Wes Clark attacks Rand Paul over ‘Aqua Buddha’

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark is attacking Republican Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul — and fundraising for Paul’s Democratic opponent — by bringing up a dubious story about Paul’s college years that the Republican has long denied.

“Then there’s Rand Paul,” Clark writes to his WesPAC email list, after praising Democratic opponent Jack Conway. “This is a man who blindfolded and bound a female classmate at Baylor University…then tried to make her take drugs but eventually settled for making her kneel in a creek and pray to the ‘Aqua Buddha.’”

An anonymous college acquaintance of Paul’s told the story to GQ magazine in a recent article. After a firestorm erupted over the story — some news outlets referred to the episode as a “kidnapping” — the accuser, still requesting anonymity, clarified her account to the Washington Post, saying that characterization was wrong, and that “the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.”

“They didn’t force me, they didn’t make me. They were creating this drama: `We’re messing with you'” she said of the alleged story.

In an interview with Fox News, Paul said the story was “absolutely untrue.”

Gary Howard, a spokesman for Paul’s campaign, responded Tuesday, saying, “When you are wrong on Obamacare, cap and trade, balanced budgets, term limits and every other issue of importance to Kentuckians, I guess you have to resort to name calling and lie-filled smears. I’d say Conway should be ashamed of himself, but I expect nothing less by now.  But Kentuckians know who Rand Paul is and what this race is about.”

Clark, who could not immediately be reached for comment, has made more than a dozen Democratic endorsements this cycle, often offering his support in press releases with quips like, “We can’t let extremists win” and “I know sometimes it’s not obvious what’s going on in Sarah Palin’s mind.”

The former general has also endorsed military veterans like Cal Cunningham (who lost his bid for the U.S. Senate) in North Carolina and Tommy Sowers for Congress in Missouri. Other Democrats who have his support include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas and Sen. Barbara Boxer in California.