Rise of ISIS tests GOP anti-interventionists

“Things are moving back in that [hawkish] direction, reflecting the mood of most Americans who are angry at what they’re seeing,” said Brian Walsh, a former spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “Candidates are responding to that, and it is a product of the atmospherics.”

William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a leading pro-interventionist voice on the right, said Republicans are moving back to their “inner hawkishness.” He said that some in the party had been “a little intimidated for a while . . . by the so-called libertarian moment” but that GOP candidates are now showing a greater willingness to extend their foreign policy statements beyond mere attacks on Obama.

“What heartens me is that [candidates] are going beyond that criticism and talking about the need for a different approach, about how we can’t freak out when someone mentions potentially putting boots on the ground,” Kristol said.