Rand Paul: John Bolton is ‘totally unfit’ for secretary of state and Rudy Giuliani is ‘very similar’


Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Tuesday condemned two of President-elect Donald Trump‘s rumored candidates for secretary of state.

The Kentucky Republican, who made a failed bid for the White House in 2016, lambasted former UN Ambassador John Bolton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — both of whom have been reported to be top contenders for secretary of state.

Related: Paul on the 2016 campaign trail

2016 Republican presidential candidates George Pataki, former governor of New York, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, stand on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. The main debate of the top 11 GOP contenders in the polls follows the ‘kids’ table’ debate of candidates who didn’t make the cut. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and 2016 U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, questions John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, not pictured, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Senator Bob Corker, a key player in the congressional debate over the nuclear deal with Iran, told Secretary of State John Kerry that the Obama administration is engaging in hyperbole to sell it. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks during a rally to formally announce his presidential campaign at the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Paul, 52, becomes the second Republican, and second freshman senator to join the 2016 presidential race. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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After calling him a “menace” in an op-ed earlier Tuesday, Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Bolton was “totally unfit” to be secretary of state.

“I couldn’t vote for Bolton unless he repudiated his support for the Iraq War and repudiated his support for regime change in the Middle East, repudiating his call for immediately bombing Iran,” Paul said. “I mean really, you want a diplomat in charge of diplomacy, you don’t want a bomb-thrower. So no, John Bolton is totally unfit to be secretary of state, and I hope that the Trump administration will say ‘you know what, he does not represent what Donald Trump represents.'”

Bolton, who worked in George W. Bush’s administration, is a proud and vocal proponent of the Iraq War, which Trump routinely disavowed along the campaign trail, insisting that he was against it from the onset, even though prior statements showed otherwise.

Moving on to Giuliani, Paul said it would be “a stiff uphill climb” for him to vote for confirmation of the top Trump ally, citing his approval of the Iraq War and his ties to foreign governments, calling it “worrisome” because “that was a big complaint of ours with Hillary Clinton.”

“And the thing Donald Trump said over and over again was that he was opposed to the Iraq War, and regime change at least was not a good idea,” Paul said. “And yet, I don’t see Giuliani coming out with statements like that, I certainly don’t see John Bolton, I think both of them have been big cheerleaders for the Iraq War and more regime change in the Middle East, so I think Donald Trump will pick someone who believes in what he said on the campaign trail, that the Iraq War was a mistake, regime change in the Middle East was a mistake.”

“Bolton and Giuliani are very similar,” he continued. “Bolton just has a more extensive cheerleading background with regard to war in the Middle East.”

He added that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, and President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haas would all be better for the job than Giuliani and Bolton.

Watch Paul’s comments below:

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