“Sen. Rand Paul doesn’t explicitly deny his eight-day visit to the Holy Land represents the launch of a 2016 Republican presidential nomination run.
“I consider it as more an effort to become part of an international stage,” the freshman Kentucky Republican said.
But at least some of the 40 evangelical Protestant leaders traveling with Mr. Paul think otherwise.
“This trip to meet with Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians is absolutely the first step in his 2016 White House campaign,” said David Lane, evangelical political organizer and president of the Los Angeles-based Pastors and Pews.
Mr. Paul joined the pastors on a tour bus climbing its way to the Israeli side of the 9,000-foot Golan Heights — the other side of the heights is Syrian territory.
Many others on the bus are convinced they are seeing him start a political climb to even greater heights.