July 8th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
12 years ago

Palin, Paul expose rift in Tea Party

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/08/art.paulpalin.gi.jpg caption =" Palin and Paul, two celebrities of the tea party movement, differ markedly on military spending."](CNN) – Sarah Palin and Ron Paul are two darlings of the Tea Party movement, but their views on military spending could hardly be more different.

Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, invokes the importance of a strong and robust military in speech after speech, while Paul, the libertarian Republican who rocketed to the national scene during the 2008 presidential race, has long argued for drastic cuts in defense spending.

It's a schism that has long existed within the GOP's fold – between hawkish conservatives and spend-weary Republicans – but one which the Tea Party movement's diverse coalition and varied figure heads have specifically laid bare over the past year.

The division is especially apparent this week as Paul, whom many in the Tea Party movement hope mounts another bid for president, is teaming up with Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat, to call for substantial cuts in U.S. military spending.

Paul and Frank are calling for the removal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as former war zones in Germany, Japan, and South Korea. The two congressmen say if that is done, $1 trillion in U.S. tax-payer money will be saved over the next 10 years.

"I think it is a great idea, because that is what I have been arguing for a long time," Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room Wednesday. "And I'm always looking for an opportunity to bring progressive Democrats together with some conservative libertarian types, because there are places where we can agree. And I think this is a very important place to start."

In the same interview, Paul specifically targeted the war in Afghanistan – widely supported in the Republican Party – saying it "makes no sense whatsoever" and is "not in the interest of our national security."

"Even our CIA now says there are very few if any al Qaeda in Afghanistan," said Paul. "They've chased them all over to Pakistan. Where are you going to chase them to? Take over Pakistan? Then Yemen and then Somalia? We just don't need to be the world's policeman. I think we are digging a hole for ourselves."

But at the same time Paul reiterates his across-the-board fiscal conservatism, Palin is making moves to ensure the Tea Party does not articulate an agenda that includes advocating for military spending cuts, even as the movement's larger agenda is focused on reigning in government spending.

In a speech before a conservative gathering in Virginia late last month, Palin stressed that while the "Obama-Reid-Pelosi spending machine" must be tempered, spending on the military should remain strong.

"We must make sure that we do nothing to undermine the effectiveness of our military. If we lose wars, if we lose the ability to deter adversaries, if we lose the ability to provide security for ourselves and for our allies, we risk losing all that makes America great. That is a price we cannot afford to pay," she said at the event, according to the Washington Post.

In the same speech, Palin took aim at Defense Secretary Robert Gates who has suggested spending cuts.

"Secretary Gates recently spoke about the future of the U.S. Navy. He said we have to ask whether the nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 [billion] to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines and $11 billion carrier…well, my answer is pretty simple: Yes, we can and yes, we do, because we must," she said.

Perhaps the ultimate question is whether Paul and Palin can remain amongst the Tea Party movement's most prominent leaders while articulating such opposite philosophies.

Filed under: Popular Posts • Ron Paul • Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. John D

    That says it all! Paul is teaming up with BARNEY FRANK! What a useless moron this guy is showing himself to be.

    July 8, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. sue pierce

    Palins days are numbered as a legimate voice in the political arena. Being involved in the mental health field for 23 yrs. it is apparent that she will burn herself out .

    July 8, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. drednm

    two morons for the price of one.....

    July 8, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Jerry

    With all the other great news like the nasa muslim story, BP donates tons of dough to Obama ect ect. I like both Ron and Sarah and if any sane person really listened to what they are saying they would also see the best option. Mark Twain said it well, the difference between a liberal and a conservative is twenty years.

    July 8, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Karen

    The Republicans NEED to find a STRONG candidate, not Palin or Paul, and try to win the election. A third party will give the decision to the worst candidate.

    July 8, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Johnny Five

    The Tea Party did NOT produce Ron Paul. The Tea Party started BECAUSE of Ron Paul. It really started as a way for the big government Republicans to try and steal Ron Pauls momentum and steer the GOPers back into their grasp. Will it work? We'll find out.

    July 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Don

    A rift? Really? Its really a bunch of fodder for our friends to make fun of at The Comedy Channel! At least Congressman Paul is able to reach across the aisle to try and delete unneccesary military programs; Sara Palin needs to be in the local mental institution and on serious prescription medication! She is just as crazy as former senator Joe McCarthy.

    July 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. magtig

    I absolutely agree with Paul, and although I'm fairly liberal, there are very small parts of the tea party agenda that do make sense.

    Here's a stunning fact: the US is obviously the top in military spending, in fact, we spend more than then next 15 top spenders... COMBINED. Imagine if we used even a quarter of that to research a cure for AIDS or cancer, or hell, do something fun like explore outer space, or if that's too crazy for you, how about the depths of our oceans... OR... and this is really crazy, maybe we could figure out how to get food and shelter to every single person in this country, not one excluded. Ok, that's my runon sentence/rant for the morning.

    July 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. g.i. jane

    The only real patriot in the mix for the next Presidential
    election is Sarah Palin. She may not be the brightest
    bulb but her heart is in the right place. You can't say that
    for the rest of the field.

