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Ron And Rand Paul Duel Over Root Causes Of Charlie Hebdo Attack

In responding to the Charlie Hebdo attack, Rand Paul distinguishes himself from his father on immigration, terrorism, and foreign policy.


Sen. Rand Paul is proving that the apple does fall far from the tree. While his father, Ron Paul, is out blaming France’s foreign policy for the Charlie Hebdo massacre due to its involvement in Libya, Paul the younger is putting the blame exactly where it needs to be: on radical Islam and the danger of open borders.

Robert Tracinski has written that Rand needs to tell his “dad to shut up” because France’s foreign interventions had nothing to do with the killings. It looks like Paul the younger is doing that—in a very subtle way, of course. Tracinski is right: Charlie Hebdo wasn’t attacked because of French foreign policy. It was to avenge the prophet Muhammad.

If you take the attackers’ own reported claims at face value, they were attacking to ‘avenge the prophet’ against insults from the tabloid’s cartoonists. And if you still don’t believe that this is the motive, British radical Anjem Choudary has taken to the pages of USA Today and helpfully explained to us that Islamists such as himself ‘do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression’ and regard blasphemy as a capital offense.

Rand Paul gets this. On Sean Hannity’s radio show Thursday, he said, “What it points out to us is the utter barbarity of the people who are opposing us. . . This barbarous aberration of religion is opposed to the free flow of ideas.” As such, he said, “civilized Islam” needs to speak out and condemn the shootings.

Not only that, France needs more border security. “You’ve got to secure your country. And that means maybe that every Muslim immigrant that wishes to come to France shouldn’t have an open door to come.”

Paul brought that message home: “It’s also my concern here. I think our border is a danger to attack, as well as our student visa program. Several of the attackers on 9/11 were here on student visas they had overstayed.”

Paul’s statement is a strong reminder of his position on immigration, setting himself apart from others in the GOP presidential field, such as pro-amnesty Jeb Bush.

Paul has stated, “I do not support amnesty, I support legal immigration and recognize that the country has been enriched by those who seek the freedom to make a life for themselves. However, millions of illegal immigrants are crossing our border without our knowledge and causing a clear threat to our national security. I want to work in the Senate to secure our border immediately. In addition, I support the creation of a border fence and increased border patrol capabilities.”

So, while Paul the elder is blaming foreign intervention for this attack, Paul the younger is steering clear of that view, and once again, distinguishing himself from his father and establishing himself as a viable and strong candidate for the presidency.