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IPFS News Link • Politics

Marco Rubio Is the Anti-Rand Paul on Foreign Policy


Do you remember the time that the interventionist GOP establishment first sounded the alarm bell against Rand Paul? It was March 2010; Paul the inexperienced upstart was running a Tea Party-insurgent campaign against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hand-picked home-state candidate to replace the retiring Jim Bunning, and the likes of Dick Cheney were not tolerating any loose talk about cutting military spending and being less eager to take America to war. Former Cheney aide Cesar Conda circulated a galvanizing letter of warning to people affiliated with the Foreign Policy Initiative, including directors William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor. Excerpt:

On foreign policy, GWOT, Gitmo, Afghanistan, Rand Paul is NOT one of us…It is our hope that you can help us get the word out about Rand Paul's troubling and dangerous views on foreign policy.

Cesar Conda went on to become chief of staff of another insurgent GOP freshman from the Tea Party Class of 2010: Marco Rubio (R-Florida), today's 2016-candidate poster boy.

Rubio and Rand Paul have been frenemies in the Senate; on the friend side, the Cuban-American rather spectacularly quoted Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa while helping Paul out during the Kentucky senator's epic 2013 filibuster on U.S. drone policy. But where the two have clashed even before November 2010 is on an area where they now share a committee assignment: foreign policy. The battle between the two men has and will continue to be a proxy war for the internal GOP divide over how the U.S. should conduct relations with the rest of the world.