A damaging video could haunt Rand Paul’s 2016 bid

Let me first state that I think the GOP’s foreign policy under George W. Bush was a disaster. I think many of you would agree with me that it would be better for the GOP to go back to a more modest foreign policy, similar to George Bush I.

And on this note, Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, has actually been a pretty good voice. He’s been calling on Republicans to second-guess the immediate impulse to solve international problems through military intervention.

But this video of Rand Paul from 2009 is pretty outrageous. In the video discovered by the leftist Mother Jones, he notes (correctly) that Dick Cheney, who served as Defense Secretary under the elder George Bush, did not support invading Iraq back in 1991. And that we all know that as Vice President under the younger George Bush, Dick Cheney changed his mind.

But Rand Paul thinks the reason Cheney changed his mind is pure greed. He thinks Cheney supported the war in Iraq only because of the money it made him. (Start video at 6:30)

I think Dick Cheney was dead wrong about the war, about torture, about just about everything on foreign policy. (And thank God that Cheney did not run for President!)

But I do not believe, for one minute, that he supported a bloody war only because it would pad his bank accounts. After all, Dick Cheney was rich before Halliburton. And if he never had worked for Halliburton, he would have made millions elsewhere. No, I think Cheney is a True Believer. After 9/11, Cheney was going to be an aggressive supporter of war, no matter what.

It’s videos like these which will likely prevent Rand Paul from the nomination. Enough Republicans are going to decide it’s not worth a gamble to nominate this man. Not just the rather amazing claim made in it, but the additional worry that more such videos will surface (with other rhetorical bombs).

I know that there are many Catholics worried about the omnipotent state who are attracted to Rand Paul’s call for scaling back government. But let this video be a warning that Rand Paul might not the best champion of your cause.


Categories:Election 2016

  • Steve Skojec

    So what’s worse:

    a.) Making the supposition that Cheney, a man who seems to lack scruples, was motivated by greed, when it is a known fact that war is a very profitable endeavor for financiers and titans of industry;


    b) Starting a war that cost thousands of lives, forced nearly a million Christians from the oldest Catholic community on earth out of their ancestral homeland, and further destabilized the middle east — all under the absolute thinnest evidence imaginable. (One might even argue that it was predicated on evidence that was known to be untrustworthy.)

    Seriously. This is what we’re weighing.

    At the very least, Iraq was a war that fell entirely outside any reasonable interpretation of Just War Doctrine. You lose at pre-emption. Full stop.

    So, if you’re going to give me those choices, I’ll take Rand every time. In fact, I’m not even sure I disagree with him.

    • Joshua Mercer

      Well, there is a difference between a war waged because of greed and a war waged on a viewpoint. Perhaps Cheney is fully out of his mind. George W. Bush, as stubborn as he is, would never admit that the entire Iraqi conflict was a mistake. (He likely feels if he admitted that, then men would have died in vein.) But I do think that George W. Bush would be far less likely to engage in the next war. Case in point: He shut Cheney out of most foreign policy decisions during the last two years of his administration.

      So to get back to the main point, there were many Republicans who believed at the beginning that the Iraqi war was a good and just cause who know think it was a mistake.

      It is far better for Rand Paul to encourage that thinking and develop the reasons why it was a mistake which we shouldn’t repeat rather than close many minds by saying: “Cheney did it for money.”

      It would seem that Rand Paul will have a role to play in preventing the GOP presidential candidates from going too hawkish (and that’s a good thing!). And he’ll improve the GOP field in other ways, like an emphasis on privacy (NSA). But ultimately I think he’ll be prevented from getting the nomination because of his tendency to make some statements which are just a little too outside the median Republican primary voter.

      • Steve Skojec

        Yes, I think Bush acted with sincerity. He was still wrong.

        My point is that we give a pass to every GOP guy with a nice haircut and terrible policy, just so long as he’s going to cater to all the interests that have allowed men like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, et. al., to stay in power for so long.

        We’re seriously considering Jeb Bush now? First, who needs a dynasty? Secondly, the guy says immigration is an “act of love” and he can’t find anything about Common Core he doesn’t like. Just for starters.

        This video of Rand Paul saying what a lot of people already think is a lot less controversial than any of that. Not to mention, he actually appeals to many of the voters that the old guard can’t, and won’t.

        Part of me wonders why we’re bringing this to people’s attention unless we want to help marginalize Rand. Because I don’t think what we’re going to like what we get in his place.

      • morganB

        Joshua, you say… Dubya
        kept “Cheney out of most foreign policy decisions during the last two years of his administration”.

        I say… by that time all the real damage was done.

        You say… “there were many Republicans who believed at the beginning that the Iraqi war was a good and just cause who now think it was a mistake”.

        I say… why only Republicans? It is well known that some in the congress who voted to fund the Iraq war were ignorant to the terrible human rights violations for hundreds of years by Arab warlords.

        Cheney is one duplicitous dude, but Rand Paul is no Ronald Reagan.

  • morganB

    “This video is currently unavailable”

    Even minus the video I have a vivid recall of the “W” administration and the people responsible for the Iraq invasion… GW Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Rove, Tenet, Wolfowitz, Franks, Meyers, and others.

    Those opposed… Secretary of State Colon Powell. Powell wanted Bush to defer the weapons inspections to UN forces. He also warned the president that he must have an exit strategy in any war. Bush did not comply and we spent many more American lives and treasure chasing a myth.

    Senator Paul has taken a stand against Cheney and the trumpeted up conflict. He made an untested charge that Cheney forced the war not only for ideological reasons, but for financial gain thru Halliburton. How these people sleep is amazing.

  • George

    It is refreshing to see this website finally acknowledge that immoral torture took place during the Bush administration. Not looking forward to 2016 talk already, but nice to see a better tenor of the discussions.

  • JL

    Let me get this straight. Because Paul, perhaps wrongly, accused Cheney of being motivated by greed, he’s not an adequate champion to combat an increasingly invasive centralized government?

    This is pure partisan nonsense from CatholicVote. Garbage like this should be removed if you think you’re truly a voice of unbiased, non-ideological Catholic political thought.

    • Joshua Mercer

      No, my point is that Rand Paul might not be the best ambassador for a cause if his judgment is this off base. It’s one thing to think Cheney made major mistakes (I agree). It’s another thing to think Cheney supported war only to get rich.

      • JL

        I don’t think Paul’s statement is that outlandish, even if it’s wrong. There certainly are particularities, which he raises, that at least lend some credibility to the notion that Cheney may have had a personal and monetary motive.

        So, I suppose I partially retract my previous statement by offering another option. Either your analysis, done with good intentions, is wrong and over-exaggerates a claim to Paul’s poor judgement, or it is a hit-piece.

        Who is a better ambassador to the cause?

      • Daniel

        I get that you think his judgment in this clip is screwy. But before writing him off by the possibility that more such clips will emerge, maybe you should just take this as one tick against him and only weigh the evidence as it appears. If this is the only thing you disagree with him on, he’s probably better than most.

        In addition, citing greed as a motivator does not imply that he wasn’t a true believer. You can believe in the war and still think of the padded wallet as a bonus.

    • Tom

      Spot on. This reeks of bias and partisanship. It’s unfortunate. This website should be promoting Catholic issues regardless of idealogical platforms.

  • Eric Johnson

    In my opinion, Dick Cheney was one of the most dangerous and unethical individuals ever. I may end up being a Rand Paul supporter.

    • Joshua Mercer

      I am not a fan of Cheney either.



Receive our updates via email.