Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul says he's "not thinking about Afghanistan" much and that "foreign policy is really a complete non-issue."
Paul discussed his stance those issues during an interview with the National Review on Wednesday:
"Within Republican and conservative circles, the position is somewhat monolithic," he says. "But how long is long enough? It's too simplistic to say there is never a time to come home, or that it's unpatriotic to debate. There are reasonable people, conservatives like me, who believe that defense is the primary role of the federal government, but do not believe that you can make Afghanistan into a nation. It never has been one." If he had the chance to ask General Petraeus some questions, he says he'd ask, "Is there an end? How can it end? And is it still in our interests?"
Paul also weighed in on issues closer to home. He speculated on who his political allies might be in the Senate were he to be elected. Paul predicted that he would become "part of a nucleus with Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, who are unafraid to stand up." A "tea-party caucus" is what the GOP contender envisions.
Paul left the door open to supporting a Republican other than his home state U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to be the party's ranking Senate member.
As for the obstacles Paul has faced thus far in his quest to Capitol Hill, the Republican candidate acknowledged that he still can't seem to shake backlash he's faced from controversial comments he made back in May on the Civil Rights Act.
"Since the election, they've been trying to characterize me as something I'm not," Paul lamented. "Same with the tea parties. At every rally, they're trying to find the one sign that makes the tea parties look racist. It has been a concerted effort."