October 18th, 2010
09:49 AM ET
12 years ago

McCaskill says Dem's ad ‘very dangerous’

(CNN) - A fellow Democrat warned Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway that his latest ad targeting Republican Rand Paul's reported behavior in college is "very dangerous."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said the Conway ad that repeats an unsubstantiated GQ story about Paul when he was a student at Baylor University comes "close to the line" in what should be deemed inappropriate in political campaigns.

"Candidates who are behind at the end reach, and sometimes they overreach," McCaskill said on MSNBC. "This ad is very dangerous because it reaches back to college. The ad came close to the line."

The spot hit Kentucky airwaves over the weekend and references the story that - relying on anonymous sources - reported Paul blindfolded and tied up a female student, forcing her to take bong hits. The story also reported Paul told the woman his god was "Aqua Buddha" and that she should bow down and worship him.

Responding to the report in August, Paul said he did not remember the event and added, "I really don't think that politicians should be asked to answer anonymous accusers from 27 years ago, but I will categorically deny that I ever kidnapped anyone or forced anybody to use drugs."

But the new spot from Conway says Paul still hasn't adequately addressed the matter:

"Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible 'a hoax' - that was banned form mocking Christianity and Christ?" asks the narrator in the ad called “Why?” "Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up? Tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his god was 'Aqua Buddha?"

Paul expressed outrage over the commercial at a Kentucky Senate debate Sunday night, asking Conway, "Have you no decency? Have you no shame?"

"You know how we know when you're lying? Your lips are moving," an angy Paul also said. "You're accusing me of crimes. Do you know nothing about the process? You're going to stand there and accuse me of a crime from 30 years ago from some anonymous source? How ridiculous are you? You embarrass this race."

Paul refused to shake Conway's hand at the end of the debate.

Conway, the state's attorney general, defended the ad during Sunday's debate, saying Paul had still not answered the "fundamental questions" the commercial raises.

But despite McCaskill's unease with the commercial, she said the Tea Party-backed Paul is "out there."

He's an extreme candidate," she said.

Polls show Paul holds a single-digit lead over Conway.

Filed under: 2010 • Claire McCaskill • Jack Conway • Rand Paul
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Perry

    I'm so sick of candidates from both parties trying to win by trashing their opponent rather than saying anything of substance about their ideas or plans for improving our country. Campaigning is no longer about addressing the issues, it's all about seeing who can make their opponent look bad. Candidates, rather than trying to make themselves look attractive, just try to make their opponents look bad. Who knows if Rand Paul actually did these things or not, but no one has no skeletons in their closet. I'm more concerned with who a person is today.

    Come on office seekers, tell us what you'll do if you're elected rather than telling us what your opponent will or has done!

    October 18, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Myron

    In the incident, Paul is accused of a crime - kidnapping. Even as a public figure, he would have a good shot at winning a libel suit. That's of course, provided the accusation isn't true. The fact that he is not filing suit says something.

    October 18, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. PalmReader

    Oh, let it rest, McCaskill. Rand Paul has been snipping at Conway, the Democrats, Bill Clinton, and President Obama for months now. No one is questioning his christianity. The ad in question was an attempt to bring out Rand Pauls utter lack of discipline. Refusing to shake hands with Conway made Paul look petulant and childish. Too common a trait for this years crop of TeaPers candidates who now want to *run* government. You, on the other hand, think hazing is OK, yes Claire?

    October 18, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    As much as I value Sen. McCaskill's opinion, I think the ad is very relevant. Mr. Paul never answered the allegation. Just because you did an action 27 years ago doesn't mean that it's history and all forgotten. This man is running for U.S. Senate. This isn't a beauty pageant. His radical views from college seem to be aligned with his radical ideas in the present. I suggest Mr. Conway keeps running the ad until Mr. Paul can justify his behavior.

    October 18, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. JohnBoy

    ... and didn't he once defecate in a public place? Shocking! Is this the sort of 'out there person' we want to represent us!?!?!?!?

    Oh wait, he was wearing a diaper at the time and was only 6 months old but even so ...

    October 18, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. 15 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    Yet another despicable display of how LOW DemocRATS will sink when they can't win on their record, accomplishments or ideas. If this isn't libel and slander, what is? Will people vote for a DemocRAT that would do something like this? Is this the type of scum you want in government, with power? NO!!!

    October 18, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. ZeroFuxGiven

    This just shows how scummy both sides of the isle can be in terms of political advertisements. The Democrats have no right to pretend to hold the moral high-ground in campaign ethics. They may be marginally better on average than Republicans, but the degree that any campaign is based on lies/deception/nonsense in this country is sickening.

    October 18, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. KDirty

    As someone who's not a resident of this state, and therefore not voting, I'm not saying this to express favoritism of one candidate over another. I think that ad is pretty outrageous, and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if none of it is true. That said, I can understand people being concerned about the way Rand Paul is responding to the ad. Rather than coming out and saying, "This is completely untrue and utterly ridiculous," his response has been "I don't see why I should have to talk about something that happened 27 years ago," and "Why are you asking me these questions?" It does make it seem like he's got something to hide. I understand not wanting to give credence to something so crazy, but he doesn't come across as very forthcoming.

    October 18, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
1 2 3