October 20th, 2010
04:58 PM ET
8 years ago

Paul's wife blasts Conway over 'smear' ad

Bowling Green, Kentucky (CNN) – Rand Paul's wife made a rare public speaking appearance Wednesday to blast Kentucky Democratic Senate nominee Jack Conway for raising questions about Paul's faith in a controversial television ad still on the airwaves.

"I am truly shocked by Conway's ads questioning Rand's faith based on nothing more than anonymous accusations from nearly three decades ago," Kelley Paul told reporters, referencing Conway's now infamous "Aqua Buddha" ad, which claims that Paul mocked religion while in college.

Paul called the ad a "smear" and said she and her husband are both devoted Christians who have attended a Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green for nearly two decades.

"Jack Conway has a family too, and while I'm sure he isn't thinking about it right now, these personal attacks hurt people's families," she said. "I'd have thought someone with a beautiful baby daughter would take that into account, no matter how desperate he may be to win."

Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, was unavailable to make remarks Wednesday because he was performing 20 eye surgeries, his campaign manager Jesse Benton said.

The ad has drawn critics in both political parties, but Benton acknowledged to reporters that the brouhaha had thrown the campaign off its reliable anti-Obama message.

The Conway campaign sees an opening if Paul isn't able to keep the race focused on national issues in the final two weeks of the race.

"We have been talking about faith and gutter politics, and we certainly did need to respond to these gutter attack because they are very personal against Rand and his family," Benton said. "[The campaign] needs to come back to Obamacare, spending, debt and an out of control government in Washington that threatens us all."

Benton said Paul will decide in the next two days whether to participate in Monday's final scheduled debate against Conway, "someone who is personally smearing him."

Update: Kentucky State Auditor and Conway for Senate Chairperson Crit Luallen responded to Paul in a statement Wednesday:

"The question is not whether the ad went too far. The question is whether Rand Paul went too far – and whether he continues to go too far for Kentucky families. When his actions were as extreme as those cited in the ad, Paul owes an explanation to the voters. 

"These questions are not being asked in a vacuum; these actions are yet another example of Rand Paul being out-of-step with Kentucky values – whether it's raising the Medicare deductible to $2,000 or proposing a 23% national sales tax, or questioning basic tenants of the Civil Rights law and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Women in particular are owed an explanation by Paul: for an act that was demeaning to a woman, for his writings where he has been quoted as asking 'Since when have any two people ever been equal?', and for questioning government's role providing equal pay for equal work.

"This is not about Rand Paul's faith or his family. It's about his judgement and his values. It's about those who seek office being held accountable for their actions."

- CNN's Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Kentucky • Rand Paul
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Concerned Voter

    Glad that "smear" is in quotes. It's not really a smear when it's the truth, Rand.

    October 20, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. keepstufingthis

    This was a political act of desparation so despicable, it is hard to comment on. We just have to bear the crosses and indignities that the Democrat liberals sling until November 4th, and then we can call them "losers." That kind of says it all.

    October 20, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. gt

    conway reminds me of harry palms ..from cheeh and chong... dirty ,pervert who like to tell lies and will do and say anything

    October 20, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. DIANA

    Wow, they don't seem to have a problem smearing the President and waving those banners showing him as Hitler and a witchdoctor. Didn't they think Obama's beautiful daughters would be hurt by seeing that.

    Truth hurts Mrs. Paul. As far as Rand goes, quoting fellow Teabagger Sharon Angle – Man up and don't let hte womenfolk fight your battles for you. You showed your character the last time when you refused to shake hands with Mr. Conway.

    October 20, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. vic nashville tn

    This is the real problem this year I quit GOP

    I am a conservative I deal with my problems I don’t expect others to help me out

    October 20, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. stufthis

    Rand needs to come out from behind the skirt, and 'man up.'

    October 20, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. La Piovra

    I think Mrs. Paul and Mrs. Thomas have been drinking the same booze at the same bar, maybe even together. Maybe their utterences are even the fruit of the same barroom bet.

    October 20, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. one voice

    SMEAR AD? this is true statements, this Rand Paul is A KOOK. He has NO BUSINESS ANYWHERE NEAR WASHINGTON. This is the 21st century and he wants to TRAMPLE THE CONSTITUTION and bring our country back 200 years. NO THANKS

    October 20, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    It's not wise to mess with Aquabuddha. Have a nice day!

    October 20, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Yasmine

    i don't like these agressive tactics.. but the GOP and teabaggers.. resorted to spitting on our gov officials..they lie ...some have resorted to violence..so glad to see a Dem with some spine.............

    it hurts when the tables are turned,huh??

