Rep. Ron Paul, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in New Hampshire later today, said that as the nation’s commander-in-chief he would not have ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden, but instead would have worked closely with Pakistan to secure his capture.
“It was absolutely not necessary,” he said in a radio interview earlier this week.
Questioning the daring CIA-led operation that resulted in bin Laden’s death, the Texas congressman argued that the Obama Administration should have pursued the Al-Qaeda leader’s capture the same way it went after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us,” Paul told his radio audience.
Paul’s comments drew criticism from several Tea Party leaders, including Judson Phillips, founder of the for-profit Tea Party Nation. “If there is any doubt that Ron Paul should not even get near the Oval Office, even on a tour of the White House, he has just revealed it,”” said the Nashville lawyer.
The 75-year-old Paul, a longtime critic of U.S. foreign policy, will be mounting his third campaign for the presidency when he officially throws his hat in the ring later today. In addition to seeking the Republican nomination in 2008, he polled 432,000 votes as the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 1988.