Rand Paul says he hopes 'Southern Avenger' saga won't undermine efforts to broaden GOP's reach

07/22/2013 10:58 AM

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul confirmed to reporters Monday that he and staffer Jack Hunter — the former shock jock known as the Southern Avenger — were parted ways in a “mutual decision.”

Paul said he hoped that Hunter’s presence on his staff wouldn’t undermine his efforts to broaden the appeal of the Republican Party. Paul has reached out to African Americans, for instance, speaking at historically black colleges in Washington, D.C., and Louisville.

“I think everybody occasionally has people that work for them who sometimes have a background that damages what you’re trying to do,” he said.

“But I think people can judge me on who I am and what I’m trying to do,” Paul added. Here’s the clip:

Hunter worked as a radio show host in South Carolina where his alter ego, the “Southern Avenger,” would wear a wrestling mask with the confederate flag emblazoned on it. Hunter, who has worked in Paul’s Washington office for more than a year most recently as a national security adviser, came under national scrutiny earlier this month.

Hunter spoke about racial pride, immigration and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, as the Washington Free Beacon first reported in early July.

Hunter told the Daily Caller that he planned to return to punditry.

Paul said he wasn’t aware of what Hunter would do next.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Subscribe to email updates.

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