He's right, of course. Traditional Republican ideals do not involve foreign wars or nation building. World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam all occurred under Democratic presidents. Americans were so desperate to get out of Vietnam that they elected Richard Nixon.
Conservatives were furious when Clinton went into Somalia, Haiti and the Baltic states.
People forget that George W. Bush actually ran against Al Gore on this very issue.
I really like what Bush was saying there. It wasn't out of line with Republican ideals from only a few years ago. Unfortunately, he totally fell apart on this issue after the September 11th attacks. The real tragedy was that he took the majority of the American public with him, not just the Republican party. It's taken a long time for people to come back to their senses on this issue.
While we're talking about Bush, please don't mistakenly believe he was a conservative, free market, limited government president. There's nothing conservative about unprecedented levels of federal deficit spending. Creating the biggest entitlement expansion since Johnson isn't a free market activity. Neither is bailing out failed private companies with funds taken from taxpayers. Creating the Department of Homeland Security has nothing to do with limited government. Reagan campaigned on ending the Department of Education. It was part of the official Republican platform in 1996, when Bob Dole campaigned on the issue. Bush, on the other hand doubled the Department of Education's budget during his tenure - and gave us No Child Left Behind.
Bush was not a free market, limited president. He was a big government, deficit-spending president who led us into disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have yet to find our way out.