CNBC reporter John Harwood confronted Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday regarding a former aide who was outed as a neo-Confederate.
On NPR’s radio show On Point, Harwood questioned why Paul had employed Jack Hunter — who once went by the name “The Southern Avenger” — as his director of new media.
“I think a lot of his things he wrote or many of the things he wrote were stupid and I don’t agree with,” Paul shot back. “They weren’t things I was aware of or reasons why I hired him.
“I do think he was unfairly treated by the media, and he was put up as target practice for people to say he’s a racist, and none of that was true. If you look at his writings, I think there are a lot of problems and a lot of disagreements and none of it do I support. But none of it was racist. He got along with everyone in the office, treated everyone fairly without regards to race or religion.”
Harwood attempted to read from an Economist article that said many libertarians were closely aligned with “racist and nativist movements,” but Paul shut him down.
“Don’t you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don’t like me? I mean, that won’t make for much of an interview if I have to sit through reading after recitation of people calling me a racist. I don’t accept all of that and I don’t need to or spend the time going time talking about that.”
“I’m not going to really go through an interview reciting and responding to every yahoo in the world who wants to throw up a canard,” Paul said.
Hunter’s neo-Confederate views were revealed in July.
According to an editor at the Charleston City Paper, Hunter had compared Abraham Lincoln to Adolf Hitler, praised white supremacist Sam Francis, and called on black people to apologize to white people for high crime rates.
Hunter also served as a chairman of The League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers a hate group.
Listen to the interview, via Mediaite, below: