WASHINGTON – The American involvement in the Middle East was one of the issues discussed by five Republican presidential hopefuls on Thursday during their first debate on Fox News.
Congressman Ron Paul, considered the "intellectual grandfather" of the Tea Party movement, said Israel had become too dependant on the United States when asked how he would respond to an Israeli strike in Iran.
The Texas Republican is considered a great supporter of cutting off American foreign aid. Israel should be responsible for its own fate, he said during the debate, adding that if the Jewish state wanted to attack Iran, the Americans should not tell the Israelis what to do.
Thursday's debate (Photo: EPA)
It should be noted that according to public opinion polls, Paul's chances of winning the Republican presidential bid are not high. Moreover, of the five men who took part in the debate, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the only one considered a serious candidate.
The three leading candidates – Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump – did not show up for the debate, perhaps for fear that they would be overshadowed by US President Barack Obama's ground zero visit following the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The debate's big winner was Herman Cain, an African-American businessman and former CEO of a pizza chain, who has no previous experience in politics but received the highest focus group ratings.
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