Skip to comments.Ted Cruz is Rand Paul's most dangerous foreign policy critic
Posted on 03/11/2014 7:11:13 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
If Sen. Rand Paul has any hope of capturing the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, he'll have to convince the conservative base he can be trusted on foreign policy -- which is exactly why Sen. Ted Cruz is his most dangerous critic.
Though they have often been allies on domestic policy, anybody paying close attention knew that there was always a big gulf on foreign policy issues between Cruz, R-Texas, and Paul, R-Ky.
Whereas Cruz has a much more traditional Reaganite view of a strong role for America in the world, Paul seeks to advance his father's brand of non-interventionism, which advocates a more restrained U.S. role on the world stage. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that these disagreements have spilled into the open over the past week, with Cruz emphatically stating that he doesn't agree with Paul on foreign policy and Paul insisting Cruz mischaracterized his views.
It's important to keep in mind the broader historical context here. Though there has always been a subset of conservatives who have supported a more restrained, non-interventionist foreign policy, that generally hasn't been a mainstream view within the Republican Party. Over the course of two presidential campaigns, Rand's father, Ron Paul, raised his profile, but was never an actual threat to win the nomination, in no small part because his foreign policy views were out of sync with much of the party.
After winning his Senate seat in the 2010 Tea Party wave, Rand's challenge was to try to make his father's views more acceptable within the party and mount a more credible presidential campaign. To accomplish this, he's tried (with mixed success) to avoid the type of outrageous statements and controversies that doomed his father. At the same time, he's built up a following on fighting for limited government on domestic issues.
His best chance of making headway in a presidential race is to leverage the trust conservatives have for him on domestic issues to make his foreign policy views easier for conservatives to accept. If it's him debating foreign policy with the likes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or other figures favored by the party's establishment, it would be much easier for Paul to muddy the waters. He could essentially argue, "Of course, big government establishment RINOs would smear my foreign policy views, because they're frightened of having a true conservative win."
That's much harder to do with Cruz in the picture. Cruz has at least as much credibility as Paul with the conservative base -- if not more. Whether or not Cruz runs, having him in the media amplifying the criticism of Paul's foreign policy views would make Paul's already difficult job of trying to appeal to a wider electorate that much harder. He cannot dismiss Cruz as just another establishment RINO trying to sabotage the candidacy of a genuine conservative. Anything Paul does to assert that he really believes in a strong role for the U.S. in global affairs risks alienating his father's energetic supporters, who favor a more restrained foreign policy. Anything he does to shore up support among this core group of his father's supporters would then feed into the criticism being lobbed by Cruz.
There's been a false impression created that Paul's non-interventionist views are gaining traction within the GOP. This idea has been based on trying to find superficial areas of agreement among Republicans (on issues such as opposing U.S. military action in Syria) that obscure fundamental disagreements. As I wrote in a column in September, a lot of conservative national security hawks opposed military intervention in Syria -- not because they shared Paul's views, but because they are more skeptical than neoconservatives of making democracy promotion a key tenet of foreign policy, and feared action would benefit Islamic militants. This is why Cruz opposed intervention at the time.
My working assumption has been that Paul isn't a serious threat to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2016, and his recent dust-up with Cruz only reaffirms that view.
Therefore, we wholeheartedly support the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes on known terrorist states and organizations that are believed to present a clear threat to our freedom or national security. We support our military, our troops and our Commander-in-Chief and we oppose turning control of our government back over to the liberals and socialists who favor appeasement, weakness, and subserviency. We do not believe in surrendering to the terrorists as France, Germany, Russia and Spain have done and as Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton and the Democrats, et al, are proposing.
Go Ted go! Go Jim go!
Good grief. This Cruz vs. Paul dust up is the biggest non-event of the year so far. It’s very murky as to where they disagree, and it’s sooooooooooo obvious that the GOPe wants them feuding, or at least portrayed that way. They overlap on a wide array of issues, and are both hated by McCain (which is a HUGE plus for both). I don’t think Rand Paul can be the nominee for several reasons, and neither of them has any experience as a chief executive. They will both add greatly to the debate (along with Sarah Palin), but will not be the guy. In fact, they will both add more to the debate than the eventual nominee. In the meantime it would be nice if they would return their attention to the idiot who’s currently running the country into the ground.
The choice of words by Philip Klein such as:
**** “dangerous critic’”and
**** “- - - isn’t a serious threat to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2016 - - - “
reveal the Left Stream Media bias of Philip Klein.
I don’t trust the Pauls. Weak on foreign policy, weak on the borders, weak on defending marriage.
“I dont trust the Pauls. Weak on foreign policy, weak on the borders, weak on defending marriage.”
My thought exactly. So I am concerned that CPAC was way more interested in Paul than Cruz. At least if you gauge popularity via their straw poll.
The Ron Paul organization has always been good at rallying the younger hot doggies to CPAC. That’s as far as it goes though.
Would love to hear JR’s position on pre-emptively attacking Iran for their terrorist funding and the national security threat they possess.
A RINO's dream come true!
I have the same worries.
That said, a Cruz/Paul ticket would pull in a chunk of the Hispanic block, all of the Paulbots, and the vast majority of conservatives.
Rather than asking me, why not ask the boss? Good FReepers make a point to ping whomever is being discussed in a post. You've been here longer than me and that's a longstanding tradition of being a good guest here in Mr. Robinson's venue.
To what purpose?
It's not about Obama. It's not about defense.
I already know that they think or say our could do to "stop" Obama. Big deal. I'm interested in their take on what they think "Republican" should mean.
I hope I'm wrong, but ... Romney or somebody like him is going to rise like a vampire again in 2016. The primaries will make sure of it. Unless the GOP makes a 180. But no -- the conversation has to be about a weasel fraud like Obama.
Just sayin', be prepared for that "surprise."
Just curious if you’re aware that Dr. Rand Paul owned and managed his own medical specialty practice?
I don’t disagree with your main point, in that I won’t be surprised if neither Cruz nor Paul ends up as the nominee from the conservative/liberatarian side of the aisle.
It’s clear neither will ever have full support fom the GOP-e and they’ll keep the pot stirred and the conservative circular firing squad well supplied with ammo.
Should never have allowed Iran to develop nukes. There’s going to be hell to pay for that.
Bashing Obama is nearly an end unto itself. That said, they are both outstanding critics of the President and his ideology. His views will live on after he is done. They need to be thoroughly discredited, and Paul and Cruz are both really good at it. There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Hillary and Barack. Keep pounding him and pissing off the McCains of the world as a bonus.
The GOPe candidate of choice will be Christie or Bush. If we get a groundswell of grass roots support, maybe Rick Perry or Scott Walker could catch on fire and give us some hope. I would love to see either of them paired with Sarah Palin, but I’m probably dreaming.
There is ocean size difference between going after terrorists with special units such as the Navy Seals and starting wars with sovereign nations without conclusive evidence of WMD’s. For example spending 2 Trillion dollars borrowed from China and Japan to attack Iraq was an ocean size folly. A country with debt bigger than GDP has no business protecting oil supplies to China and Japan from middle-east with borrowed money from China and Japan. It is plain stupid.