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Rand Paul vs. Ted Cruz: Whose Foreign Policy Views Are More Like Ronald Reagan’s?

Both candidates are seeking to separate themselves from the Republican presidential field on foreign policy.

The Editors


March 11, 2014 - 11:43 am

A Tea Party split in foreign policy? The feud between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is about foreign policy, yes. But there is a political element to their fight as well. Both are jockeying for position in a crowded Republican presidential-candidate field, and Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine has presented the opportunity for the candidates to separate themselves from the pack.

Both are invoking Reagan’s sacred memory to justify their positions, with Cruz criticizing Paul for adopting a non-interventionist stance that he says is encouraging Putin:

“I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. He and I are good friends. But I don’t agree with him on foreign policy,” Cruz said. “I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did… The United States has a responsibility to defend our values.” [...]

“A critical reason for Putin’s aggression has been President Obama’s weakness,” Cruz told Karl on “This Week.” “That Putin fears no retribution… [Obama's] policy has been to alienate and abandon our friends and to coddle and appease our enemies.”

“You’d better believe Putin sees in Benghazi four Americans are murdered, the first ambassador killed in service since 1979, and nothing happens,” Cruz added, echoing comments by other Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “You’d better believe that Putin sees that in Syria, Obama draws a red line and ignores the red line. You’d better believe that Putin sees all over the world.”

Paul is calling out Cruz for misrepresenting what Reagan’s policies were, and called for a halt in bellicose rhetoric, saying, “What we don’t need right now is politicians who have never seen war talking tough for the sake of their political careers” — a clear slap at Cruz.

Paul also reminded readers in a Breitbart op-ed about what Reagan really stood for:

Reagan clearly believed in a strong national defense and in “Peace through Strength.” He stood up to the Soviet Union, and he led a world that pushed back against Communism.

But Reagan also believed in diplomacy and demonstrated a reasoned approach to our nuclear negotiations with the Soviets. Reagan’s shrewd diplomacy would eventually lessen the nuclear arsenals of both countries.

Many forget today that Reagan’s decision to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev was harshly criticized by the Republican hawks of his time, some of whom would even call Reagan an appeaser. In the Middle East, Reagan strategically pulled back our forces after the tragedy in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 241 Marines, realizing the cost of American lives was too great for the mission.

Without a clearly defined mission, exit strategy or acceptable rationale for risking soldiers lives, Reagan possessed the leadership to reassess and readjust.

You’ve read the commentary from pundits and columnists. Now it’s your turn to sound off. Whose foreign policy views are more like Ronald Reagan’s?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you haven’t registered to comment yet, please take a few seconds to do so.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
With Mitch McConnell's recent endorsement of Rand Paul (and vice versa), the die is cast. Rand Paul will deliver the conservative base vote to Mitch in return for Mitch's "super fund" connections for Ran Paul's run for President. See how easy all this is to figure out? Especially today, (3/12/2014) where McConnell has begun "walking back" his comments about bashing Tea Partiers as "nut cases!"
Now, who sold out to whom? Ted Cruz is steadfast in his belief of God and Country, while Rand Paul has revealed himself as a true, blue, "go along to get along" Washington DC Elite, crony capitalist who will sell out his Beloved USA to the highest bidder...YEP, especially to Mitch McConnell, sleaze ball extraordinaire.
Folks, Washington DC Elites are easy to figure out because they're acting exactly like third world, tin-horned politicos who have as their mantra:1)power, 2)greed and out-and-out corruption. Pray. Amen. Follow the money, always. Join a Tea Party, register and recruit for mid-term elections. God Bless America.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But Reagan also believed in diplomacy and demonstrated a reasoned approach to our nuclear negotiations with the Soviets."

This is disingenuous manure.
1. Cruz never said anything about not negotiating where necessary.
2. Reagan got Mikhail Gorbachev to the table by deployment of forces (nuclear missiles in Europe), SDI, and fighting Communism around the globe. Through strength. Rand Paul clearly does not understand this core fact, or he is just lying, or both.

Rand Paul is his crazy dad with a better suit and better manners.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who cares which one's views are more like Reagan's??? The question is, who's right for the issues we face today?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (68)
All Comments   (68)
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Reagan was Not a Libertarian. Rand Paul is one. NO to that!!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe Reagan's policy was "peace through strength." Clifford May at the CPAC session on Ukraine argued that our best hope for defeating our enemies is (re) building our own strength. Militarily and economically. Right now we are in no position to challenge Putin militarily - we renounced that option when we elected Obama. He's an unapologetic adherent of the anti-Americanism of the left and therefore has worked assiduously to weaken us so that we don't compound the errors we supposedly committed in the past. Someone like that can't possibly exercise American power for good.

We must rebuild our economy or we will never again have a credible force option for the future. And not reduce our military now either.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
After reading several of the comments, it seems that there are several supporters of Sarah Palin here extolling her foreign policy prowess. This is sounding alarm bells for me because they also seem to lean towards the interventionist Cruz.

While I would pay to see Palin mud wrestle Michelle Bachmann, I would not give one thin dime to any political campaign with her as a candidate. This is not to be disrespectful but simply to make the point that many men are Palin fans, not because of her intelligence and geopolitical expertise but because of her other attributes which will start to fade very quickly now leaving a much less attractive Palin spouting geopolitical nonsense.

Her grasp of political geography and geopolitics is at an elementary level. She is an interventionist. She caters to the Israeli lobby. She is deafeningly silent on the destruction of the USA within our borders being orchestrated by both the GOP and Dem parties.

Who can forget the images of the Israeli flag prominently displayed in Palin's office when she was governor of Alaska? We are electing an American president - not an Israeli prime minister. Do a web search 'sarah palin israeli flag' for background on Palin's compromised loyalty.

Then we have quotes like this which never stop coming from Palin.

"Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke." -- Sarah Palin, on how President Obama should deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, CPAC speech, March 8, 2014 --

Palin is itching for a nuclear showdown with Russia over the Ukraine? Seriously? This talk from her and from McCain is extreme, dangerous and unwarranted. The USA is not being attacked by either Russia or Ukraine. We are, however, being physically invaded by Mexico. Palin is simply agitating her many followers who get excited and energized by such boisterous talk.

Sarah, Putin is taking care of his borders and his regional sphere of influence while the GOP and Dem parties continue to leave our physical borders wide open and our immigration laws and regulations unenforced. If you are so motivated to kick butt in the world, why don't you start talking about smart-bombing Mexico since it is the only nation in the world that is actually invading the USA? Why don't you start talking about impeaching, indicting and jailing the traitors within our own borders and in our own government and in BOTH parties who have destroyed our constitutional separation of powers, destroyed our Bill of Rights, destroyed our manufacturing base, destroyed our health care system and who have destroyed our literate population though the government and special interest controlled public education (indoctrination) system?

It is so easy to talk tough about kicking Russia's butt halfway around the world, but it is soooo haaarrrddd to talk about kicking the butts right here at home of the people in BOTH parties who have and who are destroying our nation from within and they are doing it without the least bit of tangible, meaningful push back from folks like you who have access to the bully pulpit.

All of this applies to Ted Cruz as well. And I am not pleased that Rand Paul has already made the obligatory pilgrimage to the wailing wall in Israel. If Cruz has not already made this obligatory pilgrimage, he will.

What is the wailing wall anyway, and why do all US presidential candidates seem obligated to go there? Even Barry Obama has gone to this dance. Web search: 'barack obama wailing wall' and 'john mccain wailing wall'. The wailing wall can't be a wall of the second temple because Jesus said not one stone of it would be left standing. It is more than likely a remnant of a Roman fort.

KJV: Mt 24:2
"Christ foretells the destruction of the temple
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. "
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The original post here was a supportive reply to another commentor but my reply appeared as a new post. So to avoid confusion, I have changed the reply to this appeal to PJMedia to use the comment facility. Just check it out. Thanks,
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reagan wasn't afraid to flex his muscles, but he wasn't stupid about it. He stepped up and he stood firm and, if Russia hadn't backed down, he was ready to go to war over his convictions. However, he always made it clear war was a last resort, the final option. He built our military and strengthened our defenses around the world, that was his solution called "Peace Through Strength." His clear message, "We can wipe you out without thinking twice. What keeps you safe is we don't WANT to wipe you out. Now, you want to test us on that?" Apparently Russia didn't.

Personally, I think Ted Cruz would come in closest to Reagan, but Paul's okay. Col. Allen West would be a close second to Ted Cruz. My pick for a 2016 ticket is Cruz-POTUS/West-VPOTUS.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I tend to lean towards Ted Cruz. In the last election where it was a choice between John McCain and Ron Paul, I was decided on Dr Paul until Sarah Palin became number two on McCain's ticket. That convinced me to change and vote for the McCain ticket (Gov Palin) She also reminds me of President Reagan in the fact that she also thinks that government is not the solution but the problem. I believe that Ted Cruz would come closer to President Reagan on policies.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is one person that is a true Reagan Conservative and has the experience to lead this country out of the mess created by both Parties.
AS CIC Sarah Palin has stated the following 3 years ago as to her use of Military Force

Our men and women in uniform deserve a clear understanding of U.S. positions on such a crucial decision. I believe our criteria before we send our young men and women—America’s finest—into harm’s way should be spelled out clearly when it comes to the use of our military force. I can tell you what I believe that criteria should be in five points.

