LOS ANGELES - Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul defended his record on Israel Wednesday after a former aide said the congressman favored abolishing the nation.
"Dr. Paul is the most pro-Israel candidate in this race," campaign spokesman Gary Howard said in an emailed statement.
"He is the only leader who will stop sending tens of billions of dollars in aid and arms to her Arab enemies, cut off subsidies to companies who do business with Iran, and allow Israel to defend herself as she sees fit, without the permission and interference of the US or the United Nations."
Although a longshot to win the Republican presidential race, Paul is a leading contender for next Tuesday's Republican caucus vote in Iowa -- the first nominating contest in the nation. Paul previously drew fire for anti-Israeli and racist, anti-gay messages contained in newsletters published under his name two decades ago.