August 5th, 2014
07:04 PM ET
8 years ago

Rand Paul attempts to clear up stance on U.S. aid to Israel

Davenport, Iowa (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul tried to clarify his position Tuesday on U.S. foreign aid to Israel, saying he strongly supports sending money to the country but added he believes Israel will be better off without foreign assistance in the long run.

“I've spent the last four years trying to put conditions on aid to people who hate us and burn our flag,” the Kentucky Republican said. “I've also talked about that every country ultimately would be better off to be independent.”

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On Monday, Paul said he had never proposed phasing out Israel’s foreign aid, even though he has introduced legislation that would end all foreign aid to certain Middle East countries, including assistance to Israel.

His comments have become a large storyline this week as Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender, travels across Iowa, the first state that holds nominating contests in presidential election years.

After touring the headquarters of Von Maur, a department chain, in Davenport, Iowa on Tuesday, Paul answered follow-up questions about his comments the day prior, emphasizing that he never introduced legislation that singled out Israel.

“I've also had several budgets since then that actually don't completely zero it out, and would allow Israel to continue to have foreign aid,” he told reporters.

“I've always said that my position is similar to (Benjamin) Netanyahu's position. It ultimately for Israel would be even better if they were completely independent. But I haven't proposed targeting, or eliminating any aid to Israel,” he added.

He also noted that he had recently proposed ending aid to the Palestinians if they continue to align with Hamas, and that he’s called on halting assistance to Pakistan for a record of targeting Christians.

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Filed under: Iowa • Israel • Rand Paul
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. slick

    Ayn Rand Paul needs to be the object lesson of a 2nd Amendment action. A good Libertarian, Paul should gladly forfeit his life to a gun owner who disagrees with him. Lock & Load.

    August 5, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    That's right Ayn Jr. Do what you do best. Flip-Flop. And they call President Obama, a Law Professor, inexperienced but this liar is qualified. What qualifies him? The fact that he's made a name for himself piggy backing off his daddy's name? He's not that bright, he's plagiarized himself and he thinks he's superior to others. Oh wait... He is qualified in their eyes. Actually he's the perfect GOP candidate.

    August 5, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. HenryMiller

    Now, suddenly, Paul is kissing Israel's posterior? It makes me think the less of him...

    August 5, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |

    I agree totally that sending aid to Hamas and Pakistan is insane. They ought to have a public vote on who is for sending money to Hamas and Pakistan. Israel is a friend of the US and deserves our support..

    August 5, 2014 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Flip/flop – flip/flop. Deep down inside he's a teaklan. He'll change his mind again and again. Just pandering to the right wing base.

    August 5, 2014 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Chris..E.Al

    Paul we got to take care of the chosen ones . But the dems dont want to bud . They dont like black or a lot of white free jews . Hitler did not . Sad lot of gypsies now days no love for the unborn or the living just all me me me and any bad illegal vile illegal import and drug and terrorist welcome no prob 4 them its free . .

    August 5, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    "But I haven't proposed targeting, or eliminating any aid to Israel"

    Except for all the times you proposed targeting, or eliminating any aid to Israel.

    How do you say "backpaddle" in Hebrew?

    August 5, 2014 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Doesn't matter. After seeing the video of Rand turning tail and running when confronted by a Dreamer, we all know how he would stand up against foreign leaders. Mittens was a flip flopper, but Rand has taken it to a new level with his denial of his 2011 bill.

    August 5, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. bcrunner

    I just saw on television Rand Paul, the coward, run away from two dreamers who went up to talk to him and Steve King about immigration..

    August 5, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  10. emskadittle

    he needs to amend his ideals to fit with those of the Republican base

    August 5, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Clear up his stance? Simple... It's whatever the audience he's talking to wants it to be at that particular moment. (Subject to change immediately after he's finished speaking.)

    August 5, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. S. B. Stein

    Phasing out aid is just saying that he is going to cut it off later. I guess he doesn't want to spend money.

    August 5, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Sen. Rand Paul is a phony libertarian .

    Rick Perry is todays Ronald Reagan with the political machine of Richard Nixon.