First, we should only commit our forces when clear and vital American interests are at stake. Period.

Second, if we have to fight, we fight to win. To do that, we use overwhelming force. We only send our troops into war with the objective to defeat the enemy as quickly as possible. We do not stretch out our military with open-ended and ill-defined missions. Nation building is a nice idea in theory, but it is not the main purpose of our armed forces. We use our military to win wars.

Third, we must have clearly defined goals and objectives before sending troops into harm’s way. If you can’t explain the mission to the American people clearly and concisely, then our sons and daughters should not be sent into battle. Period.

Fourth, American soldiers must never be put under foreign command. We will fight side by side with our allies, but American soldiers must remain under the care and the command of American officers.

Fifth, sending in our armed forces should be the last resort. We don’t go looking for dragons to slay. However, we will encourage the forces of freedom around the world who are sincerely fighting for the empowerment of the individual. When it makes sense, when it’s appropriate, we will provide them with material support to help them win their own freedom.

That is a person that is ready to be President
Cruz & Paul can do better for America by staying in the Senate
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with Palin is she doesn't seem to want to run. She could be America's Maggie Thatcher if given half a chance, the Left's terrified of her as the Media's constant vilification of her proves. But even Conservatives can be "sheeple" afraid to vote for her because of all the over-the-top lies about her the Left keeps pumping out.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not about foreign policy, it's about which conservative can win. And here is the sad truth. Rand Paul, and I admire him, will be portrayed successfully as Ron Paul incarnate. In addition, and also sadly, Rand doesn't look presidential. Finally, Rand Paul doesn't have a good resume for the highest office in the country. An ex-ophthalmologist is not going to be POTUS. It won't happen. Rand is a GREAT guy and a strong conservative, but he can't win. He's a dry hole.

But here is an absolute guarantee. For exactly the reasons I just cited, Ron Paul will quickly become the media darling. We see that already. Don't get sucked into considering him as a viable presidential candidate. He is a valuable ally, but there is no chance he will ever be president.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Truman: Farmer, Haberdasher, and President
By Jennifer Rosenberg
November 17, 2011

Harry S. Truman wasn't like other U.S. presidents. He didn't come from a wealthy family nor did he have an ivy league education. Heck, Truman didn't even have a college degree. Instead, Truman worked his was up the ladder from farmer to haberdasher to judge to senator to president -- all while living with his disapproving mother-in-law.

Find out more about Harry S. Truman, the U.S. president who had to make one of the most difficult decisions of the 20th century.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Truman was FDR's vice president. He would not have been elected president under normal circumstances. Moreover, pravda was not a full-bore, unashamed, unrestrained progressive propaganda tool in 1948.

You can rail against pravda, and I do all the time, but don't make the mistake of underestimating it's influence. And becauee of that, don't make the mistake of thinking that any important election in this country will ever again be decided on the issues and the merits of the candidates. Criminal propaganda works. Period.

Yes, we can't again nominate a DoleMcCainRomneyCrispy because they a shadow liberals, but we also can't make the mistake of nominating someone who will obviously be easily vilified by pravda. For that reason, Palin simply cannot be nominated, no matter how perfect she is on policy.

Based on persona + policies, Cruz is the best choice. Yes, pravda hates him, but they hate every conservative. But his credentials are perfect and he is a rock-solid conservative with guts. He won't roll over, no matter what. The only competition I see for him is Scott Walker, who has the benefit of an executive track record and who has been through the fire. Those two are easily the leading candidates for people who actually want the country to be saved. They might not win, but at least they will fight.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't buy the idea that Rand Paul is compromising to the Repub establishment. It may look that way, but I believe he's a consensus BUILDER, not a consensus CAPITULATOR. I like Ted Cruz as well, but as a firebrand, he's likely to split the country along party lines. Rand Paul can pull in folks from across the aisle (and pull them in from the next seat on the same side of the aisle) and when he's drawn a good hand, he'll play it correctly.
We certainly need a strong military defence, but we don't need to be the policemen of the world. We've got a military presence in way too many countries. The folks who think America has the funds to support that are just as delusional as the folks who think we've got the resources to support the nanny state. We had those resources once. They've been squandered.
Rebuilding them involves saving, not spending.
But most importantly, we have to get the Communist out of the White House.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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