Leaders on both sides of the aisle haven’t learned from America’s foreign policy failures, Sens. Rand Paul and JD Vance asserted Thursday at a Capitol Hill event. 

Both GOP lawmakers called out their party leader—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—by name.

Vance, R-Ohio, accused “neocons” of wanting to go to war with China and continuing to trade with the communist regime. 

“I think the neoconservative approach to China is sort of the dumbest of all possible solutions. They want the Chinese to manufacture all of our stuff, and they also want to go to war with China,” Vance said. “Put me firmly in the category of: I don’t want to go to war with China, and I don’t want them to make our stuff.”

Paul, R-Ky., noting that he’s been called an “isolationist,” attempted to turn the table on McConnell, the senior senator from their common state of Kentucky. 

“What are the McConnells of this world and those beating the drums with China want to do? They want to end trade with China, a big trading partner with a lot of stuff,” Paul said. 

“I’m not here to say the Chinese government is a great government,” he said. “I wrote a whole book talking about how they, in all likelihood, knew the coronavirus came from a lab. So I have no love for the Chinese communists. But I think ending trade is a disaster and hurts both sides.”

Paul and Vance spoke at an event sponsored by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank, titled “What a Foreign Policy for the Middle Class Looks Like.” 

The two senators, along with other speakers, argued that foreign entanglements endanger America’s domestic economy.  

Paul also said he doesn’t care for Saudi Arabia, but disagrees with neoconservative colleagues who seek to end trade with the Muslim nation. 

“I wouldn’t sell them arms, but I wouldn’t have an embargo and I wouldn’t quit trading with them,” Paul said of Saudi Arabia. “So really there’s a bit of isolationism that actually goes into the neoconservatives. They’re the ones who want to ban trade with countries.”

Paul and Vance used the terms “neoconservatives” or “neocons” broadly to describe lawmakers in Washington that supported continued arming of Ukraine in its defense against an invading Russia. 

Vance asserted that foreign commitments to Israel and Ukraine are different. 

“I’m supportive of Israel and their war against Hamas. I certainly admire the Ukrainians who are fighting against Russia, but I do not think that it is in America’s interest to continue to fund an effectively never-ending war in Ukraine,” Vance said. 

Vance said there is no end in sight to the Russia-Ukraine war, and U.S. funding allows Europe to do nothing. 

The Ohio Republican stressed that a big reason Americans care about Israel is because the U.S. remains a majority Christian country. 

From there, Vance launched into a verbal indictment of neoconservative foreign-intervention policies, asserting that the Iraq War—of which he is a veteran—ultimately led to another Iran proxy in the Middle East as well as to a genocide of Christians

“If George W. Bush had stood before the American people in 2003 and said: ‘Hey, guys, we’re going to go to war, not to eradicate weapons of mass destruction or to spread democracy, we’re going to go to war to create a regional proxy for Iran and … our actions will lead to the genocide of a historical Christian community,’ I don’t think Americans would have supported it,” Vance said.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to accurately quote Sen. JD Vance saying, “I don’t want to go to war with China, and I don’t want them to make our stuff.”