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Rep. Ron Paul at the Conservative Political Action Conference, February 11, 2011.
Rep. Ron Paul at the Conservative Political Action Conference, February 11, 2011. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
As the rest of the world reacted to the announced departure of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, one would-be Republican presidential candidate after another declined to address it here at the CPAC gathering.
Then came Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), whose Libertarian positions have made him a favorite at the Conservative Political Action Conference and won him the group's presidential straw poll last year.
Paul, whose son, newly elected Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) addressed CPAC on Thursday, called Muburak a dictator and said the U.S. had "propped up" Muburak for years and wasted billions in assistance to Egypt. Long an opponent U.S. intrusion in the affairs of other nations, Paul reiterated his call for an end to all foreign aid.
"People...say we have a moral responsibility to spread America's goodness around the world," Paul said. What occurs in other countries, he said, "is none of our business."
Paul said U.S. aid to other countries "is taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries."
Earlier on Friday, President Obama commended Mubarak for heeding his people's demands for his removal and urged Egypt to continue toward establishing a democracy.
As events unfolded in Egypt on Friday, other CPAC speakers such as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Texas Gov. Rick Perry made the case for a strong foreign policy, particularly against dictatorships, but declined to address the Egypt uprising.
Separately, Paul praised the tea party movement as a "revolution," which helped his son into office.