Fox Business' debate moderators knew that tonight's economic discussion, while mostly focused on domestic spending and taxes, would not be complete without addressing America’s global security concerns. That shift in topic gave way for Marco Rubio and Rand Paul to have an explosive exchange over defense spending.
I know that Rand is a “committed isolationist,” Rubio pointedly said to his GOP opponent.
“Marco, how is it conservative to add $1 trillion in military expenditures?” Paul countered.
Rubio insisted we build up our military because we have radical enemies around the world. Radical jihadists in the Middle East, radical Shia clerics in Iran, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea, just to name a few.
“We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe,” he said.
Paul, who believes being a small government conservative includes being conservative on defense spending, said we should limit military expenditures.
“I want a strong national defense, but I don’t want us to be bankrupt,” he said.
As some of my colleagues noted, we may be seeing this exchange in campaign ads in the coming days, considering it occurred the night before Veteran’s Day.