Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are battling over what Perry calls Paul's "isolationism."
Paul appeared Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity,"
and when host Sean Hannity suggested the two expected Republican presidential contenders were engaged in "healthy debate," Paul took issue.
"It might be healthy, but that sounded like a bunch of name-calling to me, Sean," Paul said. "I'm happy to talk about the specifics."
Hannity had read a quote from Perry: "Paul's brand of isolationism [or whatever term he prefers] would compound the threat of terrorism even further. It's disheartening to hear fellow Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul suggest that our nation should ignore what's happening in Iraq."
Paul is currently leading the polls among Republicans thought to have White House aspirations in 2016, making him a target for others such as Perry to point out their differences.
Paul said it is unfair of Perry to say Paul is ignoring the situation in Iraq, where terrorists of the Islamic State (ISIS) have taken over a large part of the country.
Hannity blamed the situation on President Barack Obama for leaving no troops behind when the U.S. pulled out of the country in December 2011. Paul agreed Obama is at fault, but said the real cause was arming anti-government forces in Syria allied with the group now calling itself the Islamic State.
Paul said one possible scenario if the United States had left troops in Iraq would have been that 1,000 soldiers would have been in Mosul. If they had been overrun by the Islamic State group, "we'd be in a massive war, and we'd be back in there."
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