Limited government advocates are up in arms over an article published by The Washington Free Beacon about Rand Paul aide Jack Hunter, a.k.a. the “Southern Avenger.”
According to the story, Hunter – who handles Paul’s new media efforts – “spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist.” The article also states that the affiliation of such a dubious dude with Paul’s campaign raises questions “about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father’s political career.”
There’s no doubt the Beacon piece is a hit job aimed at tarnishing Rand Paul. And it’s not a very good one either, as the laundry list of politically incorrect “evils” perpetrated by the “Avenger” is pretty mild in our estimation. It’s also a transparent effort by neoconservatives to portray Paul in a kooky light (something we expect to see more of in the months and years to come).
In fact that’s exactly what CNN picked up on when it published an extensive recap of the Beacon piece …
His response …
“The role of a radio host is different from that of a political operative,” Hunter said in a statement responding to the story. “In radio, sometimes you’re encouraged to be provocative and inflammatory. I’ve been guilty of both, and am embarrassed by some of the comments I made precisely because they do not represent me today. I was embarrassed by some of them even then.”
That certainly seems to be at odds with what Hunter said eight years ago when The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier filed a report on his controversial commentary. Back then he was totally unapologetic about his racially tinged comments – saying he “stood by every word.”
Hunter also claims to “abhor racism” and promises he has “treated everyone I’ve met with dignity and respect as individuals.”
Let’s hope for Rand Paul’s sake that comment checks out …
Make no mistake, it is far more telling that establishment hacks in the big-spending, war-mongering wing of the “Republican” party are this hard-up to attack Rand Paul this early in the 2016 presidential cycle. That’s the real story here (although you won’t see that on CNN, which merely referred to the Beacon as a “conservative” website).
But it’s undeniably true Hunter exercised extremely poor judgment in responding … and has probably set his boss up for further headaches down the road.