With new hipster glasses in place, the Ricker is going to test the foreign policy waters. In the Washington Post he went after Rand Paul over the problems in Iraq. He said Paul:
“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.”
Perry also attempted to link himself to President Reagan while putting Paul with President Obama.
This piece says a great deal and most of it has nothing to do with foreign policy. First, by attacking Paul Perry is admitting that the Kentucky Senator is a leader in the 2016 GOP race (did anyone ever attack RonPaul this early in the 08 or 12 contests?) and that the Ricker is not. Perry is a second-tier (at best) candidate who needs to make a name for himself by attacking someone with a much a bigger status right now. This is not an uncommon tactic.
Second, and connected to Paul’s status is that Perrry (like most others) recognizes there is a real value to being the not-Paul candidate. Like Chris Christie last summer, Perry figures if he can get in a fight with Paul it will help to rally the large segments of the GOP who are not with Paul’s libertarian views or think he’s electoral poison. If Paul does gain real momentum the Bush Republicans will be looking for someone to get behind and it could be any port in a storm.
The problem for Perry is that he had his chance in 2012 and oops, he blew it. But for someone with a more legitimate chance this is a tactic that could be very helpful. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Pence or Ted Cruz takes this up as we get closer to the Iowa Caucuses.
Third, Paul knows he has a target on his back and that instead of being the hunter he is going to be the hunted. In particular, his response shows Paul knows questions about his foreign policy stances are going to be a major factor in his 2016 run. There are many Republicans who said about hid dad “I love him on economics but can’t vote for him because of foreign policy*” and Paul Jr. wants to take away that barrier to them supporting him. The interesting long-term question is how far will he go to do that?
* I guess this means they embrace economic policies that calls Social Security a ponzi-scheme, would eliminate the Food and Drug Administration, and opposes NAFTA.