The Hill reports Ron Paul is happy with the GOP’s foreign policy plank in the platform because there is strong language that reiterates that only Congress has the power to declare war, which is explicitly written in the Constitution.
Paul has long been a critic of interventions and misadventures abroad. The draft platform, which will be voted on by all of the delegates on Monday, did not include several amendments against nation-building that his supporters wanted.
Yet Jesse Benton, who ran Paul’s presidential campaign and also is his son in-law, told The Hill that while “we didn’t get everything we wanted, we were pleased to get foreign-policy language stating that only Congress can declare war, one of our biggest priorities.”
Paul delegate Richard Ford, according to The Hill, denounced nation building when introducing one of the amendments against nation-building that got voted down.
“Nation-building is a failed policy of the Democrats and we Republicans need to go back to the humble foreign policy of George Bush before 9/11,” Ford said. “9/11 pushed us into a situation where we had to do some things, but we need to go back to not creating democracies overseas that creates Islamic regimes and just focus on the goal of getting our enemies and bringing our troops home safely and as soon as possible.”
George W. Bush ran against nation-building in 2000 (and then-Stanford professor Condoleeza Rice wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs on the “national interest” that expressed similar views while advising then-Governor Bush’s campaign), but 9/11 changed the Bush administration’s calculus on that matter.
The war powers language is another instance of Republicans making sure Paul’s supporters feel welcome at the convention, because Republicans need his supporters to vote for Romney in November instead of voting for the Libertarian ticket or staying home.