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Jack Conway’s controversial attacks on Rand Paul


Jack Conway’s controversial attacks on Rand Paul

Derrick Johnson October 19, 2010

At an election debate on Sunday, Democrat Jack Conway’s references to a campaign ad attacking Republican Rand Paul, which appeared to have frustrated the Republican beyond belief. The Republican called Conway “a disgrace” and refused to shake his hand after the debate.

The new Conway ad unearths an incident from Rand’s collegial days and attacks his Christian faith. “Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible a ‘hoax’… Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his god was ‘Aqua Buddha’,” asks the ad’s narrator.

The ad is based on a claim by an anonymous woman that Paul, participating in a prank, tried to get her to smoke pot then took her to a creek outside town and told her he worshipped Aqua Buddha and forced her to bow down to it.

The anti-Christian charge refers to Paul’s membership in a secret society while at Baylor University that published Bible-mocking statements in newsletters, according to the Washington Post.

Paul has denied both accounts though Conway continues to reference them on his campaign trail. During the Sunday debate Conway said Paul “tied a woman up and asked her to worship a false idol.”

In response, Paul asked, “Jack, have you no decency? Have you no shame? You demean the state of Kentucky. You embarrass yourself.”

Though the ad may help Conway in conservative Kentucky where religion is important to many people, and may reinforce arguments that Paul’s views are extreme, some observers speculate the ad may hurt Conway among groups who deplore campaign negativity and find questioning a candidate’s faith inappropriate, according to the Miami Herald.

The latest Rasmussen survey shows Paul leading the race with 49 percent of the vote, while Conway trails behind with 38 percent.