Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, used Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to ask her about the U.S. apology over the military's alleged accidental burnings of Korans.
The Koran-burning incident has led to widespread protests and the killing of several Americans -- as well as loud criticism from Paul's GOP nomination rivals over the U.S. apology for it. Rick Santorum said President Obama's apology to the Afghan government showed weakness and Newt Gingrich said he "surrendered."
Paul noted that those who have been criticizing this particular apology should recall that previous presidents have apologized for similar incidents, and indirectly referenced President George W. Bush's 2009 apology to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for an American sniper's use of a copy of the religious text for target practice.
Bringing up the scandal provoked by a viral video depicting American Marines urinating on Taliban corpses, Paul voiced his overall opposition to the war that created thousands of refugees in the country.
"Does it ever get to the point where apologizing about the Koran is rather minor, considering some of the other problems we have created in [Afghanistan]?" Paul asked.
Clinton said she appreciated Paul's measured comments about Obama and other presidents offering apologies "when we are deeply sorry for unfortunate incidents that occur, that were not intentional, and which we know have emotional resonance with people."