Absurd Political Ad Claims Rand Paul Will Let Iran Nuke America

Paul can't win over neocons, but is he losing libertarians?



A political ad will air during the main Republican presidential debate on Fox News that claims Sen. Rand Paul would not only allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapon—he would permit a nuclear holocaust on American soil.

The ad is apparently sponsored by John Bolton's Foundation for American Security and Freedom, according to The Daily Caller. It can be viewed here. It shows an American family being killed in a nuclear blast on American soil. A clip from a Paul speech follows in which the senator claims "our national security is not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon."

The ad is especially unfair, given that Paul has joined all his rivals in opposing President Obama's deal with Iran. In fact, Paul may have isolated some of his libertarian supporters, who remain largely supportive of the Iran deal and are dissatisfied with the candidate's recent hawkish posturing on foreign policy.

As the Paul campaign told The New York Times:

Doug Stafford, a top adviser to Mr. Paul, said he had not seen the ad and could not comment on specifics, but noted that Mr. Paul had "clearly and repeatedly stated his opposition to the deal."

Mr. Stafford, the chief strategist for Mr. Paul, called the spot "a lie, unfortunately typical of the Washington machine. Just like Ronald Reagan, Rand Paul believes in peace through strength — and this administration did not negotiate from strength. They lifted sanctions too soon and ended up with a bad deal Senator Paul strenuously opposes."

In a just world, the ad would serve only as a reminder that Bolton and his neoconservative ilk are the true extremists, not Paul. But it remains to be see what kind of reception the ad receives.