Continuing to position himself on certain issues to the right of potential 2016 rival Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he does not agree with the libertarian Paul on foreign policy.
“I am a big fan of Rand Paul,” Cruz said in an interview from CPAC that aired on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, a day after Paul won the CPAC straw poll. “But I don’t agree with him on foreign policy.”
Cruz said though he agrees with Paul about being “very reluctant” to deploy military forces abroad, “U.S. leadership is critical in the world” and, in the spirit of Ronald Reagan, the United States has a “vital role” to play in it.
Cruz positioned his Reaganesque foreign policy between Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) and Paul’s during what may have been his most significant foreign policy speech at the Uninvited II national security forum across the street from CPAC on Thursday. That talk was sponsored by Breitbart News.
Cruz is leading among Tea Party voters in nearly every 2016 presidential poll, and that may allow him to use foreign policy to branch out and expand his coalition should he run in 2016. As Breitbart News has reported, Paul and Cruz would be competing for the same voters should they both run for president. For instance, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose endorsement has the most impact in GOP primaries, said that if she does not run, Cruz and Paul would be at the top of her list.
Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks with ABC’s Jonathan Karl