Paul, writing in a piece for Politico, slammed Perry while at the same time, apparently (and once again) taking the side of President Obama. While discussing the humanitarian crisis on the US-Mexico Border, Paul said that:
There are many things I like about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, including his stance on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. But apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly.
There are obviously many important events going on in the world right now, but with 60,000 foreign children streaming across the Texas border, I am surprised Governor Perry has apparently still found time to mischaracterize and attack my foreign policy.
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.
. . .
Perry says there are no good options. I’ve said the same thing. President Obama has said the same thing. So what are Perry’s solutions and why does he think they are so bold and different from anyone else’s?
Paul continued his overhaul of Perry by slamming Perry’s “bold positions” on Iraq, which aren’t that different from the positions that Paul and Obama are both taking, except for the issue of sending troops back to Iraq, which Paul slammed again:
Unlike Perry, I oppose sending American troops back into Iraq. After a decade of the United States training the Iraq’s military, when confronted by the enemy, the Iraqis dropped their weapons, shed their uniforms and hid. Our soldiers’ hard work and sacrifice should be worth more than that. Our military is too good for that.
I ask Governor Perry: How many Americans should send their sons or daughters to die for a foreign country—a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves? How many Texan mothers and fathers will Governor Perry ask to send their children to fight in Iraq?
I will not hold my breath for an answer. If refusing to send Americans to die for a country that refuses to defend itself makes one an “isolationist,” then perhaps it’s time we finally retire that pejorative.
Today, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want to send U.S. soldiers back into Iraq. Is Perry calling the entire country “isolationist” too?
. . .
On foreign policy, Perry couldn’t be more stuck in the past, doubling down on formulas that haven’t worked, parroting rhetoric that doesn’t make sense and reinforcing petulant attitudes that have cost our nation a great deal.
If repeating the same mistakes over and over again is what Perry advocates in U.S. foreign policy, or any other policy, he really should run for president. In Washington, he’d fit right in, because leading Republicans and Democrats not only supported the Iraq war in the first place, but leaders of both parties campaigned on it in 2008.
Any future military action by the United States must always be based on an assessment of what has worked and what hasn’t. This basic, common sense precondition is something leaders in both parties have habitually failed to meet.
Perry has no idea what “isolationist” means; avoiding an all-out war with an unseen and polymorphic enemy is not the same as shutting the world markets, barring the borders, and hanging a “no vacancy” sign off the Statue of Liberty. We attempted isolationism in the past. It got us involved in two world wars. Isolationism as a tactic doesn’t work; just as no person is an island unto themselves, so too is no country an island unto themselves. We all live on this planet together, whether we like it or not, and we all have to find solutions to our problems — together.
Of course, that’s not easy and it never will be easy. Like Paul says, repeatedly: “there are no easy answers.”
You can read the rest of Paul’s op-ed here.