Things could not have worked out much better for CNN on Monday night.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul – the voice of opposition to military action in Syria, a hot 2016 presidential talker, and one of the most popular members of Congress – was a guest on the network’s “Crossfire” debut.
And as Josh Feldman of Mediaite writes, he and fellow guest Sen. Robert Menendez (a Democrat from New Jersey, and current chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations) had a lot to talk about with Syria.
“Paul argued drawing the red line was a mistake on Obama’s part, while Menendez insisted that acting in Syria is critical, because if the United States looks the other way on chemical weapons, that would set a bad precedent for nations like Iran whom the U.S. has threatened about developing nuclear weapons…Paul told Menendez the potential tinderbox being set off is why ‘the president shouldn’t willy-nilly be drawing red lines,’ because ‘the more red lines you draw, and the more you let people go beyond it, the less your credibility is.’ Menendez shot back that the red line wasn’t just Obama’s, it was the world’s.”
This is a debate we’ve seen play out repeatedly over the last two weeks, and one that Paul has been 100 percent open and vocal about. He’s against U.S. military action in Syria, for a number of reasons, and is adamant that President Obama’s decision to go to war should be tied to Congress’ vote – not a real radical solution considering that’s what was written in the Constitution of the United States. President Obama wants to launch a limited military strike as retaliation for the use of chemical weapons – allegedly by President Bashar al-Assad against the rebel fighters – in the country’s civil war.
So Paul continued his push back against Washington on “Crossfire” Monday night. The show – returning to air after being canceled in 2005 – is now hosted by political consultant Stephanie Cutter, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
You can watch two clips of Paul on Monday night’s show, courtesy of CNN.
The first, Paul and Sen. Robert Menendez debating strategy in Syria.
The second, Paul and “Crossfire” host Stephanie Cutter go back and forth on the chemical weapons ban treaty.
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