Rand Paul on Tuesday distanced himself from last night’s scuffle between his supporters and a MoveOn.org activist, blaming the altercation on “a crowd control problem.”
The Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate said on Fox News that, when he arrived at Monday night’s debate hosted by Kentucky Educational Television, “there [was] enormous passion on both sides. It really was something where you walking into a daze of lights flashing, people yelling and screaming, bumping up. It was a bit of a crowd control problem.”
Before Paul and his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, faced-off in their final debate before next Tuesday’s election, a woman connected with the liberal group MoveOn.org was wrestled to the ground by supporters of Paul’s campaign. Video shows the woman, Lauren Valle, on the floor while one man has his foot on her body.
Paul said he does not approve of that behavior.
“I don’t want anybody to be involved in things that aren’t civil,” he said. “I think this should always be about the issues. It was an unusual situation. So many people so passionate on both sides. Jockeying back and forth. It wasn’t something I liked, or anybody liked, about that situation. I hope in the future it will be better.”
Inside the debate hall, the meeting of the two candidates was notable for being more civil than past debates, as the discussion mostly avoided the most divisive issues of the campaign.