After BLM and Antifa militants surrounded and attempted to physically attack Senator Rand Paul and his wife Kelley following the August 27 Republican National Convention, the Libertarian Party Twitter account mocked Paul and downplayed the event Thursday. In response to a user who tweeted “Rand Paul is afraid somebody on the sidewalk might yell at him,” the party tweeted:
You might spook him.
The tweet has since been removed.
Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash later apologized to Senator Paul on Twitter:
I apologize to @RandPaul for this tweet from @LPNational. What happened to him was wrong.
Rand has been my (and our) ally time and again. I’m committed to building a Libertarian Party that unites millions of Americans and works with Rand and others to advance individual liberty.
Paul is the son of the Libertarian Party’s 1988 presidential nominee and lifetime member Ron Paul. He worked on his father’s ’88 campaign. Since his election to the Senate in 2010, Paul has been widely regarded as the most libertarian member of the body. He has sided with the Libertarian Party on such issues as foreign policy, military spending, civil liberties, and criminal justice reform. He recently introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, which would ban no-knock warrants. In 2018, Paul endorsed Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson in the New Mexico U.S. Senate race.
Outside of the incident last month, Paul has been the subject of at least two violent attacks. At a Congressional baseball game in 2017, a leftist gunman attempted to assassinate Paul, instead severely injuring Congressman Steve Scalise and three others. Later that year, Paul’s neighbor violently attacked him as he mowed his yard, requiring Paul to undergo surgery for internal injuries two years later.
The National Libertarian Party has been generally hostile toward Paul and his father in recent years. A look at the party’s past twelve Twitter mentions of Paul have all been negative. In 2015, the party posted a graphic with Paul’s photo on Facebook with the caption “no more Bushes, Clintons, or Pauls.” It blasted Paul for his 2012 endorsement of Mitt Romney for president, but made no comment when 2016 Libertarian vice presidential nominee Bill Weld endorsed Joe Biden for president this year.
Libertarian comedian Dave Smith had this to say about the Libertarian Party’s treatment of Paul and its recent tweet:
Rand Paul is the most libertarian member of the Senate, the son of a former LP Presidential candidate and liberty hero. He has been shot and and viciously attacked in the last few years. But sure mock him being scared of a mob, I’m sure these tough LP guys wouldn’t be spooked.