Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Wednesday criticized Mitt Romney’s push for aggressive actions in the Middle East.
The Republican presidential candidate has called for the U.S. provide weapons to the Syrian rebels, using the conflict as a proxy war with Iran. Romney has also called for increased defense spending. Both ideas conflict with Rand’s hope for a non-interventionist foreign policy.
“One, I think whenever we get involved in war or providing weapons or bombing countries it needs to go before Congress,” the senator explained to CNN. “You know the Constitution says that is the prerogative of the legislature. So that is my first objection. My second objection is, it is difficult to know friend from foe. We’ve been over a decade in Afghanistan and we have trouble telling friend from foe. The people we are training, the Afghan soldiers, are turning their weapons on us. So how are we supposed to know who in Syria is our friend, who is our foe, what do they stand for.
“What I would say is the same thing I say to liberals,” Rand continued. “You can’t always make education better by throwing more money at it. You can’t always make your country stronger or safer by throwing more money at the military. Lets figure out what we need as a country to defend out country, to defend our vital interests, but lets not be everywhere all the time. Lets not decide that every war is something that U.S. dollars as well as soldiers have to participate in.”
Though Rand endorsed Romney for president in June, he said he didn’t think his criticism of Romney would hurt the GOP candidate’s chances. Rand said the issue “transcended partisanship.”
“The only way we are ever going to figure out our debt problem is we are going to have to compromise. Conservatives like myself who believe national defense is very important will have to say that not every dollar spend on the military is sacred and liberals will have to acknowledge that not every dollar spent on welfare and entitlements is sacred.”
Watch video, courtesy of CNN, below: