The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Damaging staffer admission: Rand Paul is just playing a game

The Free Beacon is out with a tough piece on a Rand Paul staffer who has a rather colorful past.

Frankly, this sort of thing is why I warned back in January that Paul would have a hard time winning a general election. But while most people will focus on Jack Hunter’s past “neo-Confederate sympathies,” arguably the most damaging part of the story comes toward the end, where Hunter seems to confess that Rand Paul is in the process of conning the pro-Israel lobby, neoconservatives, and other mainstream conservatives. Here’s an excerpt that might prove especially damaging:

“When libertarians and paleoconservatives balked at Paul’s remark last January that “any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States,” Hunter downplayed the comment as a ‘little rhetorical concession’ and said the senator was ‘play[ing] the game.’

 

‘For every questionable action—support for Mitt Romney, comments about the U.S.’s relationship with Israel … these things do not diminish the overall record of the most libertarian senator since the Founding era,’ wrote Hunter on the Southern Avenger website. ‘Not making these certain diplomatic statements or gestures on occasion, also makes taking these ideas into the mainstream much, much harder. A little rhetorical concession goes a long way.’

 

‘Some say Rand is not Ron because he is ‘willing to play them game,’ Hunter continued. ‘That’s exactly right. That’s the point—to play it, influence it, and win it as much as you can. The neoconservatives certainly do, to their advantage.’

 

Hunter has also said that Rand Paul holds the same foreign policy views as his father, Ron Paul.

 

‘The philosophy hasn’t substantively changed [from Ron Paul to Rand Paul]. The methods and style most certainly have.’”

It’s one thing to have an aide with baggage (even very bad baggage), but the larger problem here is that this also speaks to credibility and honesty — to Paul’s fundamental character.

It should be noted that Paul’s spokesperson has pointed out that Hunter doesn’t speak for Sen. Paul.