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 has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.


  • labman57 wrote on July 22, 2013 12:05 PM :

    Hunter’s gone?
    No problem. There are plenty of other racist, tea party brown-nosing, libertarian pundits out there ready and willing to fill the void in Rand’s “let’s pretend that I’m a viable candidate” staff.

  • Bruce Layne wrote on July 23, 2013 03:20 PM :

    Sadly, history is so hopelessly skewed on this issue that almost any expression in favor of a smaller federal government or returning power to the states as intended when our nation was founded and as articulated in the 10th amendment in our Bill of Rights is now inevitably labeled as neoconfederate, which is somehow synonymous with racist.

    For a humorous education on this topic, search YouTube for Interview With A Zombie by Tom Woods (Harvard graduate, economist, historian, PhD).

    As a quick litmus test, if you believe the Confederate flag is racist, then you are the victim of the revisionist history that was written by the victors.

    The Revised American History also fails to inform us that Lincoln told racist jokes as a traveling circuit court attorney, he publicly stated as a presidential candidate that blacks are inferior to whites and would never be their equals, and his plan for American racial harmony was to round up all blacks in this nation and ship them back to Africa. There’s your Great Emancipator. Fortunately, our society has progressed beyond these ugly beliefs, in spite of, rather than because of people like Abraham Lincoln. It makes me sick when I hear Lincoln included with American heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

  • Cumberland Gap wrote on July 25, 2013 10:15 AM :

    Sen. Paul, you can’t broaden the appeal of the party by hiring and associating with bigoted people and espousing narrow minded views. Your decision to hire him part time at $80,000 per year ($40,000 every 6 months)is not conserving taxpayers money. You are very appealing to those who think in black or white terms, those who will not consider others’ ideas, and those who would rather die than change their mind given good evidence to do so.
    I forgot to add and those who think we need to go back to a form of government in our 18th century because they had fewer taxes.

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