The foreign policy debate between Republicans Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become even more volatile for the two potential GOP presidential candidates as terrorism surges around the globe, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Monday.
"The question Paul has to work very hard is that people don't mistake his caution for isolationism," Gingrich says on CNN in video posted online by Politico.
Story continues below video.
"I think that's why you saw him react so sharply to Gov. Perry," he added. The world 'isolationist would dramatically cripple Rand Paul's campaign."
In dueling opinion pieces, Paul and Perry
have been sculpting their foreign policy stances.
Perry wrote Saturday in The Washington Post
that "turning to isolationism and ignoring what's happening overseas will endanger the United States' national security." He was answering an opinion piece Paul wrote in The Wall Street Journal
last month making the case for non-intervention in foreign countries' conflicts except under certain circumstances.
But Paul returned fire Monday with a biting column in Politico Magazine.
"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," Paul wrote.
"Apparently his new glasses haven't altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly."
Gingrich noted foreign policy around the globe is more dangerous than ever.
"If you look at what's happening around the world today, it's almost impossible to say we're safer," Gingrich noted, pointing to "terrorism" and unrest in Nigeria, Iraq, Syria and Thailand. "There's no evidence our strategies have worked."
"This is the challenge for Rand Paul," Gingrich added, saying the United States went on the offense against terror after 9/11, but once U.S. troops left Iraq, for example, terrorists moved in.
"At what point do they start launching more attacks?" he asked.
Gingrich didn't take sides in the debate, telling CNN only: "I'm delighted they're having a serious conversation. I'm for the nominee of the Republican Party in 2016."
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