August 4th, 2014
07:31 PM ET
1 month 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. J Anthony

    Both sides are equally to blame for the current fiasco. The only end is for people to come to their senses, stop killing eachother, and talk. But that seems unlikely.

    August 5, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  2. an Iowan

    Too bad he claims he never said to stop the aid.....it would have been one thing we would have agreed on......

    August 5, 2014 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    -while, at home, people talk bad about helping poor and needy, without Health insurance Americans, need help, and subsidies, we need to give aid to Israel? Nonsense. First focus on USA. This Israel is looting USA for generations on the prexy of Religion. Total nonsense. Develop Infrastructure, pass Jobs-Bill, Green Energy Laws. Israel is a total nonsense to USA. Wake up. We need American middle-class, not Israel. O.k. Stop your no brain stuff.

    August 5, 2014 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  4. vikingwoman

    It's on tape & this career politician Still has the nerve to deny his words! This type of denial borders on delusion, but they all do it! I understand the argument of stopping the practice of borrowing money so we can provide aid, take care of our own 1st & foremost; I can get behind that statement! Why would he suddenly claim we misinterpreted his meaning? 2 words- money & power! These people will tie themselves into a pretzel if it means more $$$ in their coffers! As an indy, Dems do it too, it's a politician thing, but I must say the GOTP has outdone themselves in pretzel logic these past 5 years! Must be Obamas fault, right?!

    August 5, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Yes, he has. He said a lot of radical things during his campaign for the Senate.

    August 5, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. JamesMcMexico

    Why. We should not find Israel. Read what the Orthodox Jews, the real Jews, say about Israel and the false Jews. Study Khazaria and the Khazars since 600 to understand who they are and what they have done and are doing.

    August 5, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

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

    Either you did or you didn't dude. You can't straddle the fence on this. Typical GOPer talking out of both sides of his neck. Reminds me of ole Ma$$a Snyder here in MI. Refuses to state his opinion on anything publicly, tells the people what they want to hear and then waits for a recess and passes the same thing he said he wouldn't support. With any luck you're out of there wimp.

    August 5, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. penguin

    Rand lacks the integrity of his father. Of course lacking integrity makes him a better Presidential candidate

    August 5, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. badbobtn

    It would have been the first time I would have ever agreed with him on anything.

    August 5, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    " I haven't really proposed that in the past".

    That will haunt him. I doubt he'll ever get past the 10% his dad got in primaries.

    August 5, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Just like you never said, if you were around back then you wouldn't have supported the Civil Rights movement right? Don't go back on your words Ayn Jr. There were many that look a lot like you that didn't and still don't.

    But please stop trying to fool people into voting for someone like yourself.

    August 5, 2014 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  12. Barney

    So, let me get this straight. Rand Paul wants us, The United States, a country so far in debt that it's nearly destroying us, to stop borrowing money only to give it to others? How absurd!

    August 5, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Barney

    As long as he puts the Constitution first, Rand should be backed by everyone. That little document can save us if we simply follow it. That said, how is it logical that we put out national security at risk by going further into debt only to give money to other countries? This is contrary to the oath that a President takes to protect the United States of America. People only seem to equate protection with guns, military, and war. But let me tell you, it's ALL about money. If we run our economy into the ground by using a juvenile view of money management our nation will fall. It directly impacts our national security and for some reason, we as a people, are simply not taking that seriously enough. We cannot spend more than we make. Simple. A child could understand this. Our government can't because they have no vision whatsoever.

    August 5, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Throw OUT all Democrat D-Baggers from Congress

    Where's the story on Netanyahu telling the Obama administration to never second guess him again with regards to Hamas? I guess they have had enough of the incompetent Obama administration, just like us.

    August 5, 2014 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. rs

    The funny thing about politicians generally, but Republicans specifically seem to not grasp that pretty much everything they say gets recorded, and can be played back at almost any time. When they lie, or flip-flop, it can be demonstrated over and over.
    Of course the GOP has a disadvantage in dealing with things or technologies that reinforce reality- they are certifiably insane.

    August 5, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Concerned Citizen

    He had it right the first time. Vote out all 2 party politicians. Both D and R are BOTH morally and ethically bankrupt and are destroying this country from within. Vote for you neighbor if nobody else. This is pure corruption to keep sending money to foreign countries when it is CLEARLY NOT what constituents want. That is corruption. Vote independent of your choosing.

    August 5, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. American Worker

    Unfortunately, Rand Paul is plagued by the Labels that were pinned upon his father Ron Paul.

    August 5, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. bcw

    In the age of video and audio recording, why politicians still denial what they said, With Youtube, google search and all news broadcast stations, people's memory can be refresh by viewing the video again and again by the persons themselves. Rand, why do you lie about your positions on everything again and again? Stupid and stupid again. I wonder what you father is thinking now seeing what you are doing in the national stage.

    August 5, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Why are we borrowing money from China to give to other countries for aid? Why don't they just borrow it from China themselves?

    August 5, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Throw OUT all Democrat D-Baggers from Congress

    rs
    The funny thing about politicians generally, but Republicans specifically seem to not grasp that pretty much everything they say gets recorded, and can be played back at almost any time. When they lie, or flip-flop, it can be demonstrated over and over.
    Of course the GOP has a disadvantage in dealing with things or technologies that reinforce reality- they are certifiably insane.
    --

    Yeah, like Obama and all the Democrats repeating thousands of times, all of their Obamacare lies!! I look forward to seeing them all replayed in campaign ads this fall. Thanks for bringing in this up!

    August 5, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. morebs

    and once again a politician who cannot stand by what they believe.

    August 5, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Rosslaw

    As John Stewart once asked about another teatard who denied making certain statements which had been taped the prior day. "Have any of these people ever heard of videotape?"

    August 5, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. lucky two

    Like all Republican Rand is a LIAR ,tell them what they want to hear and then do like all Republican do the opposite.

    August 5, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Art

    People this is why we are so far in debt,giving aid to all these countries! The politician's in this country are working for the wrong people,not us.If we have so much money,give it to our people who need help,the elderly,veterans ,little kids that go to bed hungry every night.I could care less about all these other money sucking countries!

    August 5, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Jim

    Israel has a GDP that is higher per person than Italy, and close to passing that of France and Great Britain. How rich must Israel be before we ask them to start paying for additional military beyond the current foreign and military aide that we now send. The US is broke Social Security will be out of money by 2034, and Medicare by 2030 if not sooner. We have a National debt of about $60,000 for every man women and child in this country. We cannot afford to just give away money that increases the heavy burden already placed on the American people.

    August 5, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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