Rand Paul Supporter Arrested, Fired From Campaign, In Assault Incident

Late yesterday police made an arrest in the incident I wrote about yesterday:

A Rand Paul volunteer who allegedly stomped on a woman’s back and head during an altercation outside Kentucky Educational Television studios in Lexington before Monday night’s debate has  been issued a criminal summons to appear before a Fayette district judge.

Tim Profitt, who was Paul’s Bourbon County coordinator, hasn’t been charged with a crime, said Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts. But, she said, he could be charged with 4th degree assault, a misdemeanor, if the case is sent to a grand jury.

Profitt was “disassociated” from the Paul  campaign after it learned that he might have been involved in the incident.

The Paul campaign also issues this statement:

“The Rand Paul for Senate campaign is extremely disappointed in, and condemns the actions of a supporter last night outside the KET debate. Whatever the perceived provocation, any level of aggression or violence is deplorable, and will not be tolerated by our campaign. The Paul campaign has disassociated itself from the volunteer who took part in this incident, and once again urges all activists — on both sides — to remember that their political passions should never manifest themselves in physical altercations of any kind.”

To me at least, that should be the end of the political aspect of this case. Let the Lexington Courts deal with Profitt now.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Doug, here’s the problem. While I applaud Paul’s firm condemnation in the statement, on TV, Fox News, no less he tried to have it both ways.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncz0esowrPQ

  2. john personna says:

    We have a political campaign which makes anger a centerpiece, and then violence at their rallies.

    But by all means, let’s not consider that there might be a connection. Let’s push the question off.

    The Very Angry Tea Party

  3. Yes, because we’ve never seen this kind of this from the left before.

    Oh wait, we have.

    I see nothing wrong with what Paul had to say in the Fox interview

    What would you have him do, fall on his sword and say that he’s personally responsible for the actions of one douchebag ?

  4. john personna says:

    I think Rand’s statement was pretty good. He did cast it as a heated environment, with shoving from both sides. If that doesn’t prove true, it could turn for him. Of course, by then he’ll be elected.

    No, I think the proper political discussion is about The Angry Party and American Civil Society.

    You are going way overboard here:

    What would you have him do, fall on his sword and say that he’s personally responsible for the actions of one douchebag ?

    … not contributing to civil discussion yourself, perhaps.

  5. John,

    James, Dave, and I have all written pieces over the course of this campaign about the level of discourse so I get where you’re coming from.

    I just don’t know that one incident outside a debate in Kentucky tells us anything about society as a whole.

    Like I said in the post, this is a criminal matter now.

  6. john personna says:

    It’s just really odd that when anger escalates to violence, you post a “nothing to see here, move along” piece.

  7. I see it as more of a “let the court system deal with it” piece

    There have been how many political rallies across this country during this election season ? Hundreds probably.

    One incident does not a “lesson” make

  8. mantis says:

    Someone should tell Profitt to save it for court. He just keeps talking, now telling reporters he thinks he’s the one owed an apology….from the woman who’s head got in the way of his foot.

    As for Profitt, he remains defiant. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt said.

    And when asked if he would apologize to Valle. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you,” Profitt said.

    The right sure has internalized this constant victim-status strategy, haven’t they? Even when you’re beating down a woman half your size, you’re the victim.

  9. anjin-san says:

    This looked to me like a solitary woman getting attacked by several men. Don’t think “one bad apple” is going to work…

  10. anjin-san says:

    I am also not seeing how it was an “unusual situation”. Looked like a campaign rally to me.

  11. john personna says:

    I did a google search, and worries about violence at tea party rallies goes back more than a year.

    “One incident does not a ‘lesson’ make”. Seriously?

    This does follow on the heels of the Alaska incident, and shall we say over-protective security there too.

  12. mantis says:

    I am also not seeing how it was an “unusual situation”. Looked like a campaign rally to me.

    It wasn’t even that. It was a debate between the two opponents. Not only do wingnuts think anyone they disagrees with them should not be at their campaign events, they apparently think only supporters of one candidate should be allowed at debates. Real lovers of democracy, those Paul campaign workers.

    Btw Doug, you might want to tell your fellow travelers on the right–like Jim Hoft, Donald Douglas, Robert Stacy McCain, Bill Owens, all the Freepers and plenty more–that this is the end of the political aspect of this case and it is now a matter from the courts, because they’re still stridently defending the actions of Paul’s violent campaign workers and attacking the victim.

  13. mantis,

    I’m not anymore responsible for what others write on their blogs than Rand Paul is responsible for what Tim Proffit did.

    But you’ll notice that I rarely, if ever, link to the people you listed.

  14. Ben Wolf says:

    Kudos to Paul for his handling of the issue, and no, I don’t particularly care for the man’s politics. I often disagree with Doug but in this I think he’s right-on.

    It may be that the incident is indicative of a greater problem with the Tea Party or the Right in general. Maybe. But a big part of the problem is that so many of these people feel (correctly or incorrectly) alienated from society, from their government and from what they perceive as an elite ruling only for its personal gain.

    Insisting they are disproportionately composed of thugs will make it even WORSE, and provide legitimacy for future acts of violence. Let the courts deal with it.

  15. john personna says:

    Insisting they are disproportionately composed of thugs will make it even WORSE, and provide legitimacy for future acts of violence.

    That seems a little Newspeak.

  16. Herb says:

    “Yes, because we’ve never seen this kind of this from the left before.”

    Now that you mention it….if the tables were reversed and we were talking about, say, SEIU thugs beating up a Betsy Ross lookalike at a Tea Party, I suspect the debate would look quite similar, only reversed. The left would be saying things like “But the SEIU disassociated itself with the thug” and “It’s a police matter now.” While the right, no doubt, would weave this into a narrative about how the left hates not only Tea Parties and Betsy Ross lookalikes, but freedom as well.

    That’s just how we do it in this country. “Make the other side look bad” is a universal principle that everyone can get behind.

  17. Ben Wolf says:

    Pushing someone to the margins is exactly the right way to radicalize them. I find the Tea Party to be unserious, incoherent and generally pissed-off. But engagement (however wrong you might think them to be) is he best way of dealing with the situation. Telling them you think they are fringe whackos is more likely to inflame than chasten.

  18. john personna says:

    I think a rational, and non-angry, discussion can be made about what place anger deserves in American politics. If someone comes back at me and says, no, we can’t talk about anger because that empowers them … sorry, but that just doesn’t work for me.

    NY Times: Poll Finds Tea Party Anger Rooted in Issues of Class

    And I quote:

    And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”

  19. Mithras says:

    Don’t worry, the Teabaggers will stop being angry at the government just as soon as they get control of it again. They’ll still consider themselves entitled to use force against people who disagree with them, though. That’s just a conservative value.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    I might have misunderstood the timing because I was 12 time zones away and then traveling back to here as this was unfolding. But it sure seemed to take a lot of time for Paul to denounce this. Now I’m not saying he should have thrown his campaign worker under the bus. But right off the bat I would have expected a leader to try to calm things down, to speak out forcefully against the violence in general even if he also said he wanted to wait for all the facts to come out before saying anything more about this specific case.

    I don’t know what it is, but of all the tea-party crew, Rand Paul creeps me out the most. I just get this feeling that there’s this seething anger and a “the rules don’t apply to me’ edge, plus the sense he’s waiting to give vindictive payback to those he feels are his enemies. Angle, O’Donnell, and so forth may have similar procliviities, but they’re dumb as posts. Paul is smart, which makes him scarier. Lord knows, I hope I’m wrong about him as it looks like he’ll be around for a while.