News & Politics

Alison Lundergan Grimes Jokes About Rand Paul's Hospitalization: 'He Can Be Beaten'

United States Senator Rand Paul (Republican of Kentucky) makes remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Photo by: Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

On Friday, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was in Russia, Kentucky’s Democrat Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes made light of the violent assault that broke Paul’s ribs and landed him in the hospital last year. Paul won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016.

On Friday night, at the Democrats’ traditional bean supper, Grimes admitted that “many folks think that Rand Paul can’t be beat.”

“I don’t buy that. Just ask his neighbor. He can be beaten,” she quipped, referring to an incident last year in which Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, assaulted him from behind, breaking six of his ribs and putting him in the hospital for pneumonia.

Grimes led Democrats in attacking Republicans who decided not to show up to the Fancy Farm picnic, an event that traditionally starts the fall elections in Kentucky. The tradition dates back to 1880. Democrats have attacked Republicans for refusing to attend. Paul was in Russia.

Doug Stafford, Paul’s chief strategist, shot back at Grimes on Twitter. “That’s almost as sad and pathetic as her last campaign. Mitch beat her so bad he almost got charged with a hate crime,” Stafford quipped, referring to Mitch McConnell’s victory over Grimes in the 2014 Senate race.

Kathy Sargeant, chairwoman of the Republican Party in Hardin County, Ky., attacked Grimes as “desperate for attention.”

“Desperate for attention, Grimes tries to make physically attacking elected officials a punchline. [Fancy Farm] has always been a place for lighthearted digs during political speeches and she not only missed the mark by a mile, but was low, even for her,” Sargeant tweeted.

Grimes was not the first Democrat to mock Paul for getting attacked. Former Obama staffer Tommy Vietor chose to mock Paul for this attack, as though the senator (wearing headphones in his own backyard and attacked from behind) could see it coming.

Last June, Paul was also targeted in the congressional baseball practice shooting. James Hodgkinson, the man who shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), had “liked” the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Facebook. That organization — which recently paid a $3.4 million settlement after wrongly brandishing an “extremist” label against a Muslim reformer, opening the floodgates for more lawsuits — had repeatedly attacked Scalise.

Just last month, the Kentucky senator received yet another threat to his life, when the Capitol Hill police issued an arrest warrant after a man “threatened to kill me and chop up my family with an axe.”

“It’s just horrendous that we’re having to deal with things like this,” Paul added. He mentioned the assault from his neighbor, which left him hospitalized, along with the congressional baseball practice shooting last summer.

“We have 24-hour security now, I can’t go anywhere without security,” the senator explained. “I can’t even go to church without being worried about someone being there.”

These physical threats, assaults, and shootings (!) are no joking matter. Alison Lundergan Grimes should apologize.