Did Ron Paul win GOP's national security debate?
Media-types seem to think Ron Paul more than held his own, which is no small feat, considering many of his ideas on national security are well outside the Republican mainstream.
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But take the opening sequence, when most all the other candidates supported Patriot Act antiterror provisions as necessary intrusions on liberty at a time of danger for the US. Paul was having none of that.Skip to next paragraph
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“I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic, because it undermines our liberty,” said Paul in the opening moments of the debate.
The longtime libertarian was just getting warmed up.
“So if you advocate a police state, you can have safety and security, and you might prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against the American people and against our freedoms,” said Paul.
Paul then went on to differ with the crowd by saying the US should “let Israel take care of itself.” That meant, apparently, don’t meddle with Israel if it wants to bomb Iran, but don’t give it any money to do the deed, either.
(As an aside, we’ll ask this: Did the Texas congressman let slip some interesting and closely guarded info in his response? He said, “Israel has 200, 300 nuclear missiles, and they can take care of themselves.” That’s on the high end of the estimates experts outside the US government make as to the extent of Israel’s nuclear program.)
Then there was the whole defense budget-cutting thing, in which Paul and Mitt Romney went at it.
First Romney opposed the possibility of a trillion dollars being cut from the defense budget. That might happen because the congressional super committee didn’t figure out a way to reduce the budget by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, so automatic cuts might take effect next year.
“They’re not cutting anything out of anything,” replied Paul. “All this talk is just talk.”
Paul appeared to be referring to the fact that nothing is in stone yet – some in Congress want to repeal the automatic cuts, many of the “cuts” are reductions in growth as opposed to actual reductions in the size of government programs, and so forth.
Romney disagreed. He ticked off a list of weapons systems Congress has already trimmed. “They’re cutting ... into the capacity of America to defend itself,” he said.
So what do you think of Paul versus the GOP world? Leave a comment and let us know.
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