South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham came out swinging against Rand Paul in a wide-ranging foreign policy address Wednesday morning.
While speaking at the Atlantic Council, Graham outlined perhaps the most interventionist foreign policy of any 2016 GOP presidential contender, promising to “shape world events” rather than be “overwhelmed” by them.
Graham also used the speech to deliver a blistering attack on Paul, the Kentucky senator and Graham’s fellow 2016 presidential contender.
“To those on the Republican side who want us to become fortress America, I’m your worst choice,” Graham said. “To my friend Rand Paul, we agree on a lot but on this we disagree: He is the one voice in the Republican Party that I think has been weaker on national security than that of President Obama.”
Turning to the current negotiations to get a nuclear deal with Iran, Graham said Obama won’t get a good deal because he is “viewed as weak” by the Iranians and “uncertain” by America’s allies. Graham then hit Paul once again.
“I think everybody running except Rand Paul could get a better deal with the Iranians,” he said.
Paul’s foreign policy is viewed as the most non-interventionist of all the 2016 Republican presidential contenders.
“Today Sen. Graham shows how little he understands about American foreign policy and how to stop making the same mistakes,” Doug Stafford, chief strategist for Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, emailed The Daily Caller in response to Graham’s comments.
“The greatest threat to American national security is our debt, and unlike Sen. Graham, Sen. Rand Paul does not think the U.S. should continue sending our hard-earned tax dollars to warlords and nations that persecute Christians, women and minorities,” he continued. “What funds make it past the kickbacks, fraud, and embezzlement often end up supporting programs like French pastry classes in Iraq, or worse they fund the actions of oppressors. Meanwhile Sen. Graham supports the failed solutions of the past – more spending and more counterproductive nation building and policing the world.”
This post has been updated.