Rand Paul: Clinton, Rubio both 'neoconservatives'

Story highlights

  • Rand Paul called both Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul neoconservatives Sunday
  • He blasted their support of intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts

Washington (CNN)Rand Paul says Hillary Clinton is a "neoconservative" -- just like Marco Rubio.

The Kentucky senator and GOP presidential candidate lumped Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, and Rubio, a surging Republican candidate, together on foreign policy -- criticizing them for being too willing to intervene in Middle Eastern conflicts in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday on "State of the Union."
Asked about Clinton, Paul said: "I see her as a neoconservative."
    "I see her and Rubio as being the same person," he said. "They both wanted a no-fly zone. They both have supported activity in Libya -- the war in Libya that toppled Gadhafi, an intervention that made us less safe.
    "They both have supported pouring arms into the Syrian civil war, a mistake that I think allowed ISIS to grow stronger. And they both have supported the Iraq War. So I mean, what's the difference?"
    He was particularly critical of both Clinton and Rubio over Libya, saying the two had advocated an intervention that led to instability and turned the country into fertile territory for ISIS.
    "I fault Hillary Clinton. I fault President Obama. But I also fault the neoconservatives within my party like Rubio who have been eager for war in Libya, in Syria, in Iraq, and they want a no-fly zone in an airspace where Russia is already flying," Paul said.
    "It's a foolhardy notion, and people really -- this is the kind of stepping it up to a debate over who would best be commander in chief that we really need in our country," he added.
    Paul also took a shot at Rubio over an immigration bill he once sponsored with New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, which included a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
    "He was a coauthor of the bill -- I mean it was the Rubio bill, the Rubio-Schumer bill," Paul said. "So he does have to explain it. I think it will be a big part of things."