Rand Paul vs. Ted Cruz Round 4- Welcome To 2016
I don’t know about you but I’m already getting tired of the 2016 primary.
This fight started with Cruz positioning himself between John McCain and Paul on foreign policy during an event last week, then his follow up on ABC’s This Week. Yesterday Paul fired back on Breitbart.com and followed that up with another shot at Cruz last night on Hannity.
“We always have been good friends. I’m not real excited about him mischaracterizing my views. I won’t let that pass. I think that sometimes want to stand up and say hey, look at me, I’m the next Ronald Reagan. Well, almost all of us in the party are big fans of Ronald Reagan,” Paul said.
“I’ve always been a big fan of peace through strength. I think America should and has a responsibility around the world and really, virtually all of the opinions that have been coming from Republicans are somewhat the same on this – that Putin should be condemned, he should be isolated. I favor sanctions on Putin. So, for people to characterize that as somehow not being the Reagan position, I think they need to have a re-reading of Reagan, frankly,” Paul added.
Cruz released a statement yesterday (I think prior to Paul’s second blast) trying to calm things down.
“Although some would like to play up divisions among Republicans, I have no desire to play their game,” Cruz said. “Rand Paul is a courageous voice for liberty, and I’m honored to call him my friend. We do not agree on everything, especially regarding foreign policy, but we have agreed on the vast majority of issues, and I am sure we will continue to do so. Substantive policy disagreements are a positive aspect of the political discourse, but in the fight for liberty, I am proud to stand with Rand.”
I know in yesterday’s thread there were comments about how this division doesn’t help the cause. Well, the reality is politicians usually think what helps them, helps the cause.
In this case Paul can’t let himself be defined as a mushy libertarian. He wants to be seen as well outside the mainstream GOP on a number of things like spending, civil liberties and minority inclusion but if he’s seen as outside on national security/foreign policy, that could be fatal to his presidential hopes. Hence the heavy push back even against an ideological ally like Ted Cruz.
Of course the problem is in that pushing back he may alienate supporters who look to Cruz and Paul as leaders who should be working together.
It’s kind of like kids feeling uncomfortable watching mommy and daddy fight but push is coming to shove for 2016. Paul thinks he’s be pushed and he’s shoving back hard.
Bottom line, letting your opponents define you is fatal in politics. We’ve seen too many Republicans who either let it happen or don’t know how to stop it from happening. Say what you want about Rand Paul, at least he fights for himself.