By Alexandra Jaffe - 10/11/13 03:13 PM EDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested U.S. foreign aid to Middle Eastern nations was funding a "war on Christianity," in a Friday address to a gathering of social conservatives.
"This administration does nothing to stop it. And it can be argued this administration is giving aid and comfort to those who tolerate these crimes," he said.
He later added: “American tax dollars should never be spent to prop up a war on Christianity. But that’s what’s happening now across the globe.”
Paul charged that U.S. aid sent to places like Egypt and Syria is
going to radical Islamic groups that target Christians. While he
admitted that radical Islam doesn't color the majority of Muslims, its
prevalence "shouldn't be understated," he said.
“We send billions of dollars to Egypt, to Pakistan. We have helped place
Islamic regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama now sends arms
to Islamic rebels in Syria," he said.
"In Egypt, the mob that attacked our embassy climbed on top of our embassy and burned out flag —I don’t know about you, but I have had enough. I say not one penny more to any country that would burn the American flag," he said, to applause.
The Tea Party darling has long been a proponent of withholding aid to Egypt and other foreign nations, a proposal he touts frequently at similar conservative gatherings and one that's typically met with a warm reception.
His speech was somewhat overshadowed by his predecessor on the stage, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has recently emerged as the leader of the conservative movement following his role in orchestrating the government shutdown and gave a fiery and well-received speech at the conference.