Conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist praised Senator Rand Paul’s foreign-policy speech on Thursday, comparing the Kentucky Republican’s vision favorably to that of President Ronald Reagan.
Seeking to silence critics who call him an isolationist, the likely 2016 presidential candidate rebranded his foreign policy as “conservative realism” during a speech at the Center for the National Interest. He focused particularly on the 2011 U.S. intervention in Libya, which he said created a “jihadist wonderland” and was “not in our national interest.”
The speech impressed Norquist, with several reporters overhearing the Americans for Tax Reform president liken Paul’s foreign-policy outlook to President Reagan’s:
Paul’s more hawkish critics pounced on Norquist’s praise. “No, that was George McGovern,” Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tweeted in response to Norquist’s statement.