Dick Cheney, Rand Paul Illustrate Divided GOP Views on Foreign Policy

Image: Dick Cheney, Rand Paul Illustrate Divided GOP Views on Foreign Policy

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 08:03 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The differing foreign policy views of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul may play big in the next presidential contest, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows and sitting for other interviews since penning a Journal commentary with his daughter Liz  on June 17, the hawkish Cheney has trumpeted his criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy decisions in the Middle East.

Paul, considered likely to run for president, has also been making the talk show circuit, offering his "non-interventionist" foreign policy views, blaming the conflict in Middle East, "at least partly," on the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq.

Cheney has painted Paul as "an isolationist," telling The Daily Caller that "isolationism doesn’t work as a philosophy for defending the nation. It’s a flawed concept."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, also considering seeking the GOP nomination, is more in line with Cheney. Rubio has called for airstrikes "to degrade the group’s military capabilities," according to the Journal.

Others thinking about running, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have remained relatively mum on the subject.

Slate reporter John Dickerson writes that, "Paul has come across as thoughtful and measured" and is doing a good job of playing it down the middle by being "critical of the president, but also of the architects of the Iraq war."

Dickerson writes that unless more moderate Republicans circling the 2016 presidential wagon – those who think the United States should take some action "but recognize the practical limits of military force" – "Paul is poised to win the conversation."

"This middle group has a lot of adherents but no spokesperson," according to Dickerson. "If they would like to assert themselves, they better find a champion soon because right now the media, Cheney, and Paul are all conspiring to drown out their views."

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