MEGYN KELLY, KELLY FILE: Senator Paul has already kicked off a very busy series of campaign stops. He joins me tonight from South Carolina. Great to see you, Senator. Thank you for being here.
So, let's start with Charles Krauthammer. Because he's beloved by so many in the Republican Party. And people say if I have to choose between Charles and Rand Paul, who do I side with?
SEN. RAND PAUL: And here's the thing. You know, I like Charles. He's a fellow physician. And we have a good personal relationship. But you know what, sometimes he's just wrong. And what I would say the reason he's wrong is that if you look at who's closest to President Obama on foreign policy, it would be the people who have supported his policies like the war in Libya.
And I think the neocons both in our party have been very close to President Obama on all of these issues. The only place that they have differed is in degrees. I have been the one who opposed the war in Libya. I was the one opposed to Obama bombing in Assad when the Syria -- beginning of the Syrian conflict. I was the one opposed to Obama's arming of the Syrian rebels, of the Islamic rebels.
See, the neocons have been in favor of all of these things. And they're actually much closer to President Obama than I am.
KELLY: Is he a neocon, is Charles Krauthammer a neocon?
PAUL: Excuse me?
KELLY: Is Charles a neocon?
PAUL: Well, I would say that Charles on this issue is incorrect.
KELLY: I know. But I'm just trying to understand what you mean because you've been saying a lot about neocons. And who are they? In your mind, you know, who are they? What section of the Republican Party do you mean? Like Bill Crystal? Lindsey Graham?
PAUL: It's more of a philosophy. And they will know when you talk about them, they will know who they are. But the reason I don't choose to bring up names is I don't want to make this about personalities. But there's a philosophy of neo-conservativism. And I think they were wrong in Libya --
KELLY: Yes. But when you say that -- when you say that, I mean, this is -- you have to fight before you can fight for any general election against Hillary Clinton who I know, you have been, you know, remarking on, you have to win the GOP nomination. And can you do it by alienating what was at least as of a few years ago said to be about 10 percent of the GOP, which is neoconservatives.
PAUL: Well, yes, but here's the thing, Megyn. I didn't start this. It's not my choice to start out by having a war with Republicans. But I will tell you for example in polling in Iowa about two months ago they asked the question, are you -- do you favor Rand Paul's foreign policy of being less involved, or do you favor John McCain's policy of being more involved intervening more in war around the world. And it's actually pretty evenly split. About half Republicans thinks, yep, John McCain's always right and we should have troops in 15 countries and be at war continuously. But about half the party says, you know what, Rand Paul has a point. Sometimes we get involved and it actually backfires on us. I think Libya's an example of that. And I think had we toppled Assad, ISIS would have been stronger. And I think our arming of the Islamic rebels in that civil war has allowed ISIS to get stronger.