Sen. Rand Paul hit back at potential presidential rival Rick Perry after the Texas governor criticized the Kentucky senator’s "isolationist" foreign policy.
Paul wrote in Politico Magazine
that Perry’s new glasses are not helping him see clearly after the governor had said that Paul is "curiously blind" to the threats to the United States from the Islamic State (ISIS), which has overrun vast swaths of Iraq and Syria.
"There are obviously many important events going on in the world right now, but with 60,000 foreign children streaming across the Texas border, I am surprised Governor Perry has apparently still found time to mischaracterize and attack my foreign policy," wrote Paul, referring to Perry’s opinion piece
for The Washington Post on Saturday.
"Governor Perry writes a fictionalized account of my foreign policy so mischaracterizing my views that I wonder if he’s even really read any of my policy papers. Apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly."
"In fact, some of Perry’s solutions for the current chaos in Iraq aren’t much different from what I’ve proposed, something he fails to mention. His solutions also aren’t much different from President Barack Obama’s, something he also fails to mention."
Paul wrote that during a Republican presidential primary debate in 2012, Perry said that he would send troops back into Iraq to counter-balance the increasing threat from Iran.
"Does Perry now believe that we should send U.S. troops back into Iraq to fight the Iranians — or to help Iran fight ISIS? As everyone agrees, governor, there are no easy options," wrote Paul, who is expected to make a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 along with Perry.
"Unlike Perry, I oppose sending American troops back into Iraq. After a decade of the United States training the Iraq’s military, when confronted by the enemy, the Iraqis dropped their weapons, shed their uniforms and hid. Our soldiers’ hard work and sacrifice should be worth more than that. Our military is too good for that."
Paul continued, "I ask Governor Perry: How many Americans should send their sons or daughters to die for a foreign country — a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves? How many Texan mothers and fathers will Governor Perry ask to send their children to fight in Iraq? I will not hold my breath for an answer.
"If refusing to send Americans to die for a country that refuses to defend itself makes one an 'isolationist,' then perhaps it’s time we finally retire that pejorative. Today, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want to send U.S. soldiers back into Iraq. Is Perry calling the entire country 'isolationist,' too?"
In his Post commentary on Saturday, Perry slammed Republicans like Paul who "suggest that our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq."
Perry said that Paul was "curiously blind" to the dangers that "technologically sophisticated" ISIS fighters with European passports posed to the United States and the rest of the world.
"Any of these passport carriers can simply buy a plane ticket and show up in the United States without even a visa," Perry wrote, "It’s particularly chilling when you consider that one American has already carried out a suicide bombing and a terrorist-trained European allegedly killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels."
Perry's comments came after Paul had written an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal
to make his case for staying out of Iraq, saying that former President Ronald Reagan's administration had doctrines that argued against war except under very certain circumstances.
But Paul lashed back at Perry, claiming he’s "doubling down on formulas that haven’t worked, parroting rhetoric that doesn’t make sense and reinforcing petulant attitudes that have cost our nation a great deal."
Paul wrote, "If repeating the same mistakes over and over again is what Perry advocates in U.S. foreign policy, or any other policy, he really should run for president.
"In Washington, he’d fit right in, because leading Republicans and Democrats not only supported the Iraq war in the first place, but leaders of both parties campaigned on it in 2008."
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