Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday continued the fight he picked with Sen. Marco Rubio at this week’s GOP debate over the true meaning of a conservative foreign policy, saying Rubio is too eager to intervene in foreign conflicts.
Paul, who appeared on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” said Rubio is among the Republicans who “never met a war they don’t want to be involved with.”
He said Rubio’s expensive military buildup plan would worsen the national debt.
“When you look at polling, you actually find that at least half of the Republican Party is concerned that the debt might actually make us weaker as a country and damage our national defense,” Paul said.
Military intervention in the Arab world has not made America stronger, Paul said.
“In fact, I would argue that we are made weaker by the war in Libya, where we expended so much time and energy that we got rid of the secular dictator, but we wound up with a failed state and with ISIS now stronger in Libya.”
It is not just the Middle East where interventionism is a problem for many Americans. Ingraham pointed to a July 2014 poll indicating that just 17 percent of Americans supported a bigger U.S. role in confronting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some 34 percent said the wanted the United States to be less involved.
That philosophy, Paul said, counts conservative icon Ronald Reagan among its adherents.
“People often forget who Ronald Reagan was,” he said. “And Ronald Reagan believed in peace through strength. And he believed in staring down our enemies. You can be strong without always saying that we have to commit troops into every civil war.”