July 14th, 2014
10:13 AM ET
6 years ago

Perry vs. Paul: Round two

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is firing back at Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, in an escalation of a war of words between two potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders over U.S. foreign policy and the country's role in the bloody outbreak of fighting in Iraq.

"There are many things I like about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, including his stance on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. But apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly," Paul wrote in an op-ed that appeared Monday in Politico, taking aim at the much talked about eye-wear Perry's been sporting since last year.

"There are obviously many important events going on in the world right now, but with 60,000 foreign children streaming across the Texas border, I am surprised Governor Perry has apparently still found time to mischaracterize and attack my foreign policy," added the first-term senator who doesn't want the U.S. to be the world's policeman.

Paul's critics, such as Perry, liken it to outright isolationism.

"Curiously blind" and "wrong" is how Perry described Paul's foreign policy, in an op-ed Friday in the Washington Post.

"Governor Perry writes a fictionalized account of my foreign policy so mischaracterizing my views that I wonder if he’s even really read any of my policy papers," Paul fired back on Monday.

 

Perry criticizes Paul

This latest skirmish between the two men started with Perry's Washington Post op-ed.

"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 wrote. "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."

Three 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.

Perry wrote that Paul went "so far as to claim...that President Ronald Reagan's own doctrines would lead him to same conclusion," adding that , "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 wrote.

The longtime Texas governor is not running for re-election this year. Instead, recent moves and a higher public profile by Perry appear to be indicators that he will make a second run for the GOP presidential nomination. Perry's 2012 bid started strong, but thanks to a number of well publicized stumbles, his campaign crashed and burned.

Paul fires back

Paul responded to that in his op-ed Monday, writing, "some of Perry’s solutions for the current chaos in Iraq aren’t much different from what I’ve proposed, something he fails to mention. His solutions also aren’t much different from President Barack Obama’s, something he also fails to mention. Because interestingly enough, there aren’t that many good choices right now in dealing with this situation in Iraq."

And Paul wrote that Perry, along with many other Republicans, have misread Reagan's "peace through strength" doctrine.

"Strength does not always mean war. Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union-the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history-through strong diplomacy and moral leadership," Paul wrote.

"Reagan had no easy options either. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. Some of Reagan’s Republican champions today praise his rhetoric but forget his actions. Reagan was stern, but he wasn’t stupid. Reagan hated war, particularly the specter of nuclear war. Unlike his more hawkish critics-and there were many-Reagan was always thoughtful and cautious."

Paul, the son of three-time presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, is considered one of the frontrunners right now among the potential 2016 GOP White House hopefuls. While he's popular among many in the party's base, he also appears to enjoy some support from younger voters as he tries increase Republican Party outreach to groups that historically favor the Democratic Party.

A few hours after Paul's op-ed was posted, Perry's office responded.

"Gov. Perry understands that the interconnected world we live in has grown profoundly more dangerous over the last eight years. The American people know well the terrible price our nation has paid as the guarantors of peace and security in the world, but this is no time to turn from the internationalist traditions of Eisenhower and Reagan. Taking the wrong path would mean passing along a world even more dangerous and less secure than the one we live in today," said Perry spokesman Travis Considine.

Paul vs. Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in Monday on the Paul-Perry feud over Iraq. Paul, a critic of the former vice president, said last month that Cheney and former President George W. Bush should shoulder more of the blame than Obama for the new unrest in Iraq. Cheney fired back, calling Paul "an isolationist"

Monday, in an interview with Politico's Mike Allen, Cheney refused to take sides in the tiff between Paul and Perry, saying "I don’t plan today to endorse any candidates for president."

But the former vice president went on to say that "one of my great concerns is that we’ve gotten to the point where, within our own party, we have sort of an isolationist strain developing."

Cheney said that anyone who believes the U.S. can retreat from the international stage after 9/11 is misguided, adding that "I think isolationism is crazy."

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Shannon Travis contributed to this story

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Filed under: 2016 • Iraq • Rand Paul • Rick Perry
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Ol' Yeller

    "What evs"
    "Tom I – I'm not sure why you continue to engage a bitter old tired megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur and expect you would make any headway."

    How gallant of you to defend tom I by attacking me and making such silly statements when you have no idea of anything about me. I'm sure you will run off now (and probablty change your screen name back to tom I) and never be heard from again.
    You are obviously a brave and honorable individual (aka- what republicants think of themselves as, but is as far from reality as you can get).
    You should probably crawl back under your rock now.. you have made the most intelligent statement you are likely to ever make in your lifetime... other than maybe 'Guilty your honor, but in my defense I thought she was 13"

    July 14, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-I think your confused. I was calling out Longtimer`s double standard and you jumped in. All Im doing is explaining my comment to Longtimer and both sides make war. Rand Paul? So what if Rand Paul didn`t serve. Both sides have plenty of people that didn`t serve. That the key point.
    --------------------------
    Jumped in? Have you lost your little piece of mind? You called me out on it as if I had argued about it. That's your false reality kicking in again, smith.

    July 14, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    @Robyn Kord
    IT IS TIME to get away from war. The middle east has been fighting since the biblical age. NO ONE...not even the good ole USA can stop the religious wars. Move ALL our troops to the USA and put them on the border. Let them wipe each other off the map.
    ----------
    This is why free people must resist the current attempts by the religious christian right to transform the US into a Theocracy. We would become a lot like some of those Middle East hot spots.

    July 14, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Robert N. constant

    Rand Paul. Who is an apologist for the traitor Edward Snowden. Who wants to abolish Social Security and Medicare and strip the government to the point where the rich will have to pay little or no taxes. Who wants to legalize heroin. Who wants to abolish The Affordable Care Act. Who supports the platform of the National Gun Associations who think that Republican poster boy Joe the Plumber is right on when he says "Dead kids don't trump my second Amendment Rights." Rand Paul admitted lying to his fellow medical students so they would study the wrong things for an exam, and he would do better than they did. He called it "misinformation." Here you have a spoiled rich person without a clue of the needs of the society.
    Rick Perry. Who stood on a Republican fundraising stage and waved his six shooter around and suggested that Texas possibly should secede from the Union. Rick Perry who is solidly under the influence of the Military Industrial Complex, including Halliburton, who is a militarist of the first magnitude who made it clear he thought it a mistake to take our troops out of Iraq. Rick Perry who is NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer and made a fool of himself in the last Presidential debates.

    July 14, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. allon22

    Gov. Perry can flash all the Buddy Holly eyewear he wants. A pair of glasses does not equal intelligence.

    July 14, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-When have I ever stated I was Rand Paul fan?
    ---------------------------–
    You're an admitted "libertarian." It's something that is too pronounced and too prominent to hide, no matter how hard you might try disguise it. You're a Rand Lubber, and we all know it. You've got that libertarian halitosis, smith.

    July 14, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. stevetall

    Neat-o! Two idgits arguing about the multiple stupidities that each embraces. So funny to see this degenerate into a discussion of eyeware. Next thing you know, they'll be dissing each other's mothers. "Yo mama so fat,..."

    July 14, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. USAPeasant

    Interesting rebuttal by Paul the Younger. Though I disagree with his point, he does he some fair sub-points in there. I think this is a good debate that needs to be had. Imperialism vs Isolationism is a very major issue right now in regards to American foreign policy. The debate needs to be had. Makes me kinda curious what some of the other GOP and Democrat 2016 potentials have to opine on the issue.

    July 14, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. sly

    smith
    @Sly-Guess you forgot about Libya. That was all Obama and our military was actively involved there. Also, I like how you threw in the word "foreign" for the terrorist attacks. I guess that way the Boston Marathon Bombings don`t count. Basically, a load of fodder. Try again.
    ====
    Smith – you are correct about the terrorist attacks – I don't think we'll ever be able to stop the white right-wing domestic terrorists from killing Americans.

    Our enemy is certainly not Muslims – it's Christian Republican extremists – and they've killed thousands more than any Muslim attack.

    July 14, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Pandamonius

    @ComeOn2013
    either of them would make a great president! go GOP!!
    ----------–
    Not really, but thanks to the Tea Party's hijacking of the conservative base, we'll never have to worry about finding out. The dems don't have all the answers, but they do realize that the way to win elections is to not scare off independent and moderate voters. The Reps and TPs will continue winning in gerrymandered districts, but until they put forward a moderate canidate they will continue losing national elections.

    July 14, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Seems ironic that USA has BOASTED for decade after decade to the rest of the world just how “amazing” we are.
    How USA is the “best country in the world”...about how we have freedoms. Freedom of speech...freedom of religion..etc etc. Then when the poor people of other countries have a possible opportunity to come over here....we tell them, Go home.
    Ha! I’m not saying that we should allow anyone in...just that, in hind-sight, we are the ones to blame for telling the world for decades “this is the BEST place on earth”.

    July 14, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    @Robert N. constant

    Rand Paul. Who is an apologist for the traitor Edward Snowden. Who wants to abolish Social Security and Medicare and strip the government to the point where the rich will have to pay little or no taxes. Who wants to legalize heroin. Who wants to abolish The Affordable Care Act. Who supports the platform of the National Gun Associations who think that Republican poster boy Joe the Plumber is right on when he says "Dead kids don't trump my second Amendment Rights." Rand Paul admitted lying to his fellow medical students so they would study the wrong things for an exam, and he would do better than they did. He called it "misinformation." Here you have a spoiled rich person without a clue of the needs of the society.
    Rick Perry. Who stood on a Republican fundraising stage and waved his six shooter around and suggested that Texas possibly should secede from the Union. Rick Perry who is solidly under the influence of the Military Industrial Complex, including Halliburton, who is a militarist of the first magnitude who made it clear he thought it a mistake to take our troops out of Iraq. Rick Perry who is NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer and made a fool of himself in the last Presidential debates.

    Okay okay... you've managed to squeeze ALL of the positive things out of both of these nitwits... is there anything the republicants won't like about them though?
    (BTW- I'm all for TX seceding from the Union. They can form their little 4th reich down there without sullying America's name in the process. Then we can defeat them militarily in about 4 seconds - their greatest 'military victory' resulted in everyone on their side dying- then we can make them all indentured servants and make them slave for us for decades before we allow them to have citizenship. We will also point and laugh and accuse them of being 'disease ridden'... you know, the way they like to treat people).

    July 14, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. happythai707taj221

    Seems ironic that USA has BOASTED for decade after decade to the rest of the world just how “amazing” we are.
    How USA is the “best country in the world”...about how we have freedoms. Freedom of speech...freedom of religion..etc etc. Then when the poor people of other countries have a possible opportunity to come over here....we tell them, Go home.
    Ha! I’m not saying that we should allow anyone in...just that, in hind-sight, we are the ones to blame for telling the world for decades “this is the BEST place on earth”.

    July 14, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Bet if they were both given a pair of boxing gloves, and told to go out back and settle it once and for all, there'd be yellow streaks a mile wide up their back and chicken feathers everywhere.

    July 14, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. What evs

    Ol' Yeller

    "What evs"
    "Tom I – I'm not sure why you continue to engage a bitter old tired megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur and expect you would make any headway."

    How gallant of you to defend tom I by attacking me and making such silly statements when you have no idea of anything about me. I'm sure you will run off now (and probablty change your screen name back to tom I) and never be heard from again.
    You are obviously a brave and honorable individual (aka- what republicants think of themselves as, but is as far from reality as you can get).
    You should probably crawl back under your rock now.. you have made the most intelligent statement you are likely to ever make in your lifetime... other than maybe 'Guilty your honor, but in my defense I thought she was 13"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Just call'em like I see'um... Now just need to add "angry" to the list.

    July 14, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. guest

    @Ol' Yeller
    From reading your comment, I derive that you have pleasure in insulting anyone that does not think the same as you. You are a hater.
    .

    July 14, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Tom l

    Rudy said to smith:

    "Okay, I’ll bite, only because you’re making yourself look like a fool. Your worship, Rand Paul, has never serve"

    -–

    More projection of the liberal mindset. I have never seen where smith "worships" rand Paul.
    ============================================================================
    Fascinating. You seem to have intimately detailed information about the content of all of "smith's" posts, tom.

    July 14, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Mel

    Rick Perry is going to get Rachel Maddow to kick Paul's rear for insulting his lady glasses.

    July 14, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Crane Kick

    Rachel Maddow wants all white men dead. She is the world's most hateful bigot.

    July 14, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. What evs

    BTW- I'm all for TX seceding from the Union. They can form their little 4th reich down there without sullying America's name in the process. Then we can defeat them militarily in about 4 seconds – their greatest 'military victory' resulted in everyone on their side dying- then we can make them all indentured servants and make them slave for us for decades before we allow them to have citizenship. We will also point and laugh and accuse them of being 'disease ridden'... you know, the way they like to treat people).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Wow...proved out my observation(s) in just a few minutes... Your type just can't help themselves.

    July 14, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. smith

    @Rudy-Here we go again, you were wrong and now its time for the Rudy shuffle.

    July 14, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Ol' Yeller

    What evs
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Just call'em like I see'um... Now just need to add "angry" to the list.

    Angry? Why would I be angry (and I am far from a hater, guest. I cannot stand haters. I rail against the haters on here daily). Because I respond with tongue in cheek, biting humor to your blindside attack on me when I have never once posted anything in response to you... I am angry (insightfu, aren't we?)?
    Like my grandpappy used to say... If you wade barehanded into a dogfight and get bit... it aint the dog's fault.
    But you go right ahead and keep posting your little snide remarks at me... (it shows the level of your character, not mine).

    July 14, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Name

    So why is Mr. Perry wearing Medicaid issued corrective lenses when he most definantly earns more than 80K???lol.

    July 14, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. billmosby

    Physician, heal thyself.

    July 14, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Winston5

    If there is a comedy GOD...Rick Perry will run again !! Cannot wait !!

    July 14, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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