- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

GOP presidential contender Rand Paul distanced himself from several of his rivals Tuesday by warning against the United States pushing to militarily topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr. Paul said that Ohio Gov. John Kasich and others in the 2016 field are wrong to say that Assad must be removed from power, arguing that it would add to the chaos in the Middle East.

“We have to have a more realistic foreign policy and not a utopian one where we say, ‘Oh, we are going to spread freedom and democracy and everybody in the Middle East is going to love us.’ They are not going to love us,” Mr. Paul said.

The question over how to handle the Syrian leader has emerged as a clear dividing line in the Republican nomination contest. Donald Trump also has warned against taking out Asaad.

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