Democratic state legislators call on Rand Paul to condemn alleged assault before debate

10/26/2010 02:13 PM

Two Democratic state senators and one Democratic state representative are calling on Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul to denounce an attack on a Jack Conway support before Monday night’s U.S. Senate debate.

The attack, which was caught on video, happened after Paul had passed by the crowd of supporters gathered outside Kentucky Educational Studios in Lexington.

The senators, Denise Harper-Angel of Louisville and Kathy Stein of Lexington, as well as Rep. Mary Lou Marizan, agreed that the incident was out-of-bounds. Stein, who represents the state Senate district where the incident took place, said if she had been as close as Paul was to the incident she would have “physically intervened myself.”

Paul’s campaign issued a statement at 12:35 a.m. Tuesday:

“We understand that there was an altercation outside the debate between supporters of both sides and that is incredibly unfortunate. Violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse and we urge supporters on all sides to be civil to one another as tensions rise heading toward this very important election. We are relieved to hear that the woman in question was not injured.”

Harper Angel said that Paul hasn’t gone far enough in condemning the attacks.

“What I saw last night was not politics, it was an angry mob,” Harper Angel said.

Harper Angel also said that the last night’s incident, combined with the Conway campaign’s efforts to already paint Paul as dangerous to women, would help encourage Democrats to get out and vote. But in the end, the conference call with the three legislators largely called on Paul to criticize his supporters for the attack.

“The three of us are in political discourse all the time, but we don’t resort to violence,” Marizan said.

Just before 2 p.m. — after the lawmakers’ teleconference with reporters — Paul issued a second statement saying the campaign was “extremely disappointed” in the ¬†supporter and condemning his actions.

“Whatever the perceived provocation, any level of aggression or violence is deplorable, and will not be tolerated by our campaign,” the statement said. “The Paul campaign has disassociated itself from the volunteer who took part in this incident.”

-Reporting by Kenny Colston

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Senator Kathy Stein.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.