Rand Paul is not going to take insults from the Republican Party’s hawkish senators lying down. During a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox News, the GOP presidential candidate blasted Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain as “lapdogs” for President Barack Obama‘s policies.
On Monday morning, Sen. Graham told Morning Joe that Paul is “more wrong than right” on foreign policy, and that “even Obama” is stronger than the libertarian-leaning senator when it comes to dealing with threats abroad. The U.S. Senator from South Carolina accused Sen. Paul of wanting to “lead from behind” on global issues. Additionally, Sen. McCain — Graham’s best friend for life — charged that Paul “just doesn’t understand” foreign policy.
Paul fired back at both senators during an interview with Fox’s Bill Hemmer (emphasis added):
This comes from a group of people wrong about every policy issue over the last couple decades. I’ll give you a couple examples where they support the president’s foreign policy and I don’t: They supported Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya; they supported President Obama’s bombing of Assad; they also support President Obama’s foreign aid to countries that hate us. So if there is anyone who is most opposed to President Obama’s foreign policy, it’s me. People who call loudest to criticize me are great proponents of President Obama’s foreign policy — they just want to do it ten times over. I’m only one actually standing up and saying the war in Libya was a mistake; the bombing of Assad would make ISIS stronger; the arms to the Islamic rebels would make ISIS stronger. So I’m really the one standing up to President Obama. And these people are essentially the lapdogs for President Obama and I think they’re sensitive about that.
Apparently forgetting that “interventionist vs. isolationist” is a false dichotomy, Hemmer asked Paul to define himself as one of the two.
“I’m a reagan republican,” Paul responded. “I believe in strong national defense, I believe in peace through strength. I think that intervention is not always the answer and that some interventions lead to unintended consequences.” The senator outlined the various negative results of American action in Libya, Syria, and described how his critics often want to “bomb both sides” of an ongoing struggle abroad.
“Their foreign policy is so disjointed, confusing, and chaotic,” he continued of his intra-party foes, “that really people need to reexamine those who want to be involved with any war. I think we get involved when there’s an American interest. I think we have to militarily stop ISIS. But i’m sad that ISIS got a lot of weapons from interventionists in my party and the president who gave them weapons indirectly.”
Watch below, via Fox News:
[Image via Fox/screengrab]
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