The Man Who Could Stop Romney From Being Secretary of State

Donald Trump is considering appointing Mitt Romney Secretary of State. The two dined together in Manhattan last night, and they’d met earlier at Trump Tower. The move is viewed by many as an opportunity for Trump to reach out to those who opposed his election in hopes of bringing the party together.

And there’s one man who could stop it: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. As Politico reports:

The Kentucky Republican, who serves as a key swing vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that will consider Trump’s nominee to head the State Department, said in an interview Wednesday that he needs to hear more from the 2012 presidential nominee before he can commit to supporting him.

Paul’s main concern? Whether Romney is in line with Trump on opposing the Iraq War and regime change.

The libertarian-leaning Paul is one of the most skeptical Republicans in Congress when it comes to military intervention. And while Paul believes that Trump “gets it,” he’s not sure about Romney.

“We need to know more about what Romney’s viewpoint is,” Paul said. “I haven’t heard a lot from him that parallels [Trump], so I want to hear from him that he understands the historical significance of the Iraq war, making us less safe, making the region less safe and emboldening Iran. If people don’t understand the unintended consequences of the Iraq War, I don’t think they understand what Donald Trump said in the election.”

Paul’s concerns are legitimate. Trump’s campaigned heavily on a platform of peace through strength that rebuffed the notion that it’s America’s duty to intervene in every Islamic hellhole on earth. Trump’s deputy national security advisor, KT McFarland, espouses the doctrine of peace through strength, where America intervenes only when a vital national interest is threatened and a concrete plan for victory exists. 

Romney? Not so much. His national security team in 2012 was filled with neoconservative chicken hawks who never served in the military but are willing and eager to send American troops into harm’s way every time there’s any sort of disturbance in the Islamic world. It’s hard to see how his foreign policy preferences could square with Trump’s priorities. 

Do you think Romney is a good pick? Let us know in the comments. 


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