National Security

Rand Paul: ‘ISIS Exists and Grew Stronger Because of the Hawks in Our Party’

Presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said Wednesday on MSNBC that the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group "exists and grew stronger" because of hawkish members of the Republican Party, going on to say that they "created these people."

"A guy that works very closely with John McCain and is going to be running against you, we think he's going to be a heat-seeking Rand missile during the entire campaign, Lindsey Graham," said Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough. "Lindsey Graham would say ISIS exists because of people like Rand Paul who said, ‘Let's not go into Syria.' What do you say to Lindsey?"

"I would say it's exactly the opposite," Paul said. "ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party, who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS' job even easier. They created these people."

Paul said those same hawks "loved" Hillary Clinton's war in Libya. Paul has made it a point of emphasis in his campaign to attack his own party, recently writing that the Republican brand "sucks" and is "broken."

"Everything that they've talked about in foreign policy, they've been wrong about for twenty years," Paul said. "And yet they have somehow the gall to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise."