Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) predicted on Sunday that one of Hillary Clinton's biggest hurdles to winning the White House in 2016 will be one of her most famous lines from her 2008 campaign — the one about being ready to handle an international crisis in the middle of the night.
"I think precisely what some will say is her strength is actually her weakness: her tenure as secretary of state," Paul said on CBS. "There's one thing that people want as commander in chief: they want someone who will defend the country."
"And when her 3 a.m. moment came, when she was asked to defend Benghazi — not just that night, but for nine months leading up to Benghazi they were begging and pleading for more security — and I think the fact that she didn't provide that security will go to the heart of the matter of whether or not we should have her as commander in chief," Paul added.
Clinton famously released a campaign ad in 2008 boasting that she knew many foreign leaders, and would be the perfect person to have in the White House when a late-night call is placed there to warn of some new international crisis.
"It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep," the ad said. "Who do you want answering the phone?"
However, Clinton has been harshly criticized for how she handled the 2012 attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, which happened when she was secretary of state. As Paul pointed out, the State Department ignored some calls for tighter security at the diplomatic outpost in Libya, and after the attack happened, the Obama administration initially passed it off as a spontaneous protest of an anti-Muslim video.
Years later, Clinton is still at the center of the controversy, as she recently admitted to using a personal email system while she was at the State Department. And while Congress has demanded to see what it believes are missing emails from Clinton about Benghazi, Clinton has admitted to deleting 30,000 emails that she said are all personal, without letting a third party examine them first.
Clinton is expected to appear before the House Select Committee on Benghazi at least once, and possibly twice. Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has asked her to appear to talk only about her use of personal emails, and then wants her to appear again to talk about the Benghazi incident itself.