Rand Paul dismisses head stomping as ‘jockeying,’ ‘crowd control problem’
Update (at bottom): Second video confirms protester was not near Rand Paul
MoveOn.org’s political director Ilyse Hogue told Talking Points Memo that Lauren Valle suffered a concussion and sprains to her shoulder.
The Paul campaign released a statement Tuesday saying they had identified one of the participants as a volunteer.
“The Paul for Senate campaign is extremely disappointed in, and condemns the actions of a supporter last night outside the KET debate. Whatever the perceived provocation, any level of aggression or violence is deplorable, and will not be tolerated by our campaign. The Paul campaign has disassociated itself from the volunteer who took part in this incident, and once again urges all activists — on both sides — to remember that their political passions should never manifest themselves in physical altercations of any kind.”
Original story continues below…
Republican Senate candidate from Kentucky Rand Paul sought Tuesday to downplay an incident where a woman was allegedly assaulted outside his debate with Democrat Jack Conway.
“Lauren Valle of liberal group MoveOn.org, said she represented ‘Republicorp,’ a creation of the activist group Moveon.org, and was trying to give Paul a faux ‘employee of the month’ award when his supporters took her to the ground,” Raw Story reported.
“One of the men, wearing and carrying Rand Paul paraphernalia, can be seen stomping on her shoulder and neck; he is in the process of crushing her with his foot again when another man tells him: ‘No, no, no. Come on,'” according to The New York Times
A statement issued by Rand Paul’s camp later condemned the attack on Valle and said, “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.”
But Paul wasn’t as quick to describe the incident as violence when he appeared on Fox News Tuesday.
“There was a bit of a crowd control problem,” Paul told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “I don’t want anybody though to be involved in things that aren’t civil.”
“And it is an unusual situation to have so many people so passionate on both sides jockeying back and forth,” he continued.
“It wasn’t something that I liked or anybody liked about that situation. So I hope in the future it is going to be better,” Paul said.
Fox News’ Bill Hemmer also downgraded the violence in his description of the scuffle. He said Valle simply “had her shoulder stepped on.”
This video is from Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, broadcast Oct. 26, 2010.
The original video from Fox News channel 41 follows:
A second video, which confirms that the protester didn’t get anywhere close to Paul, was published to YouTube on Tuesday, Oct. 26.