“We have to decide what is conservative and what isn’t conservative.”

In the GOP Presidential Debate, Senator Rand Paul challenged Republicans across the country when he asked, “How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures?” The immediate visceral reaction was a chorus of Boos from the debate audience.

Take a walk back in history with me to an interview of Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by Fortune Magazine.

At one time you said in a different context that the national debt was a threat to national security. What was your thinking?

Actually the way I said it was — and I still believe this — that it’s the single biggest threat to our national security. Obviously it’s complex, but the way I looked at it, if we didn’t get control of our debt, there would be continued loss of confidence in America.

Admiral Mullen is not the only one. As Fox Business, the same Fox Business that moderated the debate, highlighted others with similar sentiment in 2011:

We’ve reached a point now where there’s an intimate link between our solvency and our national security.“—Richard Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations

“Our rising debt levels (pose) a national security threat.”—US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Council on Foreign Relations, Sept. 2010

Want more?

How about Mitt Romney…

During the final presidential debate Monday night, Gov. Mitt Romney said the nation’s spiraling debt was a real and present national security threat.

“In order to be able to fulfill our role in the world, America must be strong. America must lead,” he said.

“And for that to happen, we have to strengthen our economy here at home. You can’t have 23 million people struggling to get a job. You can’t have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate. You can’t have kids coming out of college, half of whom can’t find a job today, or a job that’s commensurate with their college degree.”

SOURCE: The Daily Caller

Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT):

Currently, we are sitting on over $17 trillion in debt. Our path just isn’t sustainable. Our debt suppresses economic growth and poses a serious national security threat.

Tasc, Inc. CEO David Langstaff during a National Press Club panel event:

The reality is that the greatest threat to our national security over the long term is our federal debt.

Maybe Senator Paul was on to something.