Rand Paul's Mideast trip fuels presidential speculation


#1

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20121223/NEWS010603/312230055/1001/Rand-Paul-s-Mideast-trip-fuels-presidential-speculation?nclick_check=1

He has confirmed meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres, as well as with several government ministers and members of the Knesset, according to the senator’s office. Paul also is arranging meetings with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan’s King Abdullah and others.

Paul said some critics have depicted him as anti-Israel because he favors cutting foreign aid, but he called that depiction a “misrepresentation.”“It is not my position to be against Israel,” the senator said. “I’m appreciative of the fact that Israel is a democracy, one of the few true democracies in the Middle East, and I’m also appreciative that they’ve been a close friend and ally.”
Paul said that foreign aid cuts “should start with countries who have not been good allies. … I wouldn’t start with Israel.
“Whether or not we can afford to continue aid to Israel over time? There needs to be discussion with Israel over them being more independent over time.”

The senator said he and his family will be part of a group of 50 to 100 evangelical Christians going to Israel and Jordan.They include Brad Sherman, an Iowa pastor who headed up a group of pastors for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008 in the first-in-the-nation caucus state; Tamara Scott, Iowa chairwoman of Concerned Women for America, a religiously oriented conservative organization, and former Iowa co-chairwoman for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential bid this year; conservative Christian activist David Lane, based in California, who backed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for president this year; and Chad Connelly, South Carolina GOP chairman.


#2

there was speculation for him running for 2016 in 2008! No Big surprise, guess endorsing Romney didn’t really matter. I see who the real sheep are.


#3

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:2, topic:37598”]
there was speculation for him running for 2016 in 2008! No Big surprise, guess endorsing Romney didn’t really matter. I see who the real sheep are.
[/quote]I have no idea what this comment is supposed to mean.


#4

Nor do I.


#5

It means you will vote for anybody with Paul in their last name or any supposed Ron Paul supporter. I’ve seen how you guys are trying to pick “the next Ron Paul” Paul supporters went crazy when Rand endorsed Romney said he was a traitor to the “revolution” and his father. He is isn’t a real libertarian blah blah blah. You can deny it all you want, but just look at the comments in the youtube video for proof.


#6

I will vote for anybody who meets my qualifications. That is like saying I would vote for Ron Reagan Jr. even though he is a liberal. It’s not true. Rand is very close to Ron ideologically.

There were some who called Rand a traitor, but they are the minority. A poll on Ron Paul Forums showed that about 90% of the people there would still vote for Rand.

You base too much of your world view off of comments you read, and it really screws up your perception of things.


#7

I might vote for Rand Paul, depends on whether he’s the, “Not Democrat” candidate with a chance to win.
I like what I’ve heard hm say so far. He’s not so far out there in space as his daddy…yet…


#8

Well, it would appear that both Paul and Rubio are getting themselves ready for 2016 with all these trips.


#9

As is Paul Ryan. I saw him and Rubio on the same forum the othr day. Ryan/Rubio would be a good ticket, wish it had been in 2012.


#10

Of course, the road to the White House is through Jerusalem. Can’t win without approval of the Israelis. Quite sickening that a foreign country has so much power over us, but it is what it is, politics is a sick game.


#11

Neocon/Hispanic Neocon 2016?


#12

I was referring to a Senator going abroad to meet with world leaders. You don’t see that very often. They normally stay home.


#13

[quote=“Jebby, post:11, topic:37598”]
Neocon/Hispanic Neocon 2016?
[/quote]Beats a Paulbot/Moderate, any day.


#14

Any evidence (as opposed to creatively interpreted snippets)?


#15

You can’t deny that the pro-Israel lobby has a disproportional amount of influence in American politics compared to the size of America’s Jewish population and Israel’s size.


#16

I’d rather have two principled constitutional conservatives on the ticket.

I wouldn’t vote (in the primary or general) for anyone but that.


#17

In view of the evidence that you haven’t presented, I most certainly can deny it.


#18

Of course, the road to the White House is through Jerusalem. Can’t win without approval of the Israelis. Quite sickening that a foreign country has so much power over us, but it is what it is, politics is a sick game.

From the linked article and the first paragraph Bf88 quoted:

Paul also is arranging meetings with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan’s King Abdullah and others.

I was curious, so I checked out Sen. Paul’s committee assignments Of the four, Israel is relevant to three of them: Energy and Natural Resources, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Not at the core of those committees’ business, but relevant.

Here’s a bit more from the linked article about Sen. Paul’s planned trip (who’s paying for it, who arranged it, purposes):

Paul’s trip is being paid for by the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group based in Tupelo, Miss., that promotes what it calls “the biblical ethic of decency in American society.” The nonprofit also owns and operates almost 200 radio stations, according to its website.

“I want to know more about the issues … (and) try to figure out why we don’t seem to be able to achieve peace over there,” Paul said of the trip. “If you want to be part of the national debate and hopefully part of the solution someday to what happens in the Middle East, having been there gives you more credibility with some folks.”

The senator said he also has a personal interest in the history of the region and the rise of Christianity there. His family will accompany him.

Paul’s office said the trip is being organized by Lane and Richard Roberts, a former pharmaceutical company executive and president of a Lakewood, N.J., synagogue.

While Roberts is not a donor to Paul’s campaign, he gave more than $2 million to conservative super PACs in the recent election, according to Federal Election Commission records. He also gave $75,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as well as donations to former White House hopeful Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and a handful of congressional candidates.

Sen. Paul is getting a lot of personal and professional mileage from the trip (and not on the taxpayer dime): he and his family (who would be accompanying him) have personal and religious interests in the area; he will be with a lot of key people of a key constituency for any R Presidential candidate; he will be meeting leaders relevant to his Senatorial duties as well as to a key situation any POTUS has to deal with pretty much continually.

So your sneer, Jebby, that Sen. Paul is visiting Israel to (my metaphor) kiss the Israelis’ rings is unfounded and as patently ludicrous as it is offensive.


#19

Heh! Hey Jebby! If your computer has an Intel processor and an Intel chipset, some or all may have been fab’ed in Israel.

Commercially and in regard to military technology, Israel’s significance is far greater than just their population and physical size suggest. And has been for decades. But if you want to believe the ludicrous idea that Israel is the cause of all problems in the ME, feel free. I know reality seldom penetrates that ideological shell.


#20

Congress people take junkets all the time. Even the governor of Illinois did so. They are “fact finding” missions or simply vacations at the expense of others including the taxpayer at times.