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Rand Paul on Foreign Policy

 


Good idea to end Cuba embargo; it hasn't worked

Paul became the first potential Republican presidential candidate to offer some support for President Barack Obama's decision to try to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. The president's surprise announcement was slammed by several potential GOP candidates, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, who said it amounted to appeasing the Castro regime.

Paul said in a radio interview that many younger Cuban Americans support opening up trade with Cuba. He also said many U.S. farmers would back Obama's moves because the country is a new market for their crops.

"The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked," Paul said. "If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn't seem to be working and probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship. In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea," he said. Paul's comments parallel those of Hillary Clinton.

Source: Ken Thomas on Associated Press, "Trade with Cuba" , Dec 18, 2014

Temporary stop on elective travel to fight Ebola

Q: Is the government following the right policies on Ebola?

PAUL: I think the president's biggest mistake was saying," oh, it's no big deal, you can't catch it if you're sitting on a bus. And we're not going to stop any travel." It's very contagious when someone is sick. I don't think anybody should be riding on a bus or coming from Liberia to visit when they could be contagious. So, I think a temporary stop of travel for elective travel, if you're coming to visit your relatives, couldn't that wait for a few months?

Do you think we ought to tighten the restrictions on who can come to this country?

PAUL: From the beginning of our country, we always had restrictions on infectious disease. That was one of the primary things we did at our border. Commercial travel for people who just want to visit the US, that really isn't a necessity, and we can wait few months on it. And it would make our problem a lot less if we were only thinking about health care workers coming back.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 2, 2014

No quarantine on returning Ebola doctors unless symptomatic

Q: What about mandatory quarantines for health care workers who return to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Africa?

PAUL: It depends on your stage of the disease. Quarantine is a tough question, because the libertarian in me is horrified at the idea of indefinitely detaining anyone without a trial. One of our basic rights is habeas corpus: if anybody was detaining you, you have recourse to a lawyer and to a judgment.

Q: She had a lawyer. They filed suit to get her out of New Jersey. Now she's in Maine and again saying, "I am not contagious."

PAUL: Well, I think common sense would say that it makes a different whether or not you're febrile, afebrile or asymptomatic.

Q: She doesn't have a fever.

PAUL: Right. When you're febrile, you're beginning to be contagious. And so there is a reasonable public concern. I think that we have to be very careful of people's civil liberties, but I'm also not saying that the government doesn't have a role in trying to prevent contagion.

Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 2, 2014

Prioritize embassy security to avoid another Benghazi

Numerous reports have documented the security failures that resulted in the tragic deaths of four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi. The failures of management that led to these decisions are reprehensible; the lapses in judgment indefensible.

One of the most troubling aspects of the Benghazi attack is the complete disregard that State Department leadership gave to the repeated requests for enhanced security. Should funding have been an issue, the State Department always has the option available to come to Congress for approval to transfer funds within accounts. No requests for reprogramming were made by the State Department.

In addition to increasing diplomatic security accounts in this budget, I have supported legislation to provide the State Department transfer authority to prioritize diplomatic security at our embassies around the world. However, it is worth noting that this money will only be effective if it is responsibly managed by officials at the State Department.

Source: A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, by Rand Paul, p. 42 , Oct 1, 2013

No isolationism; but don't go abroad seeking enemies

America's national security mandate shouldn't be one that reflects isolationism, but instead one that is not rash or reckless, a foreign policy that is reluctant, restrained by Constitutional checks and balances but does not appease; this balance should heed the advice of America's sixth president, John Quincy Adams, who advised, "America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."
Source: A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, by Rand Paul, p. 37 , Oct 1, 2013

Against terror but first comes preserving the Constitution

Christie denounced the effort to pull back on anti-terror measures as "dangerous" and warned that those--like Paul--who are attempting to craft an American retreat from the world are playing with fire. Paul immediately fired back at Christie saying he's against terror but only wants to preserve the Constitution. But he's made it clear that what he wants is a massive pullback of efforts to seek out and fight Islamist terrorists as well as a general retreat from America's position as a global power with commensurate responsibilities. Paul has tried to call this stance "realism," but stripped of its rhetorical trappings that attempt to differentiate his positions from those of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, it is merely warmed-over isolationism. Paul has sought to play upon the war-weariness of Americans after Iraq and Afghanistan to bring this isolationist trend into the mainstream from the margins and fever swamps of the far right and far left, where it has dwelt since before WWII.
Source: Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary Magazine , Jul 26, 2013

Stop sending foreign aid to people who don't like us

We continue sending billions to Afghanistan, yet Afghan president Hamid Karzai says that if neighboring Pakistan and the US went to war, his country would side with Pakistan. Why exactly are we sending so much money to Afghanistan?

Pakistani leaders have made similar comments, that if the US goes to war with Iran, Pakistan will side with Iran. Yet we continue to send Pakistan billions of US taxpayer dollars. Why?

We cannot continue to try to bully allies or pay off our enemies. So many of the countries we send aid to dislike us, regularly disrespect us, and openly tell the world they will side with our enemies.