    Rick Perry / Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley

    August 6, 2014 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  14. uju

    Isreal is the only true democracy in the middle east where minority rights whether muslim,christian,gays are respected. With Hamas targeting Isreali Jews, I dnt know if they realise that there are some Isreali muslims who support Isreal. I'm tired of hearing all dis crap abt the deaths of palestinian women and children when d hamas believe it is matyrdom; do people realise the kind of devastation that would have happened if most of the rockets fired at Isreal weren't intercepted. Besides hamas shud jst give up because even if they believe in matyrdom isreal can't be brought down with US assistance or not; it has happened before

    August 6, 2014 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  15. salty dog

    Having trouble figuring out what he said, true to form Republican, double talk, two step politics, oh the burdens if being in the gop. You could always just say something direct, and stand by it, integrity and all, but that's not how they work, his only interest is to tell you what you want to hear. Grow a pair son, you'd be better off that way.

    August 6, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    -does this man ever know this Israel is cashing in USA stupidity? For generations, USA has supported Israel, they were intelligently en-cashing our money, why didn't they come to Iraq, Afghanistan wars? Why didn't they help finding Bin Laden? Enough of this Israel trash. Enough. First you help the people at home. On one hand you don't Expand Medicare, Medicaid–on the other you pour money in Israel? Any brain? Nonsense.

    August 6, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  17. Luc

    Flip Flop Flip Flop as he goes

    August 6, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Rand Paul is a piece of work. He claims that quoting him is an unfair attack. Paul was quite clear a couple of years ago telling Wolf Blitzer that he would cut off *all* foreign aid. Blitzer asked him specifically about Israel, and Paul confirmed that he would wean Israel off of U.S. aid. Paul cited that we were borrowing money just to give it away, and that we were funding both sides in armed struggle.

    Paul will never be POTUS because he cannot run from his record, no matter how much he tries to morph into another character. In my lifetime, I have seen only one politician genuinely pull that off, and that was George Walllace. No one challenged his about face because the life changing experience of being shot and paralyzed turned his life around.

    August 6, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "On Monday, Paul said he had never proposed phasing out Israel’s foreign aid, even though he has introduced legislation that would end all foreign aid to certain Middle East countries, including assistance to Israel."

    Ah, yes ... Rand Paul. The presidential hopeful who predicates all his pretentious pandering with "I never said ... ".

    August 6, 2014 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  20. American Worker

    It's a waste of time to get bogged down trying to peel gray dots and labels off.

    Best thing to do is move forward with clear policy and clear articles on position. The gray dots and labels won't stick.

    August 6, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  21. Patriot

    Rand Paul is an interesting character who will not get the 2016 GOP presidential nomination unless he wins it by default. Look for the GOP to put up another "acceptable to the mainstream" candidate that does not actually represent the core values of the typical GOP voter. The greatest weakness the GOP has with the general electorate is that it's an extremist party.

    August 6, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  22. Rudy NYC


    "On Monday, Paul said he had never proposed phasing out Israel’s foreign aid, even though he has introduced legislation that would end all foreign aid to certain Middle East countries, including assistance to Israel."

    Ah, yes ... Rand Paul. The presidential hopeful who predicates all his pretentious pandering with "I never said ... ".
    Ah, yes. The classic "I never said..." It is people like Rand Paul that vividly illustrate just how quickly conservatives will rewrite history to suit their needs. We're going to be hearing those three little words come out of mouth a lot for as long as he things he can be elected POTUS, which will never happen because of those three little words.

    August 6, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  23. Tom l

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross..... says:
    August 5, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am
    Gurgyl says:
    August 5, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am
    Deport. Pie already shrunk. Bring manufacture, Infrastructure back home, then talk.

    With all due respect aren’t you an immigrant? Why are some immigrants treated better than others? I understand what you’re saying but can’t you at least have some compassion for these people? Everyone in this country is the descendant of illegal immigrants. With the exception of us blacks whose ancestors were brought over against their will in chains and shackles and forced into unpaid servitude. The Natives didn’t invite the white man to come and kill them off and then take over their country. I don’t know the answer but what’s wrong with a little compassion?


    Perhaps Gurgyl came here legally, waited her turn and feels that others should do the same.

    August 6, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |