GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul on Wednesday rejected the notion that he is an isolationist amid complaints from key Republicans that the party's foreign policy is floating in that direction.
Paul, a libertarian-leaning Texas congressman, said that Republicans critics of isolationism are misusing the word if they are applying it to his foreign policy.
The congressman's comments came in response to remarks by the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Pentagon hails Fallujah's recapture | Texts to VA suicide hotline went unanswered Defense contingency misuse threatens national security Former Bush national security official backing Clinton over Trump MORE (Ariz.), and Paul's fellow 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who both said that the party is at risk of becoming an isolationist entity that could become marginalized nationally.
Political observers have noted what seems to be the shifting foreign policy of the Republican Party, citing growing GOP skepticism of the Afghanistan war and their opposition to the intervention in Libya.
Paul has been one of the main drivers of that shift, as other White House candidates including Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have voiced concern about the mission in Afghanistan during speeches and debates.
Meanwhile, Paul has been trying to portray his small-government, anti-war message as mainstream as he looks to increase his base of support for the 2012 elections.
Isolationists, Paul said, want to close the U.S.'s borders and cut off
trade relationships with other countries.
Paul explained he's not in favor of that, but claimed he does want to dramatically decrease the U.S.'s
international military presence and end the wars in Afghanistan and
"This is what the founders advised," he said. "We were not meant to be the policemen of the world."