A top aide to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul rebutted a charge on Friday from the Democratic National Committee that the Republican senator was out-of-line to criticize President Barack Obama’s immigration policies while out of the country this week.
“Senator Paul did in Guatemala what he does every day in the United States — speak the truth,” Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to Paul, said in an email to The Daily Caller. “If the DNC and the White House don’t see that their shredding of the Constitution and abdication of responsibility for securing our border is the problem, they are the only ones.”
Paul — accompanied by staff, reporters and a film crew — traveled to Guatemala during the August recess for a mission trip. Paul, an ophthalmologist, offered pro-bono eye care to residents.
The Democratic National Committee, which has been ramping up its attacks on Paul ahead of his possible campaign for president in 2016, sent a memo to reporters Friday criticizing Paul for getting political on the trip.
“Rand Paul has made a big deal of his trip to Guatemala, where he is doing some much needed aid work to underserved communities,” said Michael Czin, the DNC press secretary. “While everyone should commend Paul for his aid work, it’s unfortunate he turned a trip organized by a well-respected eye center into a crass campaign photo op.”
Czin specifically argued that Paul should not have criticized Obama during the trip. “America has a proud tradition of letting politics stop at the water’s edge, but Paul doesn’t think that tradition applies to him,” he said. “Paul not only attacked President Obama while in a foreign country – he said it directly to the leader of another country.”
Paul criticized Obama during a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Breitbart.com reported.
“I told him, frankly, that I didn’t think the problem was in Guatemala City but that the problem was in the White House in our country, and that the mess we’ve got at the border is frankly because of the White House’s policies,” Paul told the outlet.