Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul Paul "seems curiously blind" to the threat of the Islamic State, the Al Qaeda breakaway group that's taken over regions of Iraq and Syria.
Perry leveled his charges in an op-ed published Friday in the Washington Post, in which he added that isolationist tendencies by Paul and other fellow Republicans are "disheartening to hear."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to members of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the humanitarian and national security crises going on along the Texas-Mexico border Thursday July 3, 2014 in McAllen, Texas. (Image source: AP/The Monitor, Gabe Hernandez)
"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," Perry wrote. "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."
After criticizing Paul over his suggestion "that our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq," Perry detailed the threat of the Islamic State, noting that it's "well-trained, technologically sophisticated and adept at recruitment, with thousands of people with European passports fighting on its side, as well as some Americans."
This Friday, June 20, 2014, file photo shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority event in Washington. (Image source: AP/Molly Riley, File)
Then Perry hit Paul with what could be his harshest critiques:
This represents a real threat to our national security — to which Paul seems curiously blind — because any of these passport carriers can simply buy a plane ticket and show up in the United States without even a visa. It’s particularly chilling when you consider that one American has already carried out a suicide bombing and a terrorist-trained European allegedly killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
Yet Paul still advocates inaction, going so far as to claim in an op-ed last month in the Wall Street Journal that President Ronald Reagan’s own doctrines would lead him to same conclusion.
Perry then insisted that Paul's "analysis is wrong," saying he "conveniently omitted Reagan’s long internationalist record of leading the world with moral and strategic clarity."
You can read the entire op-ed here.