The isolationist wing of the Republican Party needs to be convinced that the nation cannot "withdraw to fortress America," Sen. John McCain tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has indicated he may run for president, saying he is concerned about the GOP's drift toward isolationism.
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Asked if he shares King's concerns, McCain responds: "I'm a great fan and friend of Peter King. He's a colorful guy and did a great job as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. And I understand his frustrations about some of the things, particularly, that have happened over here in the Senate.
"There is a struggle in the Republican Party right now between internationalists and isolationists. That has been true since prior to World War I in our party, particularly after World War II — the Eisenhower wing, the Taft wing, the Reagan wing, an isolationist wing of the party.
"I want to continue that debate with respect for those who disagree, but it is a debate that must happen and the job of people like me to convince the Republican Party and the American people that we can't withdraw to fortress America.
"The greatest example of what happens when America fails to lead is what is happening in the Middle East today as it erupts into a regional conflict, which cannot be anything but bad for the United States' national security interests," McCain said.
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