Sen. Rand Paul continued his aggressive brush back of comments from his usual ally Sen. Ted Cruz suggesting that Paul is positioned at the left, dovish flank of the GOP on foreign policy, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity Cruz was “mischaracterizing” his views.
“We always have been good friends. I’m not real excited about him mischaracterizing my views. I won’t let that pass. I think that sometimes want to stand up and say hey, look at me, I’m the next Ronald Reagan. Well, almost all of us in the party are big fans of Ronald Reagan,” Paul said.
“I’ve always been a big fan of peace through strength. I think America should and has a responsibility around the world and really, virtually all of the opinions that have been coming from Republicans are somewhat the same on this – that Putin should be condemned, he should be isolated. I favor sanctions on Putin. So, for people to characterize that as somehow not being the Reagan position, I think they need to have a re-reading of Reagan, frankly,” Paul added.
The mini-feud started when Cruz, in a Thursday speech at the “Uninvited II” National Security forum, positioned himself between the hawkish John McCain at one end of the GOP and the dovish Paul at the other, with Cruz championing Reaganesque policies in the middle.
That didn’t sit well with Paul who struck back today with an op-ed at Breitbart.
Hours before Paul was set to appear on Hannity, but after the Hannity segment had already taped, Cruz sent out a statement to a number of publications trying to take the fight down a notch, saying he greatly respected Paul even while insisting they had key disagreements in foreign affairs.
Paul said he was firmly in the Reagan tradition.
“I also agree with Ronald Reagan who often said, or in one of his inaugural speeches said, to potential adversaries, don’t mistake our reluctance for war with a lack of resolve. He built up the military. He had a military that was second to none. I still believe all of that,” he said.
Asked by Hannity if he wanted Cruz to apologize, Paul said “No. I’ll settle for maybe he just needs to work on presenting his own ideas.”