America doesn't even have the money to send them. We're borrowing the money from China to aid people who don't like us. This is illogical. It's an insult.

And it should end.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.199 , Sep 12, 2012

Freeze aid to Egypt until they release detained Americans

When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office in 2011, a member of Mubarak's old guard decided to charge workers with the "crime" of doing something they had been doing legally and with full permission for years. American and Egyptian citizens were arrested.

Due to a near criminal degree of corruption, abuse, and waste on the part of many recipients--not to mention the fact that we can't afford it--I had long been in favor of eliminating foreign aid altogether. But since the aid existed, I thought it gave Congress the perfect tool to help the detained Americans.

I attempted to freeze aid to Egypt. We had sent Mubarak's regime over $60 billion and now a member of that same regime was responsible for arresting and holding American citizens against their will--19 US nationals. I proposed an amendment to end ALL foreign aid to Egypt--economic aid, military aid, all aid--in 30 days unless the American citizens were released. We give over $1.5 billion to Egypt annually.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.196-198 , Sep 12, 2012

As only democracy in Mideast, Israel is important ally

Sarah Palin's endorsement [in the Kentucky GOP Senate primary] gave us a boost that energized supporters, brought in new ones, and, of course, annoyed my opponent and his Republican bosses to no end.

Palin wanted to know my position on Israel. I said that Israel was an important ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, and that I would not condemn Israel for defending herself. Later, after Palin's endorsement of me, she was grilled about it on FOX News. Of course, she defended it.

Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 78 , Feb 22, 2011

Exit the UN; maintain US sovereignty

Q: Do you support U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations?

A: Yes.

Q: Will you support legislation that forbids U.S. troops from serving under United Nations command?

A: Yes.

Q: Will you support the American Sovereignty Act to restrict the Executive's ability to forge international agreements that lessen our sovereignty?

A: Yes.

Q: Will you oppose the so-called "NAFTA Superhighway" and any move toward a North American Union?

A: Yes.

Source: Campaign for Liberty survey of 2010 Congressional candidates , Nov 1, 2010

Rated 0 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record.

Paul scores 0 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues

The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. Though not comprehensive, we have attempted to provide a snapshot of legislation concerning many of the primary issues concerning Arab Americans. For the Senate, we have included 10 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, three on Palestine, one on Lebanon, one regarding civil liberties, and two for immigration reform.

  1. S. Res. 44: (+) calls on former President Hosni Mubarak to immediately begin a peaceful transition to a democratic political system
  2. S. Res. 109: (+) honoring and supporting women in North Africa and the Middle East
  3. S. Res. 138: (-) calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report, formally known as the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which accused the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian civilians.
  4. S. Res. 185: (-) reaffirming the commitment of the US to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calling for a US veto of any UN resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement.
  5. S. Con. Res. 23: (-) supporting Israel in maintaining defensible borders, and against Israel returning to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967
  6. S. 558: (+) the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, to limit the use of cluster munitions in areas normally inhabited by civilians.
  7. S. 1125: (+) greater judicial review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and greater protections to individuals being monitored or gag-ordered by the FBI.
  8. S.1038, the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act, in opposition of PATRIOT Act extension.
  9. S. 723: (-) The Birthright Citizenship Act, limiting citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants born in the US.
  10. S. 952: (+) the DREAM Act, allowing undocumented minors to become US citizens, provided they meet certain conditions, including good moral character
Source: AAI website 12-AAI-S on May 2, 2012

Endorsed Liberty Candidate: US abroad unconstitutional & unaffordable.

Paul is endorsed by Congressional endorsement list

A Liberty Candidate will Defend the Great American Principles of A Non-interventionist Foreign Policy and Sound Money, [such as the views of] Adam Kokesh, Congress 2010 candidate from New Mexico, on foreign Policy: "Taken as a whole, America’s current foreign policy is a grossly unconstitutional one that we cannot afford. It has put us in a situation where children born today are burdened with an impossible debt. It is premised on a twisted version of American exceptionalism which assumes we have the right to police the world without respect for the sovereignty of fellow nations. If we hope to be respected in the global community, we would be wise to heed the advice of Thomas Jefferson and seek, 'peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none.' "

Source: 2010 Congressional endorsement list 2010-LC-FP on Sep 1, 2010

Other candidates on Foreign Policy: Rand Paul on other issues:
KY Gubernatorial:
Steve Beshear
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Alison Grimes
Matt Bevin
Mitch McConnell

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Retiring in 2014 election:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
AZ:Kyl(R)
CT:Lieberman(D)
HI:Akaka(D)
ME:Snowe(R)
ND:Conrad(D)
NE:Nelson(D)
NM:Bingaman(D)
TX:Hutchison(R)
VA:Webb(D)
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Senate Retirements 2014:
GA:Chambliss(R)
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MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
MT:Walsh(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
OK:Coburn(R)
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Senate races Nov. 2014:
AK: Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
AL: Sessions(R,unopposed)
AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R) vs.Swaney(G) vs.LaFrance(L)
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MN: Franken(D) vs.McFadden(R) vs.Johnson(L) vs.Abeler(R)
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Page last updated: Jan 19, 2015