By Jamie Weinstein
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul wants you to know that none of his fellow potential 2016 presidential contenders have a foreign policy quite like Ronald Reagan’s.
“Every Republican likes to think he or she is the next Ronald Reagan,” he wrote in an op-ed for Breitbart News, responding to an attack by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. “Some who say this do so for lack of their own ideas and agenda. Reagan was a great leader and President. But too often people make him into something he wasn’t in order to serve their own political purposes.”
“[A]lmost all of us in the party are big fans of Ronald Reagan,” Paul told Sean Hannity on Fox News in yet another defense of his foreign policy. “I’ve always been a big fan of peace through strength.”
Paul may be right when he says that none of the Republicans considering a White House run in 2016 have a foreign policy outlook exactly like Reagan’s. But what’s undeniable is that Paul’s foreign policy is far and away the least Reaganeque of any of the possible 2016 Republican presidential contenders.
What Paul is trying to do is muddy the waters on Reagan’s foreign policy legacy in order to hide the reality that his foreign policy outlook bears no resemblance to that of the Gipper’s — and, more broadly, is wildly out of touch with the Republican mainstream. Sure, Reagan engaged in diplomacy, even occasionally when some in his own party believed it inadvisable. But that hardly makes Reagan a Rand Paul-style non-interventionist. Far from it.
Paul says he, like Reagan, supports “peace through strength.” Except Reagan’s notion of “peace through strength” focused on increasing military spending. Paul has not yet discovered a military cut he didn’t like.
Read more: Daily Caller
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