Who you calling a “lapdog”?
John McCain ripped Rand Paul Wednesday, calling the Kentucky senator the worst among the all the declared and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates when it comes to national security.
“Senator Paul is the worst possible candidate of the 20 or so that are running on the most important issue, which is national security,” McCain said on Fox News Channel’s “Your World With Neil Cavuto” Wednesday. “The record is very clear that he does not have an understanding of the needs or the threats of United States national security.”
The Arizona senator’s comments came a day after Paul called McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham “lapdogs for President Obama” on foreign policy.
“They supported Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya,” Paul said in an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Wednesday. “They supported President Obama’s bombing of Assad. They also support President Obama’s foreign aid to countries that hate us.
“I’m the only one actually standing up and saying the war in Libya was a mistake, the bombing of Assad would make ISIS stronger, the arms to the Islamic rebels would make ISIS stronger.” Paul continued: “These people are essentially the lapdogs for President Obama, and I think they’re sensitive about that.”
On Wednesday, McCain said Graham — who is considering a White House bid — is his first choice among the crop of potential GOP candidates for president.
“Lindsey Graham,” McCain said of his longtime friend. “Lindsey Graham. First, last and always.”
But McCain, who lost to President Barack Obama in 2008, grudgingly conceded he would support Paul if the libertarian-leaning senator won the Republican nomination.
“I would support the nominee for my party; I am a loyal Republican,“ McCain said. “[But] I would hope that good sense would prevail here, because the realities of the world today do not allow for isolationist policies. We’ve already seen what happens from ‘leading from behind,’ leading from far behind, and that’s what Rand Paul would do.”
Graham said he would support Paul, too.
“I will support him,” Graham told reporters during a briefing on Capitol Hill. "But if he’s the nominee of the party, we risk giving up the central issue of the 2016 campaign, which will be foreign policy.”