Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Monday fired back at fellow Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who accused Paul over the weekend of standing for “isolationist policies” that “would only endanger our national security.”
“There are many things I like about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, including his stance on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution,” Paul said. “But apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly.”
The new foreign policy feud between the two potential Republican presidential candidates began over the weekend when Perry took to The Washington Post to write a piece titled, “Isolationist policies make the threat of terrorism even greater.”
Perry’s attack on Paul signals a seriousness about running for president in 2016. By attacking Paul’s more restrained foreign policy, Perry is positioning himself as someone who could take up the mantle of the more hawkish wing of the GOP.
The Texas governor, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012, used the op-ed to accuse Paul of thinking “our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq.”
Paul, Perry said, is for a policy that ignores “the profound threat that the group now calling itself the Islamic State poses to the United States and the world.”
“In the face of the advancement of the Islamic State, Paul and others suggest the best approach to this 21st-century threat is to do next to nothing,” Perry argued. “I personally don’t believe in a wait-and-see foreign policy for the United States. Neither would Reagan.”
Paul responded to Perry with an op-ed in Politico, a D.C. website, titled, “Rick Perry Is Dead Wrong.”
“Governor Perry writes a fictionalized account of my foreign policy so mischaracterizing my views that I wonder if he’s even really read any of my policy papers,” Paul wrote.
The libertarian-leaning senator dismissed Perry’s argument that he’s for inaction against the Islamic State — the group of Islamic militants forcibly taking control of lands in Iraq.
“I support continuing our assistance to the government of Iraq, which include armaments and intelligence,” Paul said. “I support using advanced technology to prevent ISIS from becoming a threat. I also want to stop sending U.S. aid and arms to Islamic rebels in Syria who are allied with ISIS, something Perry doesn’t even address. I would argue that if anything, my ideas for this crisis are both stronger, and not rooted simply in bluster.”
Added Paul: “If the governor continues to insist that these proposals mean I’m somehow ‘ignoring ISIS,’ I’ll make it my personal policy to ignore Rick Perry’s opinions.”