Sen. Rand Paul addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition's 'Road to Majority' Policy Conference at the Omni Shoreham hotel June 20, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty

A party divided

With 2016 on the horizon, this year has become a stage for Republicans to proclaim their visions for the country  But it is becoming clear there is no truly united conservative perspective on the foreign and domestic challenges facing our country.

On the foreign policy front, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are facing off when it comes to their different approaches to American involvement abroad. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Perry advocates for a wider understanding of conflicts abroad as direct threats to the security of the United States.  Perry targets Paul for his isolationist foreign policy stance and criticizes Paul’s attitude that “the best approach to this 21st-century threat is to do next to nothing.” 

Paul is quick to respond with his own piece in Politico, titled “Rick Perry is Dead Wrong”.  He calls Perry’s characterization of his foreign policy a “fictionalized account… mischaracterizing my views.”  Paul asserts “Perry couldn’t be more stuck in the past” with his views of the global climate and the American role in foreign conflict.  

In Washington, there is an additional divide concerning House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) lawsuit against the President.  Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) has called for the impeachment of President Obama citing his “purposeful dereliction of duty.”  Her assertion that “the many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored” caused a number of Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), to cringe.  Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard and a champion of Palin, disagrees with her call for impeachment.  On ABC’s “This Week,” Kristol said, “No responsible Republican elected official has called for impeachment.”  Boehner also rejected Palin’s impeachment idea by expressing his disagreement when asked about Palin’s comments during a press conference last Wednesday.

Throughout 2014, the Republican party has had trouble creating a unified front on a number of issues. In light of these dividing matters, tensions are at a high in Washington, and Republicans must find a way to prevent these resurging rivalries from inhibiting the party’s image if they seek success in this year’s midterms.

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 7/14/14, 7:01 PM ET

Rick Perry Vs. Rand Paul

Bob Woodward and Howard Fineman join Chris Matthews to weigh in on the foreign policy rift in the GOP.