March 4th, 2012
10:31 AM ET
10 years ago

Paul says Afghanistan apology evidence of larger problem

(CNN) – Rep. Ron Paul, who has long espoused a non-interventionist foreign policy, said Sunday that President Barack Obama’s apology for the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan was indicative of a larger problem with America’s foreign policy.

Speaking from Alaska, where the Texas congressman is campaigning for votes ahead of Super Tuesday, Paul said America shouldn’t be engaged in conflicts that require the president to apologize for troops’ missteps.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

“We should change our policy, so if we have a policy going on in the Middle East that is begging that we apologize now and then, and others condemning it because they don't think we should apologize, I think we should reassess our foreign policy,” Paul said to CNN Chief Political Correspondent on “State of the Union.”

Paul described Republicans who condemned Obama for apologizing for the burning as “a little over the top,” saying the very act of invading Afghanistan was deserving of an apology from the American president.

“I’m personally more apologetic for invading countries who never did anything to us and occupying it, disrupting it, causing thousands of deaths of our own people and causing hundreds of thousands of refugees,” Paul said. “This is the thing that I feel sad about, what about the pictures of torture? Weren't they every bit as bad? I mean this is what incites the hatred.”

As for Iran, Paul said the United States should follow the pattern of the Cold War.

“You know, it doesn't make any sense to bomb a country that is no threat to anybody just because they might get a weapon,” Paul said. “Containment worked pretty well with the Soviets, and they were rather ruthless people, killing millions and millions of their own people, and we stood them down in the Cold War. So I'd try to calm it down a little bit, but, quite frankly, I don't think we should tell Israel what they should do or shouldn't do.”

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Foreign Policy • Ron Paul • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    If Ron Paul was selected as the Republican nominee it would present a real dilemma to Democrats. It would be very tempting to vote for someone who will end America's hideously expensive and pointless foreign invasions. Ron Paul talks more sense than any other US politician from either party.

    March 4, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Sidney

    Ron Paul is right again. We contained the USSR and we can contain Iran. America is strong because of economic strength and our liberty values.

    March 4, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Seattle Sue

    Paul is a senile old man. If for instance, I'm shopping and I inadvertently bump someone with my cart. Shouldn't I say I'm sorry to that person?

    March 4, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Jose PR

    I actually agree with Paul on this, we spend billions and billions on our Military Industrial Complex.. we need a lean mean high tech military.. not a Global security force with a bunch of contractors who do not follow or care to follow any laws. Congress needs to change this.

    March 4, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Larry L

    A President unwilling to apologize is a leader unwilling to yake responsibility for misdeeds of a nation. He is trying to rduce the loss of American lives caused by this situation.

    Paul is an isolationist unfit to serve in the House, much less as POTUS. His statement “I’m personally more apologetic for invading countries who never did anything to us and occupying it, disrupting it, causing thousands of deaths of our own people and causing hundreds of thousands of refugees” shows a complet lack of awareness. Unlike Iraq, a nation not dirctly associated with 9/11, Afghanistan harbored terrorists who used the area as a training ground. President Bush's need to fight "Daddy's War" caused us to neglect Afghanistan and allow them to regroup. President Obama inherited this mess and is bringing the conflict to a conclusion. This old fool is picking the wrong area to criticize. The President is just cleaning up yet another Republican mess.

    March 4, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. 1588d

    For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Ron Paul is a member of the republican party of , debt spending, big goverment, corrupt to the core, murderous, bankrupting, global interventionist warmongers.

    March 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. 1588d

    The things that he opposes the most are things his party loves the most.

    March 4, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. WiredweirdinSF

    I heard some crackhead from SF say that the burning made the Muslims mad at us. Gee, I did not know they had been friendly before. I guess that the doped up liberals think that the most inept, incompetent, corrupt, union toady president we have ever had apologizing for hurting their feelings after they kill 3,000 people on 9/11 will solve that problem. I think i will start a series on how "Change" that was promisned has really affected us. Look at the gas pump today and realize that when the corrup union thugs and liberal media stole the election for the Kenyan village idiot that the price per gallong of gasoline was $1.79. Change you can believe in?

    March 4, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. diridi

    There is nothing wrong with President Obama apology because of burning their sacred book of Islam. Burning holy book is totally and utterly wrong. But, Ron is true, Invading inadvertently is more nonsense. Yes we need to apologize for that....Just grow up and think rationally.

    March 4, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Troy

    Well said.

    March 4, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Ellen

    Well said Ron. The GOP should not be a group of people pandering to the religious right or the big corporations, but a group of people with a hands off approach. less foreign intervention, less social intervention, less economic intervention.

    March 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. Ezra

    Thank you!

    We're dropping bombs on them, using drone attacks, torturing them in Bagram, etc. and then we burn the most holy symbol of their culture.

    Did you expect them to hand us flowers?

    I can't believe Ron Paul is the only one who understands this. Ron Paul 2012.

    March 4, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    “I’m personally more apologetic for invading countries who never did anything to us and occupying it, disrupting it, causing thousands of deaths of our own people and causing hundreds of thousands of refugees,” Paul said.

    This is the reason Ron Paul and Obama attract more young people, Republicans never get this

    March 4, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. judy

    the generals said an apology was warrented and the president made one in the hopes of lessonig the violence. He did the right thing. Paul is your typical repo nut job and under his administration we would have no voice on the world stage. WE can not be isolationist whith the rest of the world. The internet and global economy have changed that.

    March 4, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Disabled vet

    The only republican that doesnt want war. He is an independant like me. I agree with ron paul but i am voting for pres obama

    March 4, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. 1588d

    Afghanistan had absolutlety nothing to do with 9/11 nor did Iraq. 15 of the 18 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. I have no idea who wired world trade center with explosives, weeks before 9/11. I don't that it was any of the 15. The WTC's came down by controlled demolition. Building 7 of the world trade center wasn't even struck by a plane yet the buidlling was imploded by controlled demolition as well as buildings 1 and 2. THERMITE!!!!

    March 4, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Colin

    Spot on as always. Even if this man doesn't win the nomination, his message is going to carry on. Americans really are sick of these wars and the rest of the status quo in Washington.

    March 4, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Larry

    Im a dem.I also agree with rep.Paul.What does confuse me though is we scream 9/11 when talking about Afghanistan and if that truely is the reason we are there,then why in the hell haven't we destroyed Saudi Arabia.98% of the terrorist that were in the planes on 9/11 came from there.I can tell you why the "Bush"clan didn't want to upset their business partners.Its always been Blood Oil.Not for americas best interest for the best interest of the american oil barons.

    March 4, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Imsorryforthegop

    CNN cleverly twisted the head line as usual to trap the teabaggers into not seeing the forest from the trees. If you actually read what Ron Paul said he wasent attacking this Pres he was pointing out the failure of the GOP. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 because the sane will rise and win

    March 4, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Anonymous

    THIS should be Paul's main campaign issue because (a) he's right and (b) his views are shared by a huge number of Americans. It's his crazy Randian economics, that have long been proven policy failures, that pushes voters away,

    March 4, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |