Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had not said much about the attacks on France's Charlie Hebdo magazine and its journalists. A Thursday afternoon interview with Sean Hannity marked his longest response to the story, and Paul didn't waste the opportunity.
"I think what it points out to us is the utter barbarity of the people who are opposing us," said Paul—with the understanding that "us" was all Western civilization. "We need to do a lot of the things that we are doing already."
Paul was talking about existing spying and security policies, but he added another idea. "Maybe every Muslim immigrant that wishes to come to France shouldn’t have an open door," he said.
The suspects in this week's killings are not immigrants. Paul didn't contest that; he was endorsing the view that extremists have radicalized Muslims in Europe, and that fellow Muslims had not done enough to fight that. "There need to be civilized members of Islam who do step forward," said Paul, repeating his call for Arab countries to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. "I want to see every one of them on the front lines."
Prodded by Hannity, Paul also criticized Western publications that had decided against publishing the cartoons that Charle Hebdo's attackers cited as anti-Islam. The Western censors, said Paul, had to be "deaf, dumb and blind" to hold back. "I haven’t seen any Christians or Jews dragging Muslims through the streets, but I have seen the opposite."
Hannity finished with foreign policy after that, and started asking Paul more general questions about the next presidential race. That meant he missed out on asking Paul what he thought of his father Ron's reaction to the attacks, which the elder Paul shared on Newsmax this week.
"France has been a target for many, many years," Ron Paul said, "because they’ve been involved in foreign affairs in Libya, and they really prodded us along in—recently in Libya, but they’ve been involved in Algeria, so they’ve had attacks like this, you know, not infrequently. So, it does involve, you know, their foreign policy as well."
The former congressman's son stayed clear of that analysis.