August 4th, 2014
07:31 PM ET
2 months ago

Rand Paul argues that he never proposed ending foreign aid to Israel

Omaha, Nebraska (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul denied Monday that he had ever proposed legislation that would halt U.S. foreign aid to Israel, despite previously calling for an end to foreign aid for all countries.

“I haven’t really proposed that in the past,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters when asked if he still stood by his call to stop all foreign aid, given the unrest in Israel and Gaza.

Growing combative, Paul stressed that he’s “never had a legislative proposal to do that.”

“You can mistake my position, but then I’ll answer the question. That has not been a position – a legislative position – we have never introduced to phase out or get rid of Israel’s aid,” he continued. “That’s the answer to that question.”

His comments came at a campaign stop in Omaha for Nebraska Senate GOP nominee Ben Sasse, the first trip on a nine-city leg that will take Paul across Iowa in a three-day swing. As he prepares for a potential presidential run and faces scrutiny from other Republicans over his libertarian-leanings on foreign policy, Paul has been trying to aggressively assert his support for Israel.

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On Monday, he emphasized that he voted last week to send $225 million to the country for its missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome.

In 2011, however, Paul tried to get a vote on an amendment that would end foreign aid to Mideast countries, including Israel.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the time, he pointedly said he would favor a halt to U.S. aid to Israel.

“I don't think funding both sides of the arm race, particularly when we have to borrow the money from China to send it to someone else,” he said. “We just can't do it anymore. The debt is all consuming and it threatens our wellbeing as a country.”

He made the same argument in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, saying he would leave no “foreign aid intact.”

He later said, during a 2013 trip to Israel, that he would favor a more “gradual” approach to ending aid for Israel, compared to other countries.

Democrats were quick to seize on the comments. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and National Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Rabbi Jack Moline released a statement condemning his comments Monday.

“Paul can claim that he wants to be a friend of Israel, but the consequences of his actions would threaten the security of Israel and its ability to defend itself,” they said.


Filed under: 2016 • Israel • Nebraska • Rand Paul
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. JamesMcMexico

    Rand – You compromise with evil, you lose; we all lose.

    August 5, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Tru

    Rand Paul, like the majority of current republicans have a habit of "mis-remembering". Today with everyone owning a cell phone that has recording capabilities; what you say is a matter of record and if you deny the facts; you're simply a liar!

    August 5, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Phil

    So Rand Paul is a liar. I wonder how many times this will be repeated ad nauseum for the Fox viewer like it was for the President?

    August 5, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Phil

    One of the problems here is that Rand Paul wants to become something more than a backbencher.
    The issue is, he's said lots of wild things to boost his standing among the "base", now he's trying to make his ambitions come to be, and he's got to backwalk all that crazy talk to appeal to more voters.

    August 5, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. tcinaz

    Here is a Republican profile in courage. When confronted by two DREAMers in Iowa, all Steve King (R-IA),supporter of deportation for children brought to and raised in this country through no fault of their own, could only say to Arizona State University graduate Erika Andiola, "You're very good at English." Meanwhile, courageous presidential contender Rand Paul ran and hid. The video is posted on YouTube.

    August 5, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Laura Bland

    It is a shame Rand Paul is backing away eliminating or reducing foreign aid. I am a lifetime Democrat but I would vote for any candidate who would actually stop our tax dollars going to foreign countries. Right now our tax dollars are supporting murderers in Israel – look at the billions of dollars in damage Israel did to GAZA? We do not want our tax dollars spent that way.

    August 5, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. LeglizHemp

    Aqua Buddha did it.

    August 5, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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