Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul Just Kicked Off 2016's Climate Battle

Sen. Rand Paul is attacking Hillary Clinton's Thursday night comments on climate change in what may be a preview of battles during the 2016 presidential-election cycle.

Paul on Friday bashed Clinton's claims about the gravity of the threat of climate change, arguing that she's giving too little weight to terrorism.

"I don't think we really want a commander in chief who's battling climate change instead of terrorism," Paul, a Kentucky Republican weighing a White House bid, said in a Fox News appearance.

Clinton, speaking at a green-energy conference in Nevada, said, "Climate change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face."

Paul said the comment indicates that Clinton, who will be the heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination if she runs, isn't fit for the presidency.

"For her to be out there saying that the biggest threat to our safety and to our well-being is climate change, I think ... goes to the heart of the matter or whether or not she has the wisdom to lead the country, which I think it's obvious that she doesn't," he said during a segment on battling the radical Islamist group ISIS.

Paul isn't the first Republican to argue that a Democrat's views on the threat of climate change are evidence that their priorities are off-base.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and GOP Sen. John McCain both lambasted Secretary of State John Kerry in February after Kerry called climate change "perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction" and a threat on par with terrorism, epidemics, and other problems.