Rick Perry‘s comment during last night’s debate about starting foreign aid to all nations at zero certainly raised some eyebrows, but particularly when he included Israel, a country with a special relationship to the United States, in that list. Governors Haley Barbour and Martin O’Malley reacted to Perry’s position on Face the Nation today; one arguing Perry’s proposal has historical bipartisan precedent, the other arguing it was an attempt to pander to right-wing extremists.
Bob Schieffer suggested to Barbour that in the United States, cutting aid to Israel is just as big a political vice as cutting Social Security or Medicare. Barbour defended Perry by noting that under the Texas governor’s plan, every country would have to make their case for foreign aid, and given Perry’s understanding of the special relationship between the two nations, it is unlikely he would withhold foreign aid from Israel for long anyway. Barbour also noted that the concept of “zero-based budgeting” was not just a Republican idea, it was proposed by Jimmy Carter during his presidency.