Sen. Rand Paul to visit Israel on Middle East tour
November 30th, 2012
04:57 PM ET
6 months ago

Sen. Rand Paul to visit Israel on Middle East tour

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, will travel to the Middle East in the new year, his spokeswoman confirmed to CNN on Friday.

Paul will travel to Israel and Jordan in early January for the information gathering trip lasting a little over a week, his communications director, Moira Bagley, said.

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It will be his first trip to the region, she said.

The trip will no doubt stir speculation surrounding his interest in a bid for the White House, which he addressed in interviews on ABC and CNN.

In the CNN interview earlier this week, he said, "What I've said is that I won't deny I'm interested - a little bit different than 'I am interested.' "

The trip will be privately funded and not paid for by the federal government, Bagley said.

Paul's office has requested to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Jordan's King Abdullah, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Joining Paul on the trip will be evangelical activist David Lane, Iowa Chairwoman for Concerned Women for America Tamara Scott, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party Chad Connelly, and Pastor Brad Sherman, who headed up the Iowa pastors for Mike Huckabee effort in 2008.

His father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, made his third unsuccessful bid for the presidency this year and is retiring from the U.S. House.

News of the trip was first reported by the website CBN.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report


Filed under: 2016 • Rand Paul
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    I shrugged.

    November 30, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    While he's out and about, I hope Paul shares with us where in the world the policies he advocates have produced a prosperous and sustainable society, with a strong middle class, innovation and stability.

    *crickets*

    November 30, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The trip will no doubt stir speculation surrounding his interest in a bid for the White House, which he addressed in interviews on ABC and CNN."

    The bad news for Rand is he isn't his father. The good news for Rand is he isn't his father. Either way, he loses. But, let him run for President anyway. As we saw this year, the GOP Clown Car is never too short of occupants to amuse us with their wit and visions.

    November 30, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Mort

    Paul will travel to Israel and Jordan in early January for the information gathering trip lasting a little over a week, his communications director, Moira Bagley, said.

    I sure he will pay his own way and not travel at the taxpayer expense.

    November 30, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. California Gary

    It would seem that Ron Paul is finally ready to pass the torch to junior........

    November 30, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    AT WHOSE COST? Is this going to be foreign affairs experience? At top one percent or 47 percent cost?

    November 30, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Why would Paul bother with 2016? According to Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity and the like, the U.S. will cease to exist any second now because we re-elected President Obama ...

    November 30, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Paul is paying for this trip himself, right? Because in these tough economic times, we can't afford to send a junior Senator on a trip so he can learn geography.

    November 30, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Facts don't Lie

    maybe President Obama could appoint him to be an ambassador and he can STAY over there for a while. Hopefully they won't have any guys stomping on women's heads to get to see him like what happened here in 2010.

    November 30, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    Who cares?? I loathe this person.

    November 30, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. John the Historian

    I hope he promotes a two state solution. Bush II promised a Palestinian state by 2005 and lied. There are 6 million Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Palestinians are both muslim and christian so it is time for a free and independent state. Why has Israel not promoted interfaith dialogue, multiculturalism, and intermarriage between jews and Palestinians ? Switzerland has three ethnic groups and it works. Canada has an English, French , and Indian culture and it works. No more wars for the Middle East and the Neocons. War is only death, disease, horror, and destruction. Turn off Fox News America. It is only GOP and Neocon propaganda.

    November 30, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Is this his foreign policy trip for 2016??? What a clown!!! It ain't gonna work dummy!

    November 30, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Jack

    Mr. Paul,

    Stay at home like your counterparts say about President Obama and finish the peoples work. Vote on the bill that Senate to you months ago.

    November 30, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. CommonSense 12

    This is absolutely amazing!!! Rand is a darn idiot, knowing that the apple don't fall too far from the tree, there is no way in hell the American people will elect you as the president of this country!!! Maybe, you can campaign on Newt's moon colony....

    November 30, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. ST

    Rand Paul are these preparations for 2016 bid? Going to Israel doesn't give anyone any guarantee to win. Sarah Palin went there as well, the man who recently lost election was there and wrote his wish and stuck it inside the wall.

    November 30, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. kayla

    send in the clown

    November 30, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Willie Floyd

    Pay your own way!!! If you like it even a little-just stay.

    November 30, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen Rand Paul is making a much too obvious and early run for the White House.

    November 30, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This is another luxury trip at taxpayer expense, just like the one Tennessee Senator Bob Corker recently took to the Middle East. These republican senators have no business travelling to these areas, where they can't help, and also when they haven't been willing to work on any of the problems they have created here at home.

    November 30, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Larry in Houston

    @ John The Historian – @ 5:35 pm- – – I agree with you – – – This has been going on for almost 40 years now – remember Golda Meir ? Henry Kissinger ? Menachem Begin ? and the list goes On – – remember Carter ? when he went to "Camp David" so many times, that the people in the U.S. wondered what in the world they were doing there everytime you turned around ? I mean, everytime you turned on the news, it was all about Camp David, and the middle east "peace" accords. This same stuff has been going on for over 40 years. BTW – Still the same problem, still the same everything – – ( no peace ) and the same 'ol problem – – Palestine people doesn't have their Own State. Pathetic, isn't it ?

    November 30, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Squigman

    Let's hope they keep him. He'd never be missed here.

    November 30, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Tony in Maine

    After Israel, Iowa, then NH.

    Yep – he's running.

    November 30, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Ah, yes. The obligatory visits to Israel by Republican Candidates seeking the Presidency. Does Rand think being first will serve him better?

    November 30, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. marty

    Personally paying a co-pay of at least 50% of the Middle East trip's expenses would be a nice start for Rand Paul. That's the short term. Next year, for the longer term, he should pay a 75% co-pay and the following year, 100% of expenses of all information gathering and fact finding trips out of the USA. Rand Paul can set an example of austerity by working in his office and conducting his business using all the tecnological advances to date. Now that would be a big help to reducing the national debt.

    5

    November 30, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. w l jones

    Why don^t call a spade a spade a tax wright off is government funded same as everything else.

    November 30, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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