In it, but not of it. TPM DC
"I'm not singling out Israel. I support Israel. I want to be known as a friend of Israel," Paul told Karl, "but not with money you don't have. We can't just borrow from our kids' future and give it to countries even if they are our friends."
In his $500 billion-slashing federal budget proposal, Paul suggested trimming the amount of money sent to Israel, along with cuts to foreign aid overall. Democrats tore into the plan, scoring easy political points by vowing to stand by Israel -- a politically safe bet in nearly any quarter.
But it's especially strange that Paul would openly criticize the amount of money the U.S. sends to Israel. Other tea party leaders like Sarah Palin have made unequivocal support for Israel pretty much their only foreign policy plank. Rep. Michele Bachmann, for example, led the House Tea Party caucus in public support for an Israeli preemptive military attack on Iran.
As a constituency, Republicans are extremely supportive of Israel, with fully 85% of Republicans surveyed by Gallup in February 2010 stating they're on the side of Israel (versus the side of the Palestinians) when it comes to the Middle East peace process.
After winning the Kentucky Senate race last year, Paul hinted at opposition to Israeli aid once he got to DC. In late November, he told the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee that there might be disagreements between him and the powerful lobbying group when it came to Israeli aid.
Now Paul is making good on that promise. Watch Paul talk budget cutting and Israel with Karl while riding the Senate subway system: