Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) declared that Senator Lindsey Graham’s foreign policy “has so much confusion in it” on Monday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.”
Regarding the potential that a rivalry over foreign policy between Graham and Paul could spring up in the 2016 primaries, he said “I’m happy to have the debate, and I think it would be a healthy debate in the Republican Party and across the country about whether or not we need to send back 100,000 troops into the Middle East, whether or not the long war between Sunnis and Shia is going to be America saying ‘hey guys, let’s be a Jeffersonian democracy, how does that sound?’…every time we’ve gone in there to topple a secular dictator, particularly Hillary’s war in Libya, it’s ended up in disaster, more radical Islam, more people who threaten America, and so I’m happy to have that debate with people. Senator Graham was for supporting Qaddafi, the year before he was for toppling Qaddafi, so there’s a foreign policy that has so much confusion in it.”
Paul continued, “I think the president has been mistaken to say that terrorism or al Qaeda’s been decimated. He won’t even mention the [phrase] ‘radical Islam.’ So, I’m absolutely opposed to the president’s vision that somehow terrorism has been wiped out. I do see ISIS as a threat to our consulate in Erbil and to our embassy in Baghdad and I have supported military action against ISIS, but I’ve also said, and this is where I differ with many in the Republican Party, or many of the so-called hawks or neocons in the party, is that I think ISIS is stronger because of all the weapons we’ve poured into the so-called Syrian moderates in that civil war.” Paul added that “I do agree we have to do something about ISIS, but I think it’s lamentable that we’re actually fighting against our own weapons, and it was the neocons and the hawks in our party that want more weapons, more troops on the ground, they’ve never seen a war they don’t like. And I’m happy to have that debate.”
Regarding the impact of the sequester on the Defense budget, he argued “people have to realize that the sequester is a slowdown in the rate of growth of spending. Spending still is growing, for military, and domestic spending, spending is going up. I have said that what I would do is grant the military the freedom to decide where the cuts are, so the cuts don’t go in places that we think would be injurious to our national defense. I’ve also offered significant cuts in the domestic side of spending, and across entitlements.” And that he favored an audit of the DoD’s budget because even though national defense is the most important role of the government, it can’t be given a “blank check.”
Later, Paul also weighed in on the debate over vaccinations, Paul stated that while he wasn’t “anti-vaccine,” “most of them ought to be voluntary,” but “there are times in which there can be some rules,” in particular, Paul seemed to suggest that the smallpox vaccine would be one of those cases.
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