Rand Paul is taking his controversial message on defense spending to GOP voters in the Hawkeye State, after earning both applause and a lecture from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the fourth Republican debate Tuesday.

The Kentucky senator kicked off a 48-hour swing through Iowa just hours after Tuesday's debate in Milwaukee, where his heated exchange with Rubio over increased military spending emerged as one of the most memorable moments of the night.

Paul got mixed reactions when he argued that candidates who advocate expanding the Pentagon's budget aren't true fiscal conservatives. But the GOP hopeful repeated that message nonetheless during several meet-and-greets in the earliest voting state.

"Right now, most people don't think that we're going to be invaded by Germany or invaded by Iran. Most people do think we have a pretty strong national defense," Paul told supporters in Des Moines.

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