Rand Paul says he plans to press Middle East leaders on peace; downplays presidential ambitions 'right now'

12/03/2012 07:22 AM

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul wants to hear directly from Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials about what it would take to achieve peace in the Middle East.

The week-long trip, first reported by the Christian Broadcast Network, will take Paul through Israel and Jordan in early January.

Paul has criticized Congress from approving aid to nations, such as Egypt, whose citizens have burned American flags. He said he supports aid to Israel.

Here’s what Paul told Pure Politics on Friday in Northern Kentucky in his first public comments about the Middle East trip:

That has only fueled talk of Paul’s presidential ambitions for 2016, as CNN noted in its coverage.

But Paul, who would be up for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016, said he is more focused on Kentucky issues, such as the water level in the drought-stricken Mississippi River, at the moment than a run for the White House.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.