Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas shakes hands with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo
One Republican presidential hopeful took veiled shots at another in a scathing op-ed Monday chiding the party for misinterpreting Ronald Reagan's legacy.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul blasted his fellow Republicans in an essay apparently aimed at his colleague from Texas, Ted Cruz.
“I don’t claim to be the next Ronald Reagan nor do I attempt to disparage fellow Republicans as not being sufficiently Reaganesque,” Paul wrote in the column, published on Breitbart. “I will remind anyone who thinks we will win elections by trashing previous Republican nominees or holding oneself out as some paragon in the mold of Reagan, that splintering the party is not the route to victory.”
Paul does not directly name Cruz, who is hardly the only Republican to frequently mention the former president as the standard to which they must all try to measure up. But Cruz is perhaps the most egregious user of the Reagan reference, making the op-ed an almost certain shot at him.
In his Conservative Political Action Conference speech Sunday, Cruz was blunt: "I don't agree with [Paul] on foreign policy."
But in the column, Paul tried to draw together the points of agreement within the party with regard to international military action, rather than hold up divisions.
"Regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for example, there is little difference among most Republicans on what to do," Paul wrote. "All of us believe we should stand up to Putin's aggression. Virtually no one believes we should intervene militarily."
In the end, he charged his fellow Republicans with failing Regan's legacy by failing to put country first and choose diplomacy over intervention.
"Today’s Republicans should concentrate on establishing their own identities and agendas," he wrote, "as opposed to simply latching onto Ronald Reagan’s legacy -- or worse, misrepresenting it."