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Rand Paul: "Over-The-Top Aggressive Foreign Policy" Isn't Conservative

A preview of his big speech next week?

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Sen. Rand Paul appeared on conservative talk radio host Bryan Fischer's show on Wednesday and denounced a conservative foreign policy that he views as "over-the-top aggressive."

Asked how he would "evolve and adapt" the Republican party, Paul said, "One of the things that I think really may scare away some people is sometimes our discussion of foreign policy is about, oh, well we need to bomb this country, or no, I would bomb them before you would, or I would bomb them the day before yesterday, or I would bomb them into oblivion."

"I don't think that's necessarily a conservative point of view," Paul said. "That sort of over-the-top aggressive foreign policy doesn't have to be really a conservative or constitutional point of view but it scares some people away from our party."

Paul called for a party that emphasizes "strong national defense as a deterrent to war, but not eager for war" and said it was important that "we don't appear to be the party that's eager for war."

"That's what I mean by evolving."

Paul is due to give a foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation next week, where he "will discuss his vision of a foreign policy that respects the plain language of our Constitution, the legal powers of Congress and the proper duties of the Commander-in-Chief."

"Senator Paul will map out a foreign policy vision in which America can better avoid never-ending conflict and protracted commitments," according to Heritage's copy.

The language Paul used on Fischer's show seems to gesture toward what he'll say in his speech.

Paul has been attempting a rapprochement with more hawkish members of his party lately, meeting with neo-conservatives and visiting Israel, a country he and his father have been accused of insufficiently supporting. But his comments on Fischer's program show a reluctance to go the full neo-con.

Later in the interview, Paul touched on immigration reform, and made a proposal: "Each year we vote on a report, a report comes back and it lists five or six things they have to measure at the border, how many people are getting across, how many we're sending back, that kind of thing."

"The problem has been that in the past when they did [immigration reform] under Reagan, they traded amnesty for security at the border," Paul said.

Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.

Contact Rosie Gray at

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