Speed Reads

2016 Watch

Rand Paul and Rick Perry are still fighting over who is more Reaganesque

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is "dead wrong" about former President Reagan's legacy, says Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

In the latest round of bickering between the two politicians, Paul writes in Politico that Perry's "new glasses haven't altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly." Perry, he adds, has misrepresented his and President Obama's foreign policy positions, while also wrongly claiming to see the world like Reagan did.

This is where many in my own party, similar to Perry, get it so wrong regarding Ronald Reagan's doctrine of "peace through strength." Strength does not always mean war. Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union — the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history — through strong diplomacy and moral leadership. [...]

Some of Reagan's Republican champions today praise his rhetoric but forget his actions. Reagan was stern, but he wasn't stupid. Reagan hated war, particularly the specter of nuclear war. Unlike his more hawkish critics — and there were many — Reagan was always thoughtful and cautious. [Politico]

The back-and-forth began with a Paul op-ed in June that cited Reagan to argue against U.S. intervention in Iraq. Perry swiped back in The Washington Post that Paul was fudging Reagan's beliefs to make them align with his own. At this rate, Perry should be out in the next few hours with a rebuttal to Paul's rebuttal to his rebuttal to Paul's original essay.