Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is actually a "neoconservative" in terms of foreign policy, just like his rising Republican rival Sen. Marco Rubio.
Paul, a Kentucky Republican with strong libertarian leanings, said that he sees Clinton's neoconservative foreign policy views as being identical to those of Rubio, criticizing them for being too wiling to intervene in Middle Eastern conflicts, reported The Washington Times.
"I see her as neoconservative," Paul told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "I see her and Rubio as being the same person."
Paul noted how Clinton and Rubio both support imposing an illegal no-fly zone in Syria and both support the arming of Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which he said has allowed the Islamic State group to grow stronger.
Paul said Clinton and Rubio have also both supported the Iraq War and the 2011 U.S intervention in Libya "that toppled Gadhafi, an intervention that made us less safe."
"So I mean, what's the difference?" Paul asked.
As secretary of state, Clinton was a leading advocate for arming Libyan rebels and ousting Gadhafi, which Paul was particularly critical of, saying it flooded the region with weapons, making it more unstable.
"I fault Hillary Clinton. I fault President Obama. But I also fault the neoconservatives within my party like Rubio who have been eager for war in Libya, in Syria, in Iraq, and they want a no-fly zone in an airspace where Russia is already flying," Paul said, according to CNN.
Paul warned that he believes Clinton is more inclined to go to war than any other presidential contender in the 2016 field.
"I think she's also the most likely of all the candidates to get us back involved in another war in the Middle East," he said.
Paul defined neoconservative as someone who believes in big government both domestically and internationally.
"Many of the big neoconservatives came out of a movement - they were Democrats mostly," he said. "They were some Marxists and socialists. But they were people who ultimately came to believe that we needed a big government involved internationally as well. So a neoconservative often is a big-government person for domestic policy and a big-government person for internationalism. And I think, actually, Hillary Clinton fits the bill probably better than any."