    July 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Bernice

    Oh yeah, the repubs are scraping the bottom of the barrell just to even consider dingaling Palin..What a shame we have people that follow & believe in her unamerican venom she spews..I hope they'll wake up and Just ask Palin to come to the Tea Party meeting at her own expense...They'll feel her love real fast...
    Go O'Bama, fix this awful mess Repubs have done to our country..

    July 8, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Nick

    Barney Frank is an Independent, not a Democrat. How on God's Green Earth are you guys qualified to report political news if you can't even get party affiliations correct?

    July 8, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Mboma

    I'm a democrat who loved Ron Paul until his son came on the scene. Judging from his son's utterances, Ron Paul didn't do a good job at home and may not do a good job running this country.

    July 8, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Obama's Conscience

    Could someone explain why the Obama administration sees fit to take Arizona to court for enforcing its own federal immigration law, while giving a pass to those sanctuary cities who blatantly refuse to enforce it?

    July 8, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. lolo

    Who cares what these two think. However I do agree with Paul. As for Ms. Palin. She speaks nothing. Some of you on here are just as ridicolous as she is. It is amazing how you tout for more wars. I do not see any of you over there risking your lives. The U.S. needs to stay out of other countries business and take care of their own. Taxes would be less if less was spent on the military. Our men and women need exstensive training and better equipment to protect themselves, but it is okay to send them to war unprepared. Spend the money on that. I really am in shock as to what some of you are submitting. Quit blaming Liberals and the media. Think and get educated for yourselves. Also the reason nothing is getting done is because there is always a no answer. No one on the Hill is working together. This is what you should be mad about. Make the politicians work for the American people, not for themselves. Please get a grip on life before it is too late.

    July 8, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. hjs3

    Pentagon Budget falls into that $ 6+B a year neighborhood that we know about...

    These budgets apparently are almost sacrosanct but passed awfully fast despite waste and stuff that's running???% over budget, late and sometimes doesn't even work...

    If you think lobbyists and special interests came outta the woodwork for H/C you ain't seen nothing yet with the military industrial complex types.

    July 8, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Eric

    Count on CNN to manufacture a controversy where one doesn't exist, especially when their chosen party is on the ropes.

    I suppose this is to hide the fact that socialism, liberals, "progressives" and democrats in general are polling so badly it is obvious the Democrat party is trending toward an electoral beatdown that make 1994 look like the shift change at Denny's.

    July 8, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Mike in Texas

    The tag of 'Party' does not properly represent the movement's identity.
    This movement is a coalition of U.S Citizens that demand that their elected officials represent them and protect their liberties, rights, and the sovereignty of the nation, state, communities, and citizens.
    The Democrats, Republicans, National and International organizations are working to hijack or discredit the movement by consolidating it behind a face or tag that can be bolstered or maligned.

    July 8, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Mike

    Why is Palin even a respected voice on the military? She knows very little about the history of this country, no less the ins and outs of a military budget. Being an independant it is fun to watch her continue to hold down the republican party. No sane educated person would ever support her!

    July 8, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Montgomery

    Paul does not have wide enough appeal and Palin isn't going to run as she is making too much money talking about the loons on the left. Republicans nationally would not vote for Paul and Palin won't run but isn't experience enough just like the incompetent boob thats POTUS now.

    July 8, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. PeterS

    I don't know why CNN just doesn't change the name "Ticker" to "Palin's Pad". Seems that Ms Palin is all the CNN can find in the field of politics to talk about.

    July 8, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Gina

    How about we get out of Afghanistan, close foriegn bases we no longer strategically need, re-evaluate weapons and military equipment on hand but keep the budget the same. A whole lot of bases could be upgraded and medical facilities improved. Spend the money on the military personnel and families. The military needs to be kept strong, mentally, physically and materially. We risk too much internationally with a military that is weakened.

    July 8, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Jon

    Sarah Palin knows nothing about this issue and it scares me very much that so many people in this country would make her the commander in chief of the military.

    July 8, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Shucks

    Oh it is just such a tragedy that noone understands the tea party, not even the tea party itself or it's leaders. I guess what that really tells Americans it that the tea party really doesn't have a clue what they stand for, what they want to achieve other than to strive for the failure of this administration due to it's apparent color. And to move this country backwards to a time when the only people that counted were white, christian, men, with no regards to laws or liberties.

    July 8, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. PDXSerric

    Here’s the scariest thing about Sarah Palin: she abandoned her job as governor in favor of celebrity status. She focuses not on real political issues but sensationalism and sound bites. She goes wherever the money is and has no problem using fear, speculation, fabrication and lies as tools of the trade.

    And she almost because our Vice President.

    How is it people still adore her? If she were in the second most powerful seat of the nation… I shudder at the thought of it all. And I am still PO’d at McCain for not vetting her. He wanted a gimmick to swing votes and banked that she was it. Such people have no place creating law in this country.

    July 8, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. David

    Just what I would expect from CNN.Find an issue of difference and put supporters of Paul and Palin into a cagematch smackdown lock the gate and let them rip each other to pieces.Palin and Paul as their records and statements prove, have more in agreemant than they have in disagreement by far.However just make supporters dwell on a potential 2012 faceoff, rather than share the things they stand for, that are exactly what America needs.I hope one of these 2 wins it all in 2012 and would gladly support either or.

    July 8, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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