Rand Paul responds to GOP criticism of his foreign policy views
April 22nd, 2014
04:52 PM ET
5 months ago

Rand Paul responds to GOP criticism of his foreign policy views

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul penned an op-ed for the conservative outlet National Review Online, responding to critiques of the Kentucky Republican from the very same publication and other right-leaning commentators who disagree with his non-interventionist views.

Paul, who's considering a presidential bid, argued that conservatism has long had a "strain of libertarianism" on the topic of foreign policy. To back him up, he referenced NRO's own founder, conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr.

"With regard to the Iraq War, Buckley came to believe not only that it was a mistake but that it was not a 'conservative' approach to foreign policy," he wrote. "In fact, in discussing foreign policy Buckley sounded quite the realist."

Paul has come under hot water after a 2009 video surfaced in which he made a speech suggesting that former Vice President Dick Cheney pushed for the Iraq War out of his own corporate interests with Halliburton, an oil field services company where he once served as CEO.

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, published an opinion piece last week titled, "Rand Paul's Foreign Policy: For the Situation Room or the Dorm Room?"

Lowry referenced the 2009 speech but also hit Paul over his record on foreign policy issues involving Russia, Iran, and Syria, blaming Paul for "dewy-eyed foolishness" and saying his views are "immature."

"Rand Paul is running in a party that, while chastened on foreign policy, still has a hawkish reflex – and not because it is beholden to Halliburton," Lowry wrote.

Swinging back, Paul argued that Buckley himself did not agree with the Iraq War, and he invoked another conservative legend, Ronald Regan, saying the former president was criticized for not being as hawkish as some had hoped.

"So as today's young aspiring Buckleyites sharpen their knives to carve up conservatives who propose a more realist and nuanced approach to foreign policy, they should realize they're also pointing daggers at some of their own," Paul wrote.


Filed under: 2016 • Rand Paul
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Rand Paul, who's considering a presidential bid, argued that conservatism has long had a "strain of libertarianism" on the topic of foreign policy.

    Why are the Libertarians the first to snivel and complain with the light in the light house goes dark ?

    April 22, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Bill

    Hail, Almighty Aqua Buddha. The clown car rolls on.

    April 22, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    What foreign policy??

    April 22, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    We must be ready to defend the USA! but nation building should not be the official business of america.

    April 22, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Thomas

    Rand Paul, who's considering a presidential bid, argued that conservatism has long had a "strain of libertarianism" on the topic of foreign policy.
    -–
    Why are the Libertarians the first to snivel and complain with the light in the light house goes dark ?
    --

    Because there isn't enough light for the chicken to cross the street....

    April 22, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. don in albuquerque

    Nothing conservative about being a conservative.

    April 22, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    -–republican foreign policy meant WARS. THESE GUYS DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE PAKISTAN IS, WHERE INDIA IS. These guys talk of foreign policy? Did they ever travel outside of USA? Pathetic.

    April 22, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. God MAY NOT be a Liberal, but He IS a Democrat

    A few years ago, wasn`t this man filling molars with silver? Why is he accorded any credibility on these topics of which he has no practical work OR life experience?

    April 22, 2014 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Does he know that he can't run for what will be a failed presidential bid and his current position?
    Good for the country but not so good for aynd's long lost brother

    April 22, 2014 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Gig Young

    Hasn't this half man had his 15 minutes yet?

    April 22, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. Navy Brass

    This guy inserts himself into every issue on every talk show... But...does anyone actually support him? He seems like another Ralph Nader to me. He can't be elected, but adores the attention.

    April 22, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. Jethro

    And he's right. Many members of the Republican party in the early 1900's were quite anti-war and "conservative." It's the Democrats who've traditionally been the war party.

    April 22, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  13. Claude

    It is fiscal reality, not mere politics, that dictates that our country needs to pursue a less interventionist foreign policy for the next couple of decades. GOP politicians in their twilight years, such as John McCain, may not care to acknowledge this reality, but the rest of us must face the fiscal facts.

    April 22, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. S. B. Stein

    The question is how does Paul respond to the charge of isolationism. We as a country can't retreat from the world. It sounds like that is what Paul is advocating.

    April 22, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  15. sasss31

    Rand Paul is a loon just like his anti-Semitic daddy. Rand Paul is simply more shrewd and willing to hide his views in an attempt to gain the support of a broader electorate. He has admitted this himself in an interview with... guess who... 9/11 truther ALEX JONES! hah! I hope that this isolationist loon who spouts "liberty" but in reality supports the oppression of other people and apologizes for rogue regimes decides to run for President. If and when he does, the media and others will start to delve into his past and the racists he has associated with directly as well as his admittance that he shares almost the same views as his loon daddy Ron Paul (among other things!). Looking forward to the Presidential election in seeing this loon exposed in the same way that his conspiracy theorist daddy was.

    April 23, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  16. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Can't wait to see Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Rove,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats Mitt the twit style.

    April 23, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  17. John From Brooklyn

    Rand Paul's hypocrisy is palpable. He has claimed to be rogue in his party for opposing the Iraq War YET has never once praised President Obama for ending it.

    April 23, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |