Jack Hunter, an aide to Sen. Rand Paul, resigned his post to avoid an emerging flap over previously speaking of the Confederacy in favorable terms, media reported on Monday.
Hired in 2010, Mr. Hunter resigned in part to protect the senator from a public relations disaster, CBS reported.
"I've long been a conservative and years ago, a much more politically incorrect and campy one," Mr. Hunter said in the CBS report. "But there's a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I've also become far more libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant worldview, through the lens of which I now look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment."
Mr. Hunter had a radio show, "The Southern Avenger," during which he talked about racial pride, CBS reported. He also on the show painted secession in a positive light — and even praised John Wilkes Booth for killing President Abraham Lincoln, CBS reported.
Mr. Paul called Mr. Hunter's previous statements "stupid" during an interview with The Huffington Post. But he also denied Mr. Hunter was a racist.
"If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately," Mr. Paul said, to the Huffington Post. "If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I'd fire him immediately."
Mr. Hunter helped Mr. Paul write the book, "The Tea Party Goes to Washington."
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