A conservative, pro-Israel group is set to air a new ad in South Carolina blasting GOP White House hopeful Ron Paul on foreign policy.
In the ad from the Emergency Committee for Israel, Christian conservative leader and 2000 presidential candidate Gary Bauer says “we can do better” than Paul.
“Ron Paul’s conservatism is isolationist and conspiratorial,” Bauer says in the ad. “He’s hostile to our military, hostile to our allies like Israel, and was hostile to great conservatives like Ronald Reagan.”
The ad will begin airing Wednesday on cable TV news, local TV and talk radio in South Carolina, according to The Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez.
Many conservatives have been wary of Paul’s foreign policy, and his fellow contenders for the GOP presidential nomination have criticized him sharply on the issue. Paul’s perspective on the threat of a nuclear Iran has sharply divided him from his fellow candidates.
Paul has compared the premature bombing of Iran to Iraq. “The greatest danger is that we will have a president that will overreact, that we will soon bomb Iran,” he said in a GOP debate last month in Iowa.
Because the possibility of a nuclear Iran is considered a grave danger to Israel, America's ally, Paul’s stance is particularly troublesome for many pro-Israel conservatives.
“He denies that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. He says it was a crime to kill Osama bin Laden. He blames America for creating terrorism. He says we don’t know the truth behind the 9/11 attacks because of a government cover-up. He condemns our ally Israel for defending herself,” Bauer continues in the ad. “Ron Paul is not a Reagan Republican. We can do better.”
Paul has blamed “bad policy” for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, citing al Qaeda’s objection to U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia.
"Just remember that immediately after 9/11, we removed the base in Saudi Arabia; our policies definitely had an influence," Paul told CBS News in November. "To argue the case they want to do us harm because we're free and prosperous, I think, is a very dangerous notion, because it's not true."
However, he denied on ABC News last weekend ever buying into “off-the-wall” conspiracy theories about a government cover-up for the terrorist attacks.
The Emergency Committee for Israel is an organization “committed to mounting an active defense of the U.S.-Israel relationship” through educational material, according to the website. Members include Bauer, The Weekly Standard founder and editor William Kristol and activist Rachel Abrams.
South Carolina is set to hold its third-in-the-nation primary vote on Jan. 21. Paul is polling at 12 percent in the state, according to a CNN-ORC poll released Friday.