Freshman GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says Republicans can succeed in New England and on the West Coast, but only if the party is prepared to jettison calls for an extremely aggressive foreign policy.
“As a Republican Party . . . we’re not winning the West Coast. We’re not winning New England,” he told CBS’ “This Morning” program. “Maybe we need to embrace more Ron Paul [his father] Republicans, more libertarian Republicans . . . It means people who are a little bit less aggressive on foreign policy. They believe in defending the country, but they don’t believe we need to be everywhere all the time.”
Despite Paul’s remarks, there’s no monolithic Republican view on foreign policy. Some in the GOP are much less interventionist than others, and Mitt Romney hasn’t campaigned on an extremely aggressive foreign policy.
Nonetheless, “we should have a more defensive foreign policy,” Paul said. “I think that would go over much better in New England than the typical ‘we need to bomb everybody tomorrow’ policy you hear from some Republicans.”
Paul also seems to be ignoring recent GOP success in New England. Republican Kelly Ayotte, one of the most hawkish members of the Senate, won her seat in 2010. And Republican Scott Brown was elected senator in liberal Massachusetts earlier that year, after stressing his service in the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
In addition, Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman won re-election to the Senate as an independent in 2006, after losing the Democratic primary thanks to his support for the Iraq War.
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