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Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2013

Rand Paul defends staffer Jack Hunter after massive media criticism from the left and right

The media and opinion writers like Jennifer Rubin and James Kirchick came out with guns-a- blazing after a Washington Free Beacon report by Alana Goodman disclosed that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had hired “The Southern Avenger”, Jack Hunter as his social media director in August 2012.

Jack Hunter Image/Video Screen Shot

Jack Hunter
Image/Video Screen Shot

After getting pummeled by the left and the neocon right, Dr. Paul defended Hunter in an interview with the Huffington Post today.

“I’m not a fan of secession,” Paul said. “I think the things he said about John Wilkes Booth are absolutely stupid. I think Lincoln was one of our greatest presidents. Do I think Lincoln was wrong is taking away the freedom of the press and the right of habeas corpus? Yeah.

“People are calling him [Hunter] a white supremacist,” Paul told HuffPo’s Howard Fineman in his Senate office. “If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I’d fire him immediately.

“All I can say is, we have a zero tolerance policy for anybody who displays discriminatory behavior or belief in discriminating against people based on the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, anything like that,” Paul said. “We won’t tolerate any of that, and I’ve seen no evidence of that.

Paul insisted that he had only known “vaguely” about Hunter’s work. But even if he had known all of the details, Paul said, he would not have shied away from hiring Hunter because he is a talented conservative writer.

“Let me put it this way,” Paul said. ”I’m aware of some of your columns, but not all of them. And some of them I find very unfair, calling me a conspiracy nut, things like that. But I chose to talk to you today. So that means we have a relationship now. But it doesn’t mean that I agree with all of your past writings.

“It’s the same way any time you meet somebody who’s got a large body of work,” Paul continued. “So if I hired you to work in my campaign, there would be some things I agreed with, and some things I disagreed with.

“I think it’s hard. The thing is, I grapple with this. What am I supposed to do? I’m going to have a lot of people working for me. They’ve all got writings and opinions.”

In Goodman’s column, Hunter is described as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist who stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. In addition, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”

Jack Hunter also worked previously for the Presidential campaign of Rand Paul’s father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote in a note on his Facebook page July 10:

“Yesterday you saw some hawks, whose ideology is dying and whose worldview is being discredited every day, launch an attack on Senator Rand Paul by attacking one of his brilliant aides, Jack Hunter.

“Jack’s sin in their eyes was having spoken favorably of states’ rights, and negatively of Lincoln. They can’t seem to recognize that states’ rights–even secession–does notequal racism; it constitutes a brake on the feds’ march to totalitarianism. Most modern day states’ rights advocates recognize the sovereignty of the states and their inherent ability to nullify and avoid federal violations of the Constitution in order to protect life and liberty from an overgrown, intrusive federal leviathan that literally now interferes in or spies on every facet of our lives. And most historians and legal scholars who appreciate personal liberty and limited government recognize that the history of Lincoln’s assaults on civil liberties is a topic capable of divergent views and worthy of exposure.

“But really, the hawks and neocons weren’t attacking just Jack—who possesses profound intellectual honesty and who has a gift for reducing complex arguments to understandable terms–for his views on federalism. Everything that was “broken” in the “news” story in the Free Beacon has been public information for a long time. It was not hidden. And it was not news. Some of it was youthful hyperbole, and all of it was sliced and diced out of context.

“What’s news? Egypt is in chaos and President Obama continues to fund the military there as it slaughters protestors. There are new calls from both sides of the aisle to reconsider foreign aid. Americans are rallying against their own government spying on them. Left and right are coming together to say “enough” and soundly reject the idea of arming the al Qaeda affiliated rebels in Syria

“In other words, the neocon world view, which assaulted our civil liberties in a way that would make Lincoln blush and brought us 12 years and two trillion dollars’ worth of useless wars, is crumbling. And it isn’t just crumbling on its own. It has a sledgehammer being taken to it every day by Senator Rand Paul.

“So when someone does a hit piece on the Senator’s gifted aide, or when you see a vicious attack on the Senator himself as you no doubt will, think about why it is happening. The attacks are coming from those on the losing side of history.

“And then go carry on the fight for liberty…”

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. ‘Southern Avenger’ Comes Clean: Former Rand Paul Aide Warns GOP Away From Racist Rhetoric | LiMiT says:

    […] [Image via CWMemory, Global Dispatch] […]

  2. Jack Hunter steps down as Rand Paul aide, the ‘Southern Avenger’ character to be retired - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] the Goodman report was published, an onslaught of critics from the left and right attacked Hunter and questioned Paul’s hiring of the social media […]

  3. Jennifer Rubin’s war on Rand Paul - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] column, Right Turn, features a nearly daily blasting of Paul, this past weeks target, Jack Hunter, secession and Abraham […]

  4. Dispatch Radio: July 13, 2013 – Constance ‘Happy’ Dickey talks lyme disease, abortion in news, ‘Red 2′ film review - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Rand Paul attacked over Jack Hunter hire, Lincoln criticisms are unacceptable? […]

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