(CNN) – Republican Rep. Peter King of New York fired back at Sen. Rand Paul, who accused him of being part of a Republican wing that’s “all for blowing up stuff, but not too concerned with fiscal responsibility.”
The longtime congressman from Long Island argued Paul and his libertarian-leaning views on foreign policy were making “America the enemy.”
“I'm afraid that's what Senator Paul is going to do with us,” King said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” “He wants to retreat from the world. He wants to isolate ourselves, go back to a fortress America.”
Paul describes his views as non-interventionist, meaning he prefers to stay out of conflicts overseas but wants to keep national defense strong. He’s also big on cutting foreign aid. He proposed a measure to end federal assistance to Egypt over the ouster of its president by the military but it was defeated in the Senate Wednesday.
King said he’s worried that Paul’s faction of the Republican Party is too divisive.
“The Republicans had this debate back in the 1930s, when you had the isolationist and the Charles Lindberghs, and the Democrats had it in the 1960s when the anti-war movement blamed America first. In both cases it hurt the party for years,” he said.
The senator from Kentucky also criticized efforts by King and Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to get federal aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy for their states.
“You have to be willing to cut spending in other places, and Governor Christie and others have been part of this 'gimme gimme gimme', 'give me all this money,'" Paul said Tuesday on CNN.
But King said Paul wasn’t there after the storm hit New Jersey and New York and “never saw the devastation.”
“It's easy to say cut this or cut that, you can have an intelligence debate about it, but so far he hasn't shown very much intelligence,” he said.
– CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
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