Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Friday that the United States must protect its interests while promoting stability abroad and called for an end of foreign aid to “haters of America.”
“We must protect ourselves from jihadists without losing who we are as a people in the process,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside of Washington, D.C. “We must think before we act. We should promote stability — not chaos.”
As Mr. Paul does frequently, he knocked “Hillary’s War” in Libya, a reference to former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the move to arm rebels in Syria’s civil war. “Hillary’s war made us less safe. … As Hillary was declaring victory in Libya, Ambassador Stevens was begging for more security. … I believe that Hillary Clinton’s abdication of responsibility, her refusal to provide an adequate defense for Benghazi, her dereliction of duty, should forever preclude her from higher office. It’s time for Hillary Clinton to permanently retire.”
“At home, conservatives understand that government is the problem, not the solution,” he said. “As conservatives, we should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad.”
The possible 2016 GOP presidential contender has tried to push back on being labeled an “isolationist” by some of his critics, making a pitch for what he calls conservative realism.
“I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable, and unencumbered by nation-building,” he said, earning enthusiastic applause.
But the country, he said, cannot project strength by borrowing money from China “to send it to Pakistan.”
“It angers me to see [mobs] burning our flag and chanting ‘Death to America’ in countries that receive our foreign aid,” he said. “I say not one penny more to these haters of America.”
Asked about criticism of his foreign policy views during a question-and-answer session, Mr. Paul says national defense is always a priority.
“When we get to foreign policy, though, we’re not all the same,” he said. “One one end, there are people who believe we should never be anywhere…on the other end, there are people who believe we should be everywhere all the time.”
“I think really, in the end, what we should do is obey the Constitution,” he continued. “The Constitution says that war, when we go to war, should be declared and should be initiated by Congress.”
[by David Sherfinski, writing for The Washington Times]
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