A.J. Delgado explains that the foreign policy disagreements between Cruz and Paul are nothing new:
In other words, Cruz has shown no actual noninterventionist leanings. Contrast that with his consistency on Iran or his recent statements on America’s role in the world. If foreign policy is a major issue for a voter—and for many it is and unquestionably should be—there can be no “Eh, I could go with either Paul or Cruz.” They were never together, thus there was never a breakup.
This is absolutely correct. Ever since he was a candidate in the Texas Senate primary, Cruz has taken a conventional hawkish position on virtually every issue, and in some cases has made a point of going beyond what other hawks in the party have been willing to say. While it’s true that Cruz’s candidacy was endorsed by the Pauls, this mainly had to do with Cruz’s constitutionalist rhetoric and domestic policy views. On foreign policy, Cruz has been similar to Rubio in that he endorses hawkish positions while trying not to be pigeonholed as a McCain clone. Unlike Rubio, Cruz can’t seem to help himself from going overboard in his rhetoric.
Delgado makes sense of Cruz’s confused Syria position:
As for Cruz’s opposition to intervention in Syria, it was most likely adopted for the same reasons many interventionist-minded rank-and-file Republicans were suddenly sounding like Ron Paul himself: because Obama was for it, which meant they were against it. Lest there be any doubt, Cruz told The Weekly Standard this week that “he would have been open to aiding Syrian rebels if the administration had been able to identify nonjihadists among their ranks.”
Cruz’s opposition to bombing Syria was also quite a turnaround from his earlier view. It seems that no one remembers it now, but earlier in 2013 Cruz took a much more aggressive interventionist line on Syria, because at that time the convenient anti-Obama position in the GOP was to attack the administration for not doing enough. Last summer, Cruz was even talking about sending in U.S. forces to secure Syria’s chemical weapons:
We need to be developing a clear, practical plan to go in, locate the weapons, secure or destroy them, and then get out. The United States should be firmly in the lead to make sure the job is done right.
But when Obama sought support for his “limited” strikes just a few weeks after this, Cruz was quick to change his tune and begin railing against the idea of acting as “Al Qaeda’s air force.” Not only does Cruz veer from one pole to the other as necessary, but manages to make whichever position he adopts less credible in the process.