Because Republican voters are apparently becoming increasingly concerned about defense issues – even though most of them have been callously indifferent to these issues for many years until now – and because a growing majority of Americans and Republicans opposes defense cuts and other weak defense policies, the Ron Paul campaign team is desperate to portray Ron Paul as being strong on defense.
They will fail, however, because Ron Paul is in fact extremely weak on this issue, and stands to the far left of Barack Obama and the Democrats. It’s hard to misportray a record that is glaringly obvious.
Nonetheless, they are desperately trying. Recently in the pages of the Daily Caller, “senior advisor to Ron Paul” Bruce Fein, whom I have repeatedly disproven here and on DC’s website, tried to argue that no presidential candidate is stronger on defense than Ron Paul. Fein claims that Paul is stronger on defense (i.e. on protecting America itself) than any other presidential candidate, and merely opposes wars of intervention, deployments of troops abroad, alliances, and defense commitments to foreign countries.
Assuming (just for the sake of argument – not that his claim is true, just for the sake of argument) that all of them are bad and should all be terminated and the troops brought back home from all foreign countries, Ron Paul is very weak on the issue of defending America itself, even weaker than Huntsman, even if one were to assume that the US military should defend only the US proper.
Specifically, Ron Paul has been arguing against, voting against, and working against all defense budgets and many crucial defense programs of the last 30 years, including President Reagan’s defense budgets and the B-1 bomber program. Not just against OCO spending, but also against core defense budgets and crucial weapon programs.
Furthermore, last year he teamed up with extremely leftist Democrats Barney Frank and Ron Wyden to cut defense spending by $1 trillion, dramatically cut the force structure, dramatically cut the US nuclear arsenal, and cancel many crucial weapon programs, including the F-35, the next generation bomber program, the V-22, etc. These disastrous proposals were, fortunately, rejected by the Congress. Now Ron Paul has become the staunchest Washington advocate (besides liberal Congressman Jerrold Nadler of NY) for the sequester and the huge defense cuts it would make. And yet, Paul still denies that the sequester will cut defense spending at all, instead claiming it will merely reduce the growth of defense spending, which is a blatant lie disproven by myself as well as Daniel Horowitz.
Ron Paul’s own budget plan calls not only for a total elimination of the OCO budget in FY2013 and an immediate withdrawal of all US troops from all countries around the world (which would INCREASE the costs of military bases by adding new MILCON costs to the defense budget), but also for a 15% cut of the core defense budget, down to $501 bn in FY2013, on top of all the defense cuts already administered or scheduled. Defense spending would then remain below $520 bn (and below $510 bn until FY2015) forever. Furthermore, all of the DOE’s defense-related programs would presumably be crowded into this inadequate defense budget, since Paul’s budget plan calls for a total abolition of the DOE and zeroing out funding for it, while not calling for any cut, let alone total abolition, of the pork dollars with which he lards all annual Appropriation Bills before he casts meaningless votes against their final passage.
In sum, Bruce Fein’s pathetic attempt to portray Ron Paul as strong on defense is not just pathetic, it’s false. It’s factually wrong. No other GOP candidate, except Gary Johnson and Jon Huntsman, is as weak on defense as Ron Paul. Nominating him would mean surrendering the GOP’s traditional advantage and credibility while removing President Obama’s biggest electoral vulnerability from the table. This must be rejected.