The simmering feud between Senators Rand Paul and John McCain just got a lot hotter on Wednesday when neoconservative McCain accused the more non-interventionist Paul of “working for Vladimir Putin.”
In calling up consideration of a treaty that would allow the nation of Montenegro into NATO, McCain preemptively labeled anyone who might wonder what a tiny former Yugoslav country on the Adriatic Sea has to do with U.S. national interests: “If there’s objection,” McCain warned, “you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin. If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin, and I do not say that lightly.”
Not to be bullied, Paul said “I object,” then abruptly left the Senate chambers.
This apparently shocked McCain, who said, “That is really remarkable, that a senator, blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number, perhaps 98 at least of his colleagues, would come to the floor and object, and walk away. The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no argument to be made.”
“The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain concluded.
Senator Paul later released a statement to Business Insider explaining his actions, saying it would be “unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
“Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan),” Paul’s statement to Business Insider reads. “In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO.”
One Senator’s objection normally might not bother McCain, but the law requires unanimous Senate consent to add a country to NATO, according to Business Insider.
McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo said the senators who agree with the treaty deserve more of an explanation from Paul: “The overwhelming majority of senators who support this treaty, and certainly the people of Montenegro, deserved an explanation from Senator Paul on the Senate floor as to why he sought to prevent this small, brave country from joining in the defense of the free world,” Tarallo said.
Last month, Paul said of McCain, “He would bankrupt the nation. We’re very lucky John McCain’s not in charge because I think we’d be in perpetual war.”
And he’s right. By single-handedly prohibiting McCain from ensnaring the United States into even more foreign obligations and entanglements, Paul is doing the work of the American people, even if not one other senator agrees.
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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