Addressing members and supporters of the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) focused on foreign policy and radical Islam — and may have given another hint that he might consider a presidential run in 2016.
In the 21-minute speech, Paul proposed numerous hands-on and troops-out approaches geared toward both fighting terrorism and negotiating with countries like Iran. Unlike the isolationist approach of his father, former libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), the junior Paul understands the reality of the world, and has no desire to end American involvement in foreing affairs.
Paul does believe, however, that America's foreign policy needs to be scaled down, stating, “I’d argue that a more restrained foreign policy is the true conservative foreign policy, as it includes two basic tenets of true conservatism: respect for the Constitution and fiscal discipline.”
As he continued with his presentation, Paul also noted that it is radical Islam, not terrorism, which America is at war with. Realizing the true danger that radical Islam presents, Paul said, "As many are quick to note, the war is not with Islam but with a radical element of Islam — the problem is that this element is no small minority but a vibrant, often mainstream, vocal and numerous minority."
Paul, who also strongly addressed the issue of Iran, offered an interesting point of view and pushed for containment and diplomacy, stating, "Understandably no one wants to imagine what happens if Iran develops a nuclear weapon. But if we don’t have at least some of that discussion now, then the danger exists that war is the only remedy."
"Let me be clear," Paul continued, "I don’t want Iran to develop nuclear weapons but I also don’t want to decide with certainty that war is the only option."
As it appears, Paul seems to be setting himself up for a 2016 presidential run, on account that he has increasingly made numerous foreign policy comments that seem to distance himself from his father and place himself closer to the mainstream.
Most recently, Paul's comments concerning Israel had been revered by conservatives far and wide, after declaring, "What I think we should do is announce to the world, and i think it is well-known, that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States."
Even Paul's comments over the murder of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle have been widely publicized, as he took the opposite approach of his father, and commended Kyle for his heroic service and offered compassion for the Kyle family.
As Rand Paul continues to gain attention in the media and further distances himself from the isolationist views of his father, it may prove to be the beginning of his 2016 presidential campaign — potential that will only be revealed in time, and one that many conservatives are hoping for.