Sen. John McCain’s dislike for President Donald Trump is fueling the Arizona Republican’s endless criticism of everything Trump does and says, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., maintained on Sunday.
Paul, who was interviewed on the ABC program This Week, also said the nation is far better off with Trump at the helm that it would be if McCain were calling the shots.
Trump and McCain have been at odds personally and politically ever since Trump, at the start of his campaign, downplayed McCain’s record of service in the Vietnam War. McCain kept his distance from Trump during the 2016 campaign, and since Trump’s inauguration has staked out positions contrary to the president on a number of issues, including relations with Russia.
On Sunday, McCain commented on Trump’s battle with the media, saying dictators seek to control the press.
— #TheResistance (@AynRandPaulRyan) February 18, 2017
“The first thing that dictators do is shut down the press,” McCain said. “And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
Paul, however, found McCain’s logic flawed.
“I don’t agree with his analysis and applying that to the president,” he said. “I haven’t seen any legislation coming forward that wants to limit the press. I see President Trump expressing his opinion, rather forceful in his own — you know, his own distinct way.”
Paul said the issue comes down to McCain’s personal dislike of Trump and McCain’s globalist worldview.
“Everything that he says about the president is colored by his own personal dispute he’s got running with President Trump, and it should be taken with a grain of salt, because John McCain’s the guy who’s advocated for war everywhere,” Paul said.
“I think it’s more a foreign policy debate, and Trump and McCain are on opposite sides of that debate,” Paul said. “And I tend to sympathize more with the president. We don’t need to continue to have regime change throughout the world, nation-building.”
McCain “would bankrupt the nation,” Paul said. “We’re very lucky John McCain’s not in charge, because I think we’d be in perpetual war.”
Paul said McCain wrongly wants the United States involved in fights around the world.
“I would say John McCain’s been wrong on just about everything over the last four decades. He advocated for the Iraq War, which I think destabilized the Middle East,” he said.
“If you look at the map, there’s probably at least six different countries where John McCain has advocated for us having boots on the ground.”
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