Obama: Paul should not be held responsible for Kentucky stomper

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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President Obama says U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul should not be blamed for the actions of a supporter of his Republican campaign who was captured on video stomping on a Moveon.org activist.

“In fairness, I don’t expect every candidate to be responsible for every single supporter’s actions,” Obama told a group of liberal bloggers Wednesday.

Democrats in Kentucky, however, have made an effort this week to link Paul to the incident. As polls show him trailing, Paul’s Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, said the incident could be “a game-changer” if the Paul campaign continues to mishandle it and fails to understand the signal that they are sending.” The state Democratic Party also released a web ad about the incident.

The incident occurred prior to a debate Monday night. Neither Paul nor Conway appeared to witness it, though both have made statements condemning it.

During his meeting with the liberal bloggers, Obama went on to say about the incident that “all of us have an obligation to set a tone where we say the other side is — may be wrong but it’s not evil, because when you start going down that path of demonizing folks, then these kinds of incidents are more likely to occur.”

Obama also said that “what we saw on the video was an example of people’s passions just getting out of hand in ways that are disturbing.”