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Rand Paul staffer resigns amid furor over neo-Confederate sympathies

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein,Rand Paul,Analysis

A staffer for Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has resigned in the wake of a controversy following the exposure of his long record of outrageous neo-Confederate statements as a radio shock jock and pundit in South Carolina.

Jack Hunter told the Daily Caller’s Jim Antle, “that he wanted to avoid being a distraction for Paul and to clear his own name, which he argues is now unfairly associated with racism.”

Earlier this month, the Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman drew attention to the colorful background of Jack Hunter, who worked for Ron Paul before helping to write Rand Paul’s book and then signing on to do social media work for the Kentucky Senator. Known by his moniker “The Southern Avenger,” Hunter was a South Carolina-based radio shock jock and commentator in the 2000s who wore a pro-wrestling style mask emblazoned with the Confederate flag, advocated secession, chaired the League of the South, and celebrated the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. On Monday, Goodman revealed a series of outrageous clips from Hunter’s radio show, including one in which he compared Lincoln to Adolf Hitler.

All along, I’ve believed that the relevance of this story had more to do with Paul than Hunter. Hunter’s departure will make things easier for any future Paul presidential campaign than if Paul were still employing somebody with these views in 2016. But as I argued, Paul’s dismissive response to these revelations suggested he isn’t ready for prime time. If it’s at all indicative of how he’ll respond to other people affiliated with his campaign who turn out to have controversial views and associations, Paul’s journey to the mainstream will be a difficult one.

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