July 12th, 2014
02:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Perry: Paul 'isolationist policies' are 'curiously blind,' 'wrong'

(CNN) - "Curiously blind" and "wrong."

Is Rick Perry previewing harsh political attacks against Rand Paul should the two potential 2016 presidential candidates square off in a debate over foreign policy?

The Republican governor of Texas used those and other choice words against the Kentucky Republican senator in a Friday opinion piece that singularly trained political fire on Paul, by name, among Republicans.

Firing back, an adviser for Paul said Perry is "mischaracterizing Senator Paul's foreign policy."

At issue: Paul's ideological preference for the United States to avoid engaging in many hotspots across the world. Critics, such as Perry, liken it to outright isolationism.

"As a veteran, and as a governor who has supported Texas National Guard deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I can understand the emotions behind isolationism. Many people are tired of war, and the urge to pull back is a natural, human reaction," Perry began his piece in the Washington Post. "Unfortunately, we live in a world where isolationist policies would only endanger our national security even further."

"That's why it's disheartening to hear fellow Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), suggest that our nation should ignore what's happening in Iraq."

A few weeks ago, during an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, Paul said: "I'm not willing to send my son into that mess."

"Let's not be involved in the Iraq civil war," Paul said, referring to weeks of violence across that country. Radical Sunni militants have battled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite government forces. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has not only gained ground in northern and western Iraq but also in Syria.

Perry took Paul's sentiments to task.

Noting "the main problem with this argument is that it means ignoring the profound threat that the group now calling itself the Islamic State poses to the United States and the world," the governor wrote. ". …This represents a real threat to our national security — to which Paul seems curiously blind — because any of these passport carriers can simply buy a plane ticket and show up in the United States without even a visa."

Perry then picked apart an opinion piece Paul recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal arguing against U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

Writing that Paul went "so far as to claim…that President Ronald Reagan's own doctrines would lead him to same conclusion," Perry said, "his analysis is wrong. Paul conveniently omitted Reagan's long internationalist record of leading the world with moral and strategic clarity."

And in perhaps one of his harshest critiques, Perry lumped Paul together with a favored political enemy of conservatives: President Barack Obama.

"Viewed together, Obama's policies have certainly led us to this dangerous point in Iraq and Syria, but Paul's brand of isolationism (or whatever term he prefers) would compound the threat of terrorism even further," Perry said.

Paul's team shot back at Perry's harsh criticism with stinging words of its own.

"60,000 children just invaded Texas, and their Governor has time to write an op ed in a Washington newspaper mischaracterizing Senator Paul's foreign policy,"  adviser Doug Stafford said in a statement to CNN, referring to the flood of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala surging into the United States along the southern border.  "Perhaps he should concentrate on the invasion of his Southern border."

Perry and Paul each are considering a 2016 presidential run. It would be Perry's second run.

CNN's Jason Sehrer and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.​


Filed under: 2016 • Foreign Policy • Rand Paul • Rick Perry
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. skinnyminnie

    I agree with Rand Paul on this issue.I wont send my kid either!

    July 12, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. rtrauben

    It's simple. Perry ifinances are supported by big oil
    So he is blind to the overall cost of his affiliation.

    July 12, 2014 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. Sdgman

    What a coincidence, rick perry is curiously stupid.

    July 12, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. DFW Dann

    Having served on active duty in the Army I am always worried about politicians who never served saying they "supported deployments." There's a reason John McCain is respected on both sides of the aisle. If Rick Perry really wants to support deployment he should sign up and serve himself.

    July 12, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. tejano2k

    Paul spoke well on behalf of most GOP and/or Tea Party hacks (i.e. Palin, Cruz, Bachmann, etc...) when he said, "I'm not willing to send my son into that mess". No, Mr. Paul, I'm sure you are not. However, you and your cronies will send "their (our) sons (and daughters)" in a heartbeat. Just go away.

    July 12, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. Mike S., New Orleans

    You can always count on a fellow Republican to destroy a fellow Republican.

    July 12, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Peter

    Perry said: ""Viewed together, Obama's policies have certainly led us to this dangerous point in Iraq and Syria"

    Like Republican policies did any better?

