Sen. Rand Paul wasn’t kidding when he said he would publish his future speeches “like college papers.”
In remarks released on Paul’s website Tuesday, Paul included 33 footnotes on his speech he delivered to the Citadel’s Corps of Cadets. The Kentucky Republican, whose Tuesday appearance marked his third visit this year to South Carolina, used the setting before cadets as an early test before potential GOP voters and to take an early jab at yet another possible 2016 heavy-hitter: Hillary Clinton.
“I find it inexcusable that security requests were denied. I find it a clear dereliction of duty. Failure to provide our Ambassador and his mission with adequate security should preclude her from ever holding high office again,” Paul said of the 2012 attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
In his speech, Paul also criticized the notion of sending foreign aid “to nations that burn our flag,” praised Israel’s loyalty, and said he will form a task force focused on modernizing and strengthening American troops.
Paul is not the only potential 2016 contender to lay the campaign groundwork in South Carolina. Tea Party rising star Ted Cruz has visited the Palmetto State twice.
A recent poll of South Carolina voters shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would lead the 2016 primary election six points over Paul, who placed third. Neither men have said yet if they plan to run for president, but both are seen as leaders who represent two separate factions of the Republican Party.
Cruz, who came in second in the South Carolina poll, has spent much of his recent time in Iowa, visiting three times in three months. He’s also taken his message to national television for his first late-night appearance on The Tonight Show.
Though Christie has not made any stops along the potential presidential campaign trail this year, South Carolina GOP Chairman Matt Moore said Christie planned to visit after his 2013 re-election in New Jersey.