Ron Paul doesn't budge on Israel
December 7th, 2011
08:35 PM ET
11 years ago

Ron Paul doesn't budge on Israel

Washington (CNN) - GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul held his ground Wednesday against views that he is anti-Israel as he sought to explain his exclusion from a major gathering of conservative Jewish advocates his fellow GOP hopefuls addressed.

Paul was asked in a CNN interview to respond to remarks he made during last month's CNN Republican National Security Debate where he raised concerns about a continued U.S. military presence in Israel, saying, "Why do we have this automatic commitment that we're going to send our kids and our money endlessly to Israel? I think they are quite capable of taking care of themselves."

On Wednesday, he told CNN's Brooke Baldwin, "What you need to do is go and read the speech (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu gave on the house floor here a couple nights ago. He said, 'We don't need American troops. We can take care of ourselves.' That might be worth looking into it."

"We're involved in too many wars and we should be careful on how we go to wars. But if Netanyahu says we don't need our troops over there, why shouldn't I as well?" Paul said on CNN's "Newsroom."

The Texas representative and three-time GOP presidential hopeful was not invited to the Wednesday forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition, which labeled his views "misguided and extreme."

Paul explained his foreign policy views Wednesday, lamenting an over-extension of U.S. resources abroad.

"I think America is in a box," Paul said. "We spend too much money policing the world, getting involved in nation building, we're going bankrupt, we have to borrow the money we're spending overseas. We are in a financial crisis."

According to the CNN/Time/ORC International Polls released Wednesday, Paul came in third behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 17% support of likely GOP caucus participants in Iowa, the first voting contest in the GOP presidential primary.

Paul called Gingrich's newfound pre-eminence in the GOP field "the flavor of the week" and described his campaign's rise as much more credible.

"Ours is steady," he said. "People don't come and go once they support our campaign."

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Filed under: 2012 • Israel • Ron Paul • TV-CNN Newsroom
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. jim

    Hmmm one more reason to give Dr Paul a closer look. We are not the world's policeman! Even if we were, we cannot afford it any longer.

    December 7, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. free___thinker

    I am ALL FOR Ron Paul. Once he is our new president, everything will change. Ron Paul 2012 <3

    December 7, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. ED FL

    They need to checkthe locks on the GOP funny Farm ,to many inmates are getting out. In my 82 yrs on this earth this has been the looniest group of GOP'ERS that I have seen.

    December 7, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. 4158

    good i would rather have that money help the poor then give it to be used for weapons that kill the innocent. Giving money to be used for war is not what america stands for. giving money to help the poor and the innocent is what america should stand for.

    December 7, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. American in Germany

    Ron Paul is a true statesman. He hit the nail right on the head in saying that we need to stop buying Israel's allegiance and forcing them to sacrifice their sovereignty to us. He support the Jews and Israel... he just doesnt think we should play favorites with them.

    December 7, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. steven harnack

    Unfortunately for every good idea Ron Paul has he has another that is straight from loony tunes. The Republican Party as a whole will never support someone who is not hawkishly pro-military. My personal opinion is that the men who pull the strings behind the Republican establishment are the same men that were involved in PNAC. I've even heard Romney using PNAC language and I'm sure that Gingrich would be in their pocket as long as they stroked his ego enough. Paul though is odd man out when it comes to establishment Republicans so it looks like this is his swan song.

    December 7, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Kris Craig

    Since when is suggesting that we not give unconditional military and monetary support to a foreign country considered "extreme"?!

    I'm a liberal who doesn't agree with Ron Paul on most economic issues, but on this one, he's hit the nail square on the head. The Israeli lobby in D.C. has been ruthlessly aggressive over the years in labelling anyone critical of Israeli government policy– or U.S. policy concerning Israel– as antisemetic. This, in turn, scares most politicians and other public figures into keeping their mouths shut for fear of being compared to the likes of Hitler and Bin Laden.

    But it's not antisemetic to question our policy towards Israel. Last time I checked, Paul wasn't suggesting that Israel should be wiped off the map or that the Holocaust never happened. THAT would be antisemetic. But no. Ron Paul merely suggested that we should stop placing the needs and priorities of the Israeli government above our own national interest.

    If Israel didn't have unconditional support from us, maybe they'd be a little less trigger-happy when it comes to carpet bombing Palestinian neighborhoods in retaliation for some terrorist attack. Perhaps they'd be a little more open to diplomacy and a little less quick to build new settlements in disputed territories. Perhaps this would also give the U.S. a little more credibility as a broker for peace between the two nations.

    Or we could just keep grouping constructive criticism of foreign policy towards Israel with Holocaust denial and terrorism. If more politicians had the courage to stand-up to these kinds of bullying tactics like Ron Paul does, I think we'd be able to have a much more open and civil discussion about the future of the Middle East and how best to reach a peaceful solution that all sides can live with.

    Woops, I forgot! That's "misguided and extreme." Nevermind, then. Let's just keep bombing each other instead....

    December 7, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. Chris

    Correction; Most of the polls have shown Paul in in second in Iowa, ahead of Mitt Romney by 2 percent.

    He is correct, Gingrich won't last once people find out about him.

    December 7, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Rayetta Croft

    Paul is right on. Anyway, we send ten times the amount we send to Israel, to Israel's enemy's. We play both sides, to the detriment of Israel. Paul is right, we should get out of their way, quit buying their friendship and sovereignty, and be a real friend to both our countries by eliminating ALL foreign aid. We are BROKE!

    December 7, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    We're involved in too many wars and we should be careful on how we go to wars. But if Netanyahu says we don't need our troops over there, why shouldn't I as well?

    December 7, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. Chuk

    Say what you will about Paul, he's gutsy and he's right on this one.

    December 7, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. Jas Dal

    You have misquoted your own CNN video:
    "But if Netanyahu says we don't need our troops over there, why shouldn't I as well?"

    – An accurate transcript is this:
    "But if Netanyahu says we don't need our troops over there, why shouldn't I be allowed to as well?"

    – Why is "...why shouldn't I be allowed to..." missing? Error or omission? One wonders why.

    We're involved in too many wars and we should be careful on how we go to wars. But if Netanyahu says we don't need our troops over there, why shouldn't I as well?

    December 7, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. PJ McFlur

    Paul also defended Israel when they bombed Iraq. His point is spot on. Israel has one heck of an army and the means to defend herself from anybody. If Israel needs help, they can come ask for it.

    December 7, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. rs1201

    Ron Paul is a closet anti-semite. I don't hear him lamenting all the aid and American troops sent to arab countries. He focuses on Israel...the only shining light in an abysmally dark hole made up of arab countries. I have to forgive Paul though...he is old and dementia may have set in...give it up're finished. Your candidacy is a joke...just figure out what nursing home you'll be heading to and make arrangements.

    December 7, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. JAKE

    Netanyahu says it and gets a standing ovation. Paul says the same thing and is demonized. It's time for the U.S. to bring our kids and money home and keep them here.

    December 7, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Brian

    He said a couple of MONTHS ago, not days. And it was in May 2011 it was said. And yes Israeli Prime Minister said the US should not defend Israel..

    December 7, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. Ditty1991

    once again he is right. WAKE UP THIS MAN NEEDS TO BE PRESIDENT!!!!

    December 7, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. russ

    Ron Paul doesn't budge period. He doesn't adjust positions because they are based on principle, not politics. The American people have been so wholly sold that Israel is a repressed nation under attack from terrorists and extremists, when the case can be made for the Palestinians in the exact same vein. I doubt it is the Israelis who clamour for the foreign aid, as much as it is the American Jewish elite who bristle at the thought of the 3 billion dollar yearly welfare cheque will be cut off. I thought Americans believed in free speech. If so, why was Helen Thomas forced to retire for her comments? American people in general are stupid, reactionary and ill-informed, due, in large part to the media's acceptance of White House Administration propaganda. If you don't think the media is controlled, then ask yourself why you get no coverage of the deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan.You fools are down to your last hope.

    Ron Paul 2012
    Bringing the truth

    December 7, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. debikane

    Thank you. Finally. RP2012. For our kids' kids.

    December 7, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  20. Vet4RonPaul

    Gingrich and Romney are neocon war-mongers that put Israel's security before America's. When you put another country's security before your own, it is treason. Pure and simple. When you knowingly support people that act with treason, you are complicit also. Also pure and simple. So, if you support Gingrich and Romney, you support treason. I am a military veteran and I served America; I support Ron Paul because he is pro-peace, pro-freedom and truly puts America before any other country. I am also particularly disgusted with the neocons that call for war with Iran but never even served in the military; they are hypocritical cowards. Again, simple to understand why.

    December 7, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. alex

    I agree. Gingrich is flavor of the week and we have to stop wasting billions of dollars overseas when we are trillions of dollars in debt here in America!

    December 7, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. Brent

    Somebody please explain to me why the Republican Jewish Coalition thinks it knows more about the best interests of Israel than Benjamin Netanyahu. If Israel says they don't need our troops to be there anymore, than we can't possibly claim to be doing it for their own good. If anything, continued American intervention in the Middle East will only create MORE hostility towards both the United States and Israel, not to mention between the two nations.

    December 7, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. TruthAvenger

    i will vote for ron paul even if i have to write him in.

    December 7, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. RP supporter

    I sincerely hope Ron Paul wins, and I eagerly await the sorely needed budget cuts that fix our debt problem.
    Ron Paul 2012,
    For Liberty!

    December 7, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. Jonathan

    This guy is easily the soundest of the GOP candidates. He raises issues that people don't want to think about, but that really make a lot of sense in these harsh economic times. It is pretty evident to me that our policy regarding Israel is much more for our own benefit than theirs.

    December 7, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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