    October 20, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Rand Paul...... is a schmuck. The people of Kentucky are smart! They know that CONWAY will make a great Senator!!

    In NOvember vote NO for the Party of NO!

    PS. I am a registered, Independent.

    October 20, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Me

    Conway definitely should have blasted him on EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT PAUL. If he wins, Kentucky gets exactly what they deserve

    October 20, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. stufthis

    The GObP party of slander and smear has nothing to offer that will help Americans.

    October 20, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. china is voting for the republican tea party

    My thoughts are the same as many on this blog......
    the republican TP have been relentless with throwing racial and religios smears at Prez Obama......
    has any of the republican TP considered the Obama's daughters during this personal attacks on him and his family......
    .Not one republican has manned up and said stop to this TP crap starting two years ago.....
    So, enough with the republican TP, tell Conway that 'everything' is fair game, drag the TP candidates and republican wimps through the same mud

    October 20, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. p

    Rand Paul is some kind of weirdo. Way out of the mainstream. Why won't he talk about what's good for Kentucky? – Not all this national mumbojumbo Can't believe Kentuckians would vote this guy in, except for that other creep they voted for Mitch "the bitch" McConnell.

    October 20, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Shannon

    Did she blast her fellow tea baggers when they question the President's faith. Her husband is insane, he stands for radical things, and this is allthey have. I agree with another poster, stop hiding behind your wife, "man up"

    October 20, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    See this is a cheap shot by Paul.

    Let my wife defend me, and when someone contradicts her and points out that she is insane, then you can say "why are you attacking my wife, she's not the one running"

    You Republicans think you are clever, but for all your "wisdom" you think you have, the Democrats have you figured out 😉

    Oh yeah, and tell your wife to shut her lying trap.

    October 20, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Shannon

    I read some of you right wing hypocrites here calling the questioning of Rand's faith dispicable, how many times have you questioned the President's faith. You are so hypocritical, you have no credibility left

    October 20, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    Some of you Democrats are STUPID too, too hot headed, LISTEN UP, this has to do with DADT and Obama asking for a stay

    LISTEN UP, I WILL SAY THIS ONLY ONCE (I hope that some of you are smarter than Republicans who like 3 word slogans, but that is for DUMB people) LISTEN:

    Any administration and the government for that matter HAS to challenge any "CONTROVERSIAL" ruling AUTOMATICALLY
    Obama may not want to challenge the stay of DADT, BUT HE HAS NO CHOICE.

    Let me put this in terms so that even a dumb Conservative can understand:

    If there was no Automatic appeal, than Republicans could have passed crazy religious laws for years while they had the majority, the only thing that stopped them was that THE LAWS PASSED HAD TO STAND UP TO THE CONSTITUION, HENCE THE AUTOMATIC APPEAL PROCESS.

    So hold your darn horses and stop screaming at Obama, the man HAD NO CHOICE...
    We will get rid of DADT, but that is very hard to do with those 2 year old babies on the right side of the isle screaming NO NO NO NO to everything.

    October 20, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. G

    its a poltical tactic that was used against him its working and its hurting him. His wife needs to stay out of it, because republicans gave hilary crap for bill but little racist wants a pass. dirt is dirt no matter how old or wet it gets, and it can go or blow any where even if we dont like it. bush had d.u.I.s he maned up listen to palin.

    October 20, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    When in doubt, bring out the wife to make your claims of vitctimhood appear more sympathetic and imply that it's a victimization of your entire family. Seriously sophomoric strategery. Randroid amateur hour.

    October 20, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Rich

    Regardless if it's true or not, this was 27 years ago. My goodness, who knows what you could dig up on me 20 years ago, I shouldn't be held accountable for something that happened that long ago from some "anonymous." Notice the author of the article failed to put that part in there, but nevertheless this race should be about "issues." Who's going to cut spending and who's not. Who's more friendly to personal liberty and who's not. Who's logical about foreign policy and who's not...

    October 20, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. Gotta Be Kiddin

    Just scrolling through the ticker I see that CNN has several titles saying someone "blasts" someone else. Can we just get some honest reporting without all the drama – that's what's wrong with the media. Way too much drama trying to get knee jerk reactions and not enough reporting on real issues.

    October 20, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. Danny Cali

    It's true same person still same Idea even 20 or 30 year this guy still do the same. So, let's dump this guy because he not qualify for Senator.

    October 20, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. George of the jungle

    most of these jerks only go to church so it looks good in politics. Who cares Paul is a nut job without any religious references. VOt the wing nuts out

    October 20, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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