Paul was asked how he would deal with the possibility that his opponents and Super PACs would attack him for being weak on defense. But the Kentucky Republican said his viewpoint is gaining steam and would not necessarily be a hindrance if he runs for president in 2016.

“This is not a small movement, nor is it easy to say people like myself, who believe in less intervention, can be characterized as people who don’t believe in a strong national defense,” Paul said. “That is a caricature and I will have to fight that, but we’ll see what happens.”

McCain and Paul have sparred over the role the United States should play in the world. But the two seemed to be turning a corner recently when McCain said Paul was “evolving with experience” and told The New Yorker he would support Paul if he became the Republican presidential nominee.