A Democrat Senate candidate invoked racist imagery of lynching to attack Senator Rand Paul in a new ad released this week,
Kentucky Democrat Charles Booker, who recently received the Democrat nomination to run against Paul for the Senate seat, appears to be lynching himself in the video.
Booker, who claims some of his own ancestors were lynched, said he chose the imagery because Rand Paul single handedly blocked recent anti-lynching legislation pushed by the Democrats. He also noted that Paul compared Universal Healthcare to slavery and said he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act as it was written.
Despite his claims, however, the video fails to mention that after opposing the initial bill, Senator Paul co-wrote a new Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act that cleared Congress and was signed into law by President Biden.
According to the Associated Press, the new ad also “ignores Paul’s long-running outreach into mostly Black neighborhoods to discuss criminal justice issues and ways to turn around economically distressed communities, improve schools and combat gun violence.”
Rand Paul himself also responded to the new attack ad, telling the AP, “I’ve introduced over two dozen bipartisan criminal justice reform bills. I fought to pass a strong anti-lynching bill. To this day, I continue to work hand in hand with community leaders on issues like violence and its effect on Louisville’s youth and their education and look forward to keeping up those efforts when I’m re-elected this November.”
Booker also spoke to the AP about the ad, saying his ancestors on his mother’s side had been lynched and describing the experience of wearing the noose as a spiritual journey that connected him to his past.
“It was crushing to put that rope around my neck. I felt the weight of history when I did it. I imagined my uncles, you know. But I feel that being in this unique position gives me a responsibility, and it requires me to be vulnerable so that we can face hard truths,” Booker told the AP.
Despite his no-holds-barred campaign style, Charles Booker faces a steep uphill climb to challenge Paul in a state that hasn’t elected a single Democrat to the Senate since 1992. This is reflected in the most recent poll listed on Real Clear Politics which shows the incumbent Rand Paul with a 16 point lead over Booker in the general election, 55 to 39.
The massive difference in voter registration combined with Biden’s plummeting popularity means the headwinds are against Booker in Kentucky. Still, it is likely that he will raise significant funds nationally with ads like his. Do you think he stands any chance against Senator Rand Paul? How much money do you believe he will raise?