Rand Paul challenges Hillary Clinton in key Iowa speech

May 12, 2013

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Presidential elections start in Iowa.

On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul put his stake in the ground for a possible run in 2016 by mocking the Obama administration and delivering a blistering critique of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The administration has been criticized for failing to provide security during the attack and for its characterization of the incident afterward.

Speaking at the Iowa GOP’s annual Lincoln Dinner, Paul questioned the initial response to the attacks and asked, “First question to Hillary Clinton: Where in the hell were the Marines?”

“It was inexcusable, it was a dereliction of duty, and it should preclude her from holding higher office,” the Kentucky Republican added to loud applause.

Republicans’ search for a candidate to deliver their first victory in a presidential election since 2004 began as Paul used the plum speaking slot to plant the seeds for his own possible bid. And he won his biggest applause by taking on Clinton, who’s seen as the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Barack Obama.

Paul was just elected to the Senate in 2010 and is perhaps best known as the son of the former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, whose two campaigns for president attracted a fervent, grassroots following that might translate to his son.

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