    July 12, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. dude

    try as he might, American will never forget, nor should forget, Rick Perry drunkenly examining a maple syrup bottle like a 12 year old stoner discovering playboy for the first time. He is unfit to lead a pack of mongrel dogs let along America

    July 12, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Name

    @Cindy the Feds are socially engineering us into exactly like the socialist East German Stasi state using false security as an excuse. This corrupt government within both sides would allow a terrorist attack just as the perfect excuse, wait a minute they already did Bush ignored memos about OBL determined to attack and the Boston bombers were under FBI surveillance. Your what Joseph Stalin called a useful idiot. The borders are wide open and you think the Feds care if somebody sneaks in a WMD?

    "Those who give up freedom for security deserves neither." – Benjamin Franklin.

    July 12, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. gil

    So what is Perry 's alternative to go to war with Iraq before he forgets it's name ??

    July 12, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. JFS3

    Forget the Dems and Repubs. When American begins to reinvest in AMERICA, we'll all be better off.

    July 12, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. Pander Bear

    Watching Rand Paul and Rick Perry debate would be like...watching Rand Paul and Rick Perry debate. There is no comparison stupid enough to draw a comparison between these two nitwits engaging in a debate.

    July 12, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Mr. Isolationist

    Remember the last republican president from Texas? The guy who invaded Iraq on a lie and wasted 2 trillion? And if you've been keeping up to speed on developments in Iraq- gee...that went well didn't it? That worked out great.

    "Mission Accomplished."

    July 12, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. nolimits33

    Texas leads the nation in uninsured children.

    July 12, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. sol

    well, the us could actually divert the monies we are spending overseas towards building advanced defense systems, and still have the money to rebuild and update our infrastructure..

    It would cost us less to grow stronger militarily, and yet at the same time grow stronger domestically.

    Perry just is blind, and of course wrong

    July 12, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. max

    Perry allowed an innocent person to be murdered.

    July 12, 2014 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. Bubba

    You can always count on the GOP to eat their own. For a supposedly Christian bunch, they seem to know nothing about tolerance. This shows the GOP's lack of Christian Compassion, and Human Intelligence.

    July 12, 2014 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. Commander in Chief - CIA0

    Isolationist? Are you kidding me? Obama is the one who breaks the rules of NAFTA, thumbing his nose at Canada. He is the one who says who ignored NAFTA rules and forced purchases of all bail-out $$$ to not include bids/offers from NAFTA partners in Canada, which is against the rules of NAFTA.

    Obama is the one who threatens the lives of all of our Military personnel, patriotic civilians (hello, how low can you get O.O),

    I thought Rick Perry may have been okay, but when I heard him say the Lord's Prayer with "Amen and Amen" and the end, instead of "Forever and ever, Amen" I had to expose him. 😛

    Those in Texas, and those of us up here, we live the same code. You don't mess with family, community and get away with it.

    Perry needs attention, he's nearly as desperate as Obummer is. Well, kiss our a$$es, the two of you. Pray you only get a punch to the face in an MMA match to raise money for our troops orphans and widows you all betrayed.

    July 12, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  19. gil

    Hey Perry , let me tell you what is the real danger to our national security .

    Politicians like you that can't even remember the programs you want to cut. telling us to forget how we lost 1 trillion Dollars, and thousands of American lives over phantom WMD's and non existent mushroom clouds .

    You , Dick and the rest of the Neo- Cons should be made to either pull up and go fight these endless wars yourselves with your own money , or get some shame and shut up .

    July 12, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  20. mike d

    Perry can't lace Paul's shoes. Perry is a neocon warmonger who cannot remember how to pronounce non-interventionist or what it means. Perry deserves not even deserve the same 1.2% he got last.

    July 12, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Young Man

    Rebels without a clue.

    July 12, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. SV

    Perry's solution to everything in Texas is to put up a toll booth in wealthy parts of the state so he can use the money in poorer parts of the state and let his friends make money off the entire deal. Wealth redistribution meets the good ole boy system. He LOVES it.

    July 12, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. Burnz

    @Cindy quiet please Mr. Koch.

    July 12, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Chris..E.al

    Perry should just tell a good old western then an yal dems would be on the border yeee haaaww ?

    July 12, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. DDR

    Hard to believe a guy who thinks a virgin shat out a god would hold to untenable positions.

    July 12, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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