If the political Twittersphere is to be believed, 2016 presidential candidate Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul had another unfortunate spat with a reporter, walking out of an interview with Guardian reporter Paul Lewis. (VIDEO: NBC’s Chuck Todd: Rand Paul Has A ‘Habit’ Of Attacking Women Reporters)
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 10, 2015
Rand Paul walks out of an interview with the Guardian. http://t.co/3PuMQVhM7w
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) April 10, 2015
Rand just apparently cut short an interview with the Guardian on periscope after qs about GOP and criminal justice
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 10, 2015
Rand Paul should walk off every interview. He’ll own every news cycle from now until his inevitable election.
— Neetzan Zimmerman (@neetzan) April 10, 2015
Rand Paul walked out of a Guardian U.S. interview being conducted by live streaming app Periscope http://t.co/CCT1SGMvjZ
— POLITICO (@politico) April 10, 2015
Except, well, he didn’t.
In the video in question, Lewis can clearly be heard prefacing his question with “One more question.” After Paul finishes the question (about whether or not base Republican voters will accept his rhetoric about disparities in the criminal justice system), and after Lewis immediately launches into a second question, he laughs and walks away.
In short, Paul only “walks out” of the interview after being told that it was the last question. Paul also had an interview with CNN immediately following the Guardian interview, making a sudden interview cut-off that more understandable. (VIDEO: Rand Paul Battles ‘Editorializing’ Today Show Host: ‘Let Me Answer A Question!’)
The issue was compounded by the fact that after Paul walks away, the lights in the studio are shut off. “We got the interview cut off… oh, the lights are off in fact!” Lewis says. “Now we’re being told to go.”
But as Paul made clear in a tweet immediately after the interview, it was CNN who shut off the lights. CNN’s Dana Bash quickly confirmed.
We didn't turn the lights off and neither did my staff. CNN producers did. It was time for my interview with @DanaBashCNN – Team Rand
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 10, 2015
. @ZekeJMiller he did get annoyed w the guy but actually we turned lights off when he finished bc our intv was right after in same room
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) April 10, 2015
As if to say, “I am not a sexist looney tune hothead who only cuts off female reporters, but rather a looney tune hothead who cuts off any reporter whose questions I don’t like,” GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul cut short an interview with The Guardian’s Paul Lewis on Friday, leaving the reporter in the dark (literally) after being pressed for specifics on campaign strategy and criminal justice.