting instead that "evil and radical Islam" is the only source of ISIS. He also added, though, that President Barack Obama and leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton"exacerbate" ISIS.
    "The next President's job is to have the discipline and strength to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth. It has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating radical Islam, and it's time for the rest of us to say it," Jindal said.
    Paul's camp fired back later Wednesday, with Paul's senior adviser Doug Stafford calling Jindal's attack "ironic" given Jindal's "flip-flops on crucial issues like Common Core and national security."
    Jindal previously supported the federal Common Core educational standards, but has since become the anti-Common Core movement's most vocal advocate. And Jindal also warmed this week to the idea of rolling back domestic surveillance programs -- ones he appeared to wholeheartedly support just two years ago.
    "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," Stafford said.
    Paul argued Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that hawks in the Republican party "gave arms indiscriminately" in the region, weapons that Paul said were ultimately "snatched up" by ISIS. It was unclear if Paul was referring to weapons the U.S. provided to Iraqi security forces or the ones provided to Syrian rebels, both of which have ended up in ISIS hands throughout the conflict.
    Paul made the same argument about his party's hawks and their support for military intervention in Libya, pointing to Libya's ongoing instability where radical Islamist groups, including ISIS, have since seized the opportunity to expand.
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    Paul has faced criticism from his own party and the emerging 2016 field for sticking out on foreign policy issues. He has butted heads with Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is set to launch a bid for President next week, over stark differences on domestic surveillance and U.S. drone policy.
    And Paul has also struggled to shake off his label as an isolationist, insisting instead as he's entered the 2016 fray that he supports the U.S. fight against ISIS, but wants the U.S. to be cautious about launching military interventions abroad.
    Paul's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.