In a clip from last Friday’s episode of The Michael Smerconish Program, heard below, Kentucky Senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul turned down an opportunity to attack Donald Trump and instead criticized the foreign policy questions that Hugh Hewitt asked Trump on the radio last week.
For context, on last Thursday’s episode of The Hugh Hewitt Show, Hewitt asked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump about Iran’s Quds Force, which Trump confused for the Middle Eastern ethnic group the Kurds.
Hewitt, who has been tapped as a moderator for CNN’s September 16 Republican presidential debate, also quizzed Trump on the names of the leaders of several terrorists groups, prompting the billionaire real estate investor to admit that he had not studied them yet.
Following the interview, Trump blasted Hewitt on Twitter, accusing him of asking “gotcha’” questions.
Michael Smerconish asked Rand Paul, “Do you think it’s a ‘gotcha’ question if a presidential candidate is asked whether he or she knows the difference between the Quds and Kurds?”
Senator Paul, who reportedly wears a hearing aid, said that he is “not big on defending Donald Trump by any means” but that “it can be sometimes hard to hear the difference… between ‘Quds’ and ‘Kurds.’”
Paul took issue with how Hewitt asked Trump to identify a list of terrorist leaders by name. “I also do think that running through a list of every different Arabic name and asking somebody to respond to them is maybe a little bit of a game of gotcha,” said Paul.
Senator Paul added, “But I do think knowing the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah, knowing the difference between Shi’ites and Sunnis, and knowing a little bit of the history, or a significant amount of the history of what’s been going on in the Middle East, is important for our next leader.”
Paul concluded, “But some people do like to play games with names, and it’s a lot easier if you are prepared for the interview on one side and you know all the names and you have them in front of you on a piece of paper, versus surprising people with the names. So, like I say, I’m not into defending Donald Trump, and you won’t find it very often, but I do think some interviewers do like to play this game.”
For more election coverage, click here.