Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) struck another blow in his feud with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Monday night.
Paul was responding to Cruz’s comments Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” in which he invoked Reagan to criticize Paul’s foreign policy.
“I don't agree with him on foreign policy,” Cruz said then. “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.”
In the interview Monday night, Paul went on to defend his foreign policy, which tends to be less interventionist than other Republicans’, as within the mainstream.
“I think on a lot of these issues, yes, that I'm well within the Republican tradition,” Paul said. “I think that we do need to have a stronger presence and project stronger ideas of cultivating freedom around the world. And I also agree, though, with Ronald Reagan, who often said, or in one of his inaugural speeches said to potential adversaries, 'Don't mistake our reluctance for war for a lack of resolve.' "
Paul said he favored sanctions against Russia and the deployment of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, but that “Europe should pay for it.”
Paul’s remarks were at least a change in tone from last month, when he told The Washington Post that, “Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don't think that is a good idea.”
Both Paul and Cruz are potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders.