Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul took what very well could be considered his most pro-Israel stance yet, saying in an interview that an attack on Israel should be treated as an attack on the United States.
Asked whether the United States would stand with Israel and provide it foreign aid if the Jewish state were attacked by its enemies, Paul went a step further.
“Well absolutely we stand with Israel,” he said in an interview with Breitbart News, “but what I think we should do is announce to the world – and I think it is pretty well known — that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States.”
Paul recently returned from a trip to Israel, where many believe he went to bolster his credentials for a 2016 presidential run. The libertarian Kentucky senator is seen as having a bigger burden than other candidates in demonstrating his pro-Israel bona fides because of his opposition to foreign aid and his connection to his father’s ideology.
Paul’s father, former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, was widely seen as unfriendly to Israel. For instance, the elder Paul once went on Iranian state-sponsored television and likened Gaza to a concentration camp.
But the younger Paul is trying to demonstrate that he is pro-Israel, even if he opposes foreign aid to the Jewish state. He reiterated in his interview with Breitbart News his opposition to foreign aid, but again noted that he favors cutting aid off first to anti-American countries before ultimately cutting it off to American allies like Israel.
Paul, who has not been coy about his interest in running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, perked up when the interviewer framed a question by saying, “let’s say you become President Paul at some point in the future.”
“I like the ring of that,” Paul interjected.