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Rick Perry hits Rand Paul on Iraq, ISIS, and isolationism

Rick Perry
Rick Perry
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Fresh from having confronted President Obama on the illegal immigration crisis occurring along the southern border of the United States, Texas Gov. Rick Perry took to the oped pages of the Washington Post on Friday and pushed back on another prominent politician concerning another crisis. The crisis is the rise of ISIS and the Islamist caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The politician in Perry’s crosshairs in Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a fellow Republican.

“As a veteran, and as a governor who has supported Texas National Guard deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I can understand the emotions behind isolationism. Many people are tired of war, and the urge to pull back is a natural, human reaction. Unfortunately, we live in a world where isolationist policies would only endanger our national security even further.

“That’s why it’s disheartening to hear fellow Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) suggest that our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq. The main problem with this argument is that it means ignoring the profound threat that the group now calling itself the Islamic State poses to the United States and the world.”

In the oped piece, in which Perry accused Paul of being an isolationist who advocated doing nothing to counter the rise of the ISIS caliphate, the Texas governor invoked the memory of President Ronald Reagan several times. Reagan is a beloved figure in the Republican Party due o his two smashing electoral victories. He is a world historic figure for winning the Cold War. So it is natural that in an question about foreign policy, “What would Reagan do?” would come up.

Perry’s performance on immigration and now his weighing in on Iraq, usually not the purview of a state governor, has caused some conservative pundits to look ahead to his prospects for 2016 with some favor. Gone is the gaffe prone Perry who perpetrated the “oops moment” during a debate in the 2012 election cycle, Indeed many wonder where the 2014 Perry was in 2012 and what would have happened had he shown up.

There was a rare bipartisan consensus on “The McLaughlin Group” in which conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal Eleanor Cliff agreed that Perry had outmaneuvered President Obama on the immigration issue and looked more presidential. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey adds that Perry scored some points against Paul on Iraq, exuding the confidence of a man who us not exactly planning to retire to the ranch after his term as governor is up. And so, over two years before the 2016 elections, Rick Perry is now the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

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