Rand Paul

Rick Perry Is at Least the 7th GOP Presidential Contender to Showily Attack Frontrunner Rand Paul's Foreign Policy


All about the framing. |||

As Ed Krayewski and J.D. Tuccille have both pointed out today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry went out of his way on Friday to single out for criticism the "isolationism" of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). If the sight of a putative 2016 GOP presidential aspirant explicitly defining himself in opposition to Paul's foreign policy looks familiar, that's because it is.

Here's a partial list of distancing exercises from the man whom Zogby Analytics last week asserted "is emerging as the frontrunner in this race." They are listed in chronological order, though I'm sure John Bolton (among others) probably slung more barbs back when he was first floated as an anti-Paul candidate. If you can think of other candidates, please add them in the comments.

He's younger than that now. |||

July 2013, Rep. Peter King (R-New York):

"A number of people in the last several months, particularly in New York but also around the country, were concerned about what they feel is a lack of a real defense policy or defense debate among Republican candidates for president, focusing primarily on Rand Paul and Ted Cruz," King said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." […]

"It bothers me when the leading Republicans out there, someone like Rand Paul, seems more concerned about an American being killed in Starbucks by a CIA drone than he is about Islamic terrorism[.]"

Not of me! |||

July 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

"As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought," Christie said.

November 2013, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida):

"On issue after issue, these voices have used the increasing uncertainty abroad and the economic insecurity here at home to argue for it's best for America to stay on the sidelines," Rubio said. "Now there's no denying that a globally engaged America comes at a steep price, but the history of our still young nation shows and is full of warnings that a lack of American engagement and leadership comes with an even higher price of it's own."

Our grandchildren will have no idea. |||

March 2014, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):

"I'm a big fan of Rand Paul. He and I are good friends. But I don't agree with him on foreign policy," Cruz said. "I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did… The United States has a responsibility to defend our values."

March 2014, Rick Santorum:

"I see the Rand Paul wing of the Republican Party for what it is: allied with Barack Obama's foreign policy. I think that's a very serious threat to our own security."

March 2014, John Bolton:

"[A]nyone who thinks Edward Snowden is a hero in unfit to serve."

July 2014, Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

[I]t's disheartening to hear fellow Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), suggest that our nation should ignore what's happening in Iraq. 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.

Reason has a long archive on Rand Paul's challenge to entrenched GOP foreign policy; begin here.

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  1. The last thing this country needs is a do-nothing president. We must have a do-something president.

    1. Damn you, sir.

  2. Looks like there is some fear of Rand brewing. It’s good news for the Agua Buddha.

  3. Where’s the Independents Thread?

    1. Maybe they heeded our taunts and stopped posting it at noon?

      1. Maybe they should heed our taints.

  4. The last thing this country needs is for presidential campaigns to start 3 fucking years early. I was already sick of the 2016 race in 2013. I might just have to quit visiting Reason for a year just so I don’t go nuts.

    1. Calm down, man. They have to talk about politics, and so, you know, it’s only natural since no other news source can keep their traps shut about 2016.

      I think even the Dems can’t wait to get rid of Obama.

      1. Even the republicans wanted to get rid of Bush the Lesser, but they got 8 more years of the mofo in blackface.

    2. Look, Jesus, go back to maybe possibly not existing and everything will be okay.

    3. Well it’s either that or millenials.

      1. Nicely disguised Hobson’s choice.

  5. Oh, and can I just say: Fuck Chris Christie.

    1. As often as you think right.

  6. Rand Paul’s irresponsible “sobriety” policy would give this country the shakes! We need just another hit of interventionism, and the world will be stabilized! Then we can quit, honest!

    1. +1 rationalization

    2. Well done there.

  7. The smell of fear.

    I’m beginning to think the “libertarian moment” may be a little bit more than just wishful thinking.

    While not perfect, I’ll vote for Rand without hesitation.

    1. “While not perfect, I’ll vote for Rand without hesitation.”

      Don’t worry, I’m sure Rand isn’t perfect either.


    2. WRT police and foreign policy, we’re getting closer. The sharing economy will bring about the libertarian moment in the economic sphere.

      1. Atlas Shared.

        1. Atlas Hugged

        2. I just had a vision of a ‘re-imagined’ AS (directed by Tim Burton?) involving an army of Atlases all saying “WE ARE LEGION”.

          1. And are they naked?

            1. Now I’m imaging them all with raging erections all pointing in the same place. Charlton Heston has no clue what the hell is going on here on The Planet of The Atlases and neither do I.

              1. We the Thrusting.

            2. I know i will be.

    3. I cant see myself voting if not for Rand getting the nomination.

      1. Rand Paul or Ayn Rand? I prefer Ayn Rand because (1) it’s time for a woman president and (2) she’s dead and therefore won’t be trying out any bright ideas.

  8. I think the poll-reading strategists who are advising these ‘contenders’* are complete fucking morons.

    I dont think anyone in the country is itching for foreign intervention in the vast variety of overseas clusterfucks, nor do they believe that *what this nation really needs* are inarticulate “do something” GOP boobs who talk tough but actually arent any more coherent about national policy than *fucking OBAMA* (who is himself probably the lamest foreign policy president on record, including Bush II)… and that by univocally repeating the same criticism of Rand Paul, are distinguishing *him* as the person with a distinct POV, and themselves as a bunch of sheep bleating in unison for lack of any other ideas.

    Maybe i’m wrong, and this is actually some super-secret plot to make RP look GOOD. Because the Stupid Party just got amazingly *clever*…?

    …. no.

    1. THIS. Foreign policy is Rand’s sleeper hit with both the GOP base and the nation at large. It can be Rand’s most devastating weapon against Hillary.

      1. Yes, I thought that too. That perhaps they are really out of touch and that Rand’s message may be heeded this time.

        1. Perhaps more importantly, it’s possibly the only area where a President can have real effect without needing massive Congressional cooperation. I don’t have any doubt a President Rand would make excellent judicial and cabinet appointments, but they require confirmation, and their work requires some degree of cooperation with Congress.

          Obama’s executive orders and rewriting of Obamacare only succeed because Congress is full of statists who like the precedent too much to argue with the details. They probably would not tolerate massive agency dissolves.

    2. Some of these guys think of themselves as Winston Churchill, pre-WWII, standing in the wilderness and trying to warn people to arm themselves against the Imminent-Threat-of-the-Month, and if their position is unpopular, so was Churchill’s.

      Churchill Churchill Churchill Hitler Hitler Hitler.

      1. Difference is, Churchill was right.

        Or, right, to a point, at least about that damned Austrian. Much as I think highly of Churchill’s leadership and oratory during the war, the imperial activities of the UK are a large part of the current mess in the mid-East.

        1. the imperial activities of the UK are a large part of the current mess in the mid-East everywhere.


          1. Why would the ME or most anywhere else be better off without British imperialism, the greatest civilizing force this world has ever seen?

            1. Unfortunately, such civilization as British imperialists tried to foster in the Middle East didn’t last very long.

            2. Are you fucking kidding me? British cartographers have killed more people than Hitler.

            3. Lol

            4. As a huge fan of British culture and legal theory, I’d like to agree, but the truth is, Imperial policies and mapmaking really fucked things up pretty well.

    3. I hope Gilmore is wrong, but we are talking about the GOP nomination here. There are some entrenched factions in the GOP that are going to attack anyone talking like the Pauls do about foreign policy. Remember the treatment his father got in the recent ones. The pro-military voters, the national security/neocon pundits/groups, and the pro-Israeli, they are going to go for the proverbial jugular.

      1. Well his father is a crazy idiot. Rand has a far more reality-centric FP approach.

        1. Lets let your silly insult to Ron pass for now, what substantive differences between Ron and Rand’s foreign policy do you see?

          1. No mention of blowback.

          2. Well for one Rand isn’t blaming the Ukraine conflict on the Jews ‘bankers’.

          3. Have you learned nothing from Obama’s rise?

            When it comes to electoral politicking, style is more important than substance. By a fucking mile.

            What Rand’s got, that pappy didn’t have is the ability to state a non-interventionist message without slipping into blaming America for the world’s ills. Frankly, he’d get a lot more traction if he dumbed it down even more by just saying that all the Achmeds in the middle east aren’t worth one America kid’s life.

    4. These contenders are shooting for the GOP primary voters which by tradition are a bunch of assholes. General opinion polls are for the general election.

  9. March 2014, Rick Santorum:

    “I see the Rand Paul wing of the Republican Party for what it is: allied with Barack Obama’s foreign policy. I think that’s a very serious threat to our own security.”

    They will do anything to hide the fact that most pols in both major parties are in lockstep on foreign policy. There may be some cosmetic differences, but other than clarity, what’s the real difference between Obama and Bush, or McCain and Hillary? I’d like to say that is one of the things Santorum said, but it probably wasn’t even the dumbest thing he said that week.

    1. Rand should be more aggressive in calling out his colleagues.

    2. One party starts decade-long wars based on lies and the other doesn’t? Mere cosmetics!

  10. Only one reference to Ronald Reagan in those seven? Shocking.

    1. Reagan Churchill Reagan Churchill Lincoln Reagan Churchill my penis is very large.

    2. Click on the links to read larger selections, which usually do involve Reagan.

  11. What a hilarious presidential campaign it would be if it were Hillary (the hawk) against Rand (the dove).

    I’d love to see the old switch-a-roo. Watching the left rationalize intervention so Hill can capture the Weekly Standard crowd. Her hawkishness is premised on their belief that a dove can’t win – so it’s opportunistic. I wonder if they’ve poll tested her stuff already.

    I’d rather lose with Rand Paul than win with any other Republican candidate.

    1. I’d rather win with Cruz than lose with Paul but I think Paul would be far more electable anyway.

    2. The thing is that intervenionism is a natural fit with the left’s overall ideology.

      Top men making the world safe for democracy and fairness.

      And non interventionism is a natural fit for the small government right (which is much larger than committed libertarians). The government fucks everything up except for foreign adventures – yeah right.

  12. Each one of those comments sounds like their typical soundbite, so I’ll give one back in return: “on the subject of American foreign policy, I’ll stand with Rand!” Or, to paraphrase Washington’s farewell address, while free trade is to be welcomed and sought out, the US would be far better off if we were to avoid foreign political and military entanglements.

    Rand / Amash 2016!

    1. Typically the VP represents another faction of the party in order to shore up disaffected base voters. Two libertarians are twice as “unelectable” as one unfortunately.

      1. I’m well aware of that, but since we’re all dreaming if we think that a libertarian will even get the number one slot, why not go for broke?

  13. The strange part about all this is that Paul’s foreign policy really isn’t that far afield of what was traditional Republican foreign policy until the last fifteen, maybe twenty years. The guy isn’t a hardcore non-interventionist. His policy pronouncements fall pretty solidly within the mainstream of geopolitical realism. Hell, Henry Kissinger gave his Heritage speech a positive review.

    1. Didn’t George H. Bush intervene in Panama, Somalia and some place in the middle east in a single term that ended more than 20 years ago?

      1. Bo, you probably aren’t old enough to remember. I am. Bush pere’s intervention in Somalia was a result of Congressional pressure. His reluctance to intervene was getting him labeled a racist. Doesn’t justify the intervention. It does suggest that not getting involved was the default response. And Panama was arguably justifiable as a defense of the Torrijos?Carter Treaties.

        1. You can say those things about a lot of our interventions in history. The bottom line is that in a single term over twenty years ago H. Bush oversaw three major interventions.

          1. As opposed to the last three years, when the neocons have advocated at least five interventions (Afghanistan [ongoing], Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine), all of which are a lot more tangental to U.S. strategic interests. Sure, Bo, there’s not an iota of difference between the two. You really are a disingenuous fuck, aren’t you.

            1. By the way, care to offer any evidence that Paul would refrain from either Desert Storm or Panama (I omit Somalia because acting out of political defeat isn’t indicative of a policy view)?

          2. Oh, and while we’re at it, “I see my foreign policy in the same line as what came out of probably the first George Bush… I see it coming out of mainstream of the Republican position.” – Rand Paul

          3. Panama was probably the most justified intervention in the last 50 years. The Panamanian government assaulted American citizens, unjustly detained, fired upon, and murdered military personnel, incited mobs against Americans in the country and declared war on the US — any of which is grounds for a non-interventionists to claim defense. Protecting the ~40,000 American citizens in a region which was US territory at the time from a government which had declared war on us was a legitimate foreign policy objective.

            This is without involving the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, Noriega’s human rights abuses, the fact that the intervention was supported by Panama’s population at the time and the overall success of the invasion in accomplishing its very modest goals.

  14. OT: Seventh Circuit Rules Officials of Secular Groups Must be Allowed to Solemnize Marriages Just Like Clergy Can


    1. Sounds fine.

    2. Why the fuck do we need a court ruling on this?

      Who gave the government the authority to chose who can and can’t solemnize things?

      Fuck the police, I just solemnized my keyboard without a permit!!

  15. I want Rand to win because of the meltdown that would cause for both proggies and mainline GOPtards.

    I also wouldn’t mind watching the GOP tear itself apart trying to undermine or stop his election.

    1. No question the GOP establishment and neocons would throw everything they had at him during the primary, at least initially.

      The general would be more interesting, because that’s when the GOP might really tear itself apart, hurting both Rand and the party establishment in the process: The rank-and-file Republicans would vote for Rand no problem, but would the establishment reluctantly support him, hoping he forgives them as President for trying to destroy him in the primary? Or would they quietly work to sabotage him for Hillary? Who would major corporations and banks prefer?

  16. Bolton, King, Christie, Santorum, Cheney, Perry…that list of enemies could make me support anyone. Rubio is the only one on that rogue’s list who isn’t completely insufferable, though I still wouldn’t support him

    1. They really are terrible. I blame them and their right-flavored statism for the demise of the Republican Party, along with pro-Democratic media bias.

    2. Cruz is the most respectable of that list, and his attack on Rand is probably the mildest of them all.

      1. Forgot Cruz, he’s also not-terrible. I’d actually take him over Rubio

        1. I’ve known 10 year-olds who are smarter than Marco Rubio. And Ted Cruz is the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy’s flop sweat.

          Just because they’re the only options doesn’t mean they’re not all ridiculous.

  17. “I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. He and I are good friends. But I don’t agree with him on foreign policy,” Cruz said. “I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did? The United States has a responsibility to defend our values.”

    Goddammit, Cruz,”defend[ing] our values” is such vague phrasing that I have no idea what you’re actually objecting to vi Paul’s foreign policy.

    1. The italic is supposed to be vis a vis.

    2. I think that’s the point. It lets people read in whatever they want to.

      So whatever your foreign policy preference, you’ll read this as “Ted Cruz agrees with me, Rand doesn’t”.

    3. I read it as Cruz is trying to stake out a separate position w/o actually disagreeing.

  18. Dude is like totally gettin on down with it man. Wow.


  19. God i hope Warren gets in and we get to hear Shrike praise her as a libertarian.

  20. Man that dude jsut looks corrupt as the day is long.


  21. You forgot Allen West:
    “I think [Rand’s is] a very simpleton explanation.

    Rand Paul totally does not understand that part of the world?I think that Rand Paul was saying something that may be politically expedient? maybe a populist message? but that does not show the vision of a Commander-in-Chief.”

    Mike Rogers:
    One of Paul’s fellow Republicans from across the Capitol, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, called the day’s discussion in the Senate “irresponsible.”
    “It would be unconstitutional for the U.S. military or intelligence services to conduct lethal counterterrorism operations in the United States against U.S. citizens,” Rogers said. “I would never allow such operations to occur on my watch. I urge the administration to clarify this point immediately so Congress can return to its pressing oversight responsibilities.”

    Since you included the Rubio critique, might as well add Jeb Bush:
    Bush recently attended a glitzy confab in Las Vegas hosted by the corpulent Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson?who once suggested detonating a nuclear device in Iran?and gave a speech where he bashed “neo-isolationism”.

    And Scott Walker:
    On foreign policy, Walker positioned himself in distance with Rand Paul’s view the United States should reduce its engagement with the world. “I don’t believe that,” he said, without naming Paul specifically.

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