There is no surer sign that someone is lining up to run for president than when they start genuflecting before AIPAC.
And therefore it should have been no surprise that Rand Paul, who did in fact in 2011 support cutting aid to Israel, has suddenly had a memory lapse.
I haven’t really proposed that in the past,” Paul told Yahoo News when asked if he still thought the U.S. should phase out aid to Israel, which has been battling Hamas in Gaza for weeks.
It’s pretty clear that’s exactly what he was calling for in 2011 when he proposed cutting “welfare” to Israel:
[G]iving money to the country is especially unwise considering Israel’s relative wealth. “I think they’re an important ally, but I also think that their per capita income is greater than probably three-fourths of the rest of the world,” he said. “Should we be giving free money or welfare to a wealthy nation? I don’t think so.”
But maybe he’s dancing on the head of a pin here. Campaigning in Nebraska for Senate candidate Ben Sasse, Paul was quick to point out that he never supported it legislatively.
“We’ve 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 introduced to phase out or get rid of Israel’s aid.
Got it. Rand Paul offered his own budget in 2011 that would have cut $500 billion which included cutting aid to Israel, but because the Senate never actually voted on it he can say it’s never been his legislative position.
In fact, he’s bragging about being part of the Senate vote to send boatloads of money to Israel just last week:
“Israel has always been a strong ally of ours and I appreciate that. I voted just this week to give money—more money—to the Iron Dome, so don’t mischaracterize my position on Israel.”
Cue the crowd that says “he’s only saying that so he can get elected and change things.” I seem to recall that was the chant about a certain FISA vote, too. Didn’t work out so well.
Photo by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons license