Rand Paul Explains His Iran Flip Flop

Now that Rand Paul is running for president he’s rapidly abandoning his previous positions so he can appeal to the Republican base. And boy, does he get all prickly when you point those things out. He jumped all over Savannah Guthrie for asking about his flip flops on aid to Israel and Iran. And he practically admits the real reason he’s done so:

“What I would say is, there has always been a threat of Iran gaining nuclear weapons and I think that’s greater now than it was many years ago. I think we should do everything we can to stop them,” Paul said to host Savannah Guthrie. But in 2007, Paul, then a surrogate for his father’s presidential campaign, told radio host Alex Jones that “Even our own intelligence community consensus opinion now is that they’re not a threat.” “You know, it’s ridiculous to think they’re a threat to our national security,” he added.

Asked to clarify the contradiction, Paul first bickered with the question, challenged Guthrie’s interview skills, and then reluctantly explained that he made his comments before he ran for office. “2007 was a long time ago and events do change over long periods of time,” Paul said. “We’re talking about a time when I wasn’t running for office, when I was helping someone else run for office.”

Yeah, he wasn’t running for president then! So it doesn’t matter what he said then, it only matters what he says now. And how dare you so rudely ask him to defend his many changes in position, you biased liberal reporter!

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    I actually didn’t have so much of a problem with his “bickering.” Guthrie was interrupting and talking over him, and that drives me crazy regardless of who is interviewing or being interviewed. If you ask a fucking question, give the interviewee a chance to fucking answer.

    And that is the extent to which I will defend this douchebag, especially if– as seems to be the case– this is something he only chooses to speak up about when being interviewed by a woman.

  • John Pieret

    He’s not flip-flopping, he’s … um … evolving … yeah, that’s the ticket!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Situational beliefs and pandering aside, someone changing their mind isn’t bad.

     

    Paul…told radio host Alex Jones…

    That. Now that’s bad.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yeah, that can be irritating. But if your interviewee is droning on and on just to change the subject, avoid the question and run out the clock, a little interruption here and there might be in order. If a reporter asks Cheney something about pre-Iraq-War intel, and Cheney starts calling his enemies “soft on America’s enemies” or otherwise changing the subject, I’d expect the reporter to cut in and at least try to get the interview back on-topic.

  • blf

    I don’t really mind someone “flip-flopping” (gads! I hate that term) as long as they have a coherent explanation for the change in position or belief. Ideally, of course, it is the result of evidence and/or a plausible line-of-argument — that is, based in reality — but even a basically absurd reason is sortof-Ok: “My cat barfed last night and I saw in the vomit Bilbo Baggins wielding Sting. That made me realize negotiating with the dark sorcerer known as the Necromancer is pointless. We must strong, like that brave hobbit, and attack dragons and orcs and the Necromancers of the Irans whereever they are!” (That’s coherent if you drink enough rum, which is a definition of “coherent”.)

    What is not Ok is the lack of a coherent reason, or reacting badly when asked to explain. As in this case, which seems to boil down to: “That was then, this is now, and you are not supposed to ask me that!”

  • dingojack

    If Rand Paul’s position on Iran is “evolving”, how come there’s still Ron Paul?

    Checkmate, Randalutionists!!

    Dingo

  • briandavis

    @2 John Pieret said:

    He’s not flip-flopping, he’s … um … evolving … yeah, that’s the ticket!

    That won’t go over well with the Repub base. Better to say that his talking points are being intelligently designed.

  • blf

    Better to say that his talking points are being intelligently designed.

    That implies he, or some of his minions, is actually thinking about them beforehand. Current impressions suggest otherwise.

  • eric13

    “…first bickered with the question, challenged Guthrie’s interview skills, and then reluctantly explained…”

    Politicians – especially the right-wing variety – do this sort of thing so often there should be a name for it. “Pulling a Palin”, perhaps?

  • Johnny Vector

    Here’s Juan Cole’s take on Paul’s middle east policy. It mostly makes him sound not terribly unreasonable, mostly. Except for this money quote:

    On Israel’s attack on Gaza, Rand Paul’s head was so far up Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ass that he knew which kind of hummus the PM had for lunch.

    So, somewhere between a true warmonger and an absolute non-interventionist. Which, y’know, probably reasonable. But you know what they say: Even a 50 Hz clock running on 60 Hz power is right three times a day.

  • StevoR

    Rand Paul Explains His Iran Flip Flop

    Huh? Rand is wearing what we Aussies call thongs* (on his feet) that he bought from Tehran or somewhere else in Persia?

    * Plastic sandals. Very comfy at the beach.

  • abb3w

    @-1, ThinkProgress

    Asked to clarify the contradiction, Paul first bickered with the question, challenged Guthrie’s interview skills, and then reluctantly explained that he made his comments before he ran for office.

    Denial, anger, bargaining…? Eh.

    I’m pretty sure this will fly to some degree. “When I said that, I was speaking as proxy for another, and thus had to keep any doubts that I had private.” He’ll get dinged slightly on the whackloon fringe for not having complete outspoken courage of his individual convictions at all times, but probably not much. It seems an ordinary political water-carrier decision.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Here’s something Rand Paul is NOT flip-flopping on: his total refusal to talk honestly (if at all) about racism and police misconduct. Rachael Maddow reports that he went to South Carolina and said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the recent police shooting there.

    “It’s gonna be really interesting to see how long does he get to keep getting credit for being a brave criminal justice reformer when he walks into the epicenter of a huge national discussion about race and criminal justice reform and he has absolutely nothing to say about it,” she added.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Raging Bee : Actually when you look at the facts, turns out Rand paul has commented on the murder of the unarmed fleeing Walter Scott by the cop. See :

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/08/rand-paul-walter-scott_n_7028658.html

    In plotting his White House run, Paul has actively courted minority communities and has co-sponsored a bill in the Senate asking for statistics related to white police officers unjustly killing African-Americans.

    But he said in the interview that these kinds of tragedies shouldn’t serve as an indictment on the behavior of police officers around the country.

    “I hope we don’t paint it with such a broad brush that we draw conclusions that may not be accurate,” Paul said.

    That was apparently from an interview in North Charleston South Carolina.