The wife of Republican Sen. Rand Paul penned an open letter to Democratic Sen. Cory Booker Wednesday night, calling on him to “condemn violence” in the wake of “intimidation and threats that are being hurled” at GOP families, including hers.
Kelley Paul, in an op-ed published by CNN, said her family lives in a state of fear due to an escalation of violent threats after their home address was posted online.
“I now keep a loaded gun by my bed. Our security systems have had to be expanded. I have never felt this way in my life,” she wrote.
Mrs. Paul said she was relieved and grateful after her husband narrowly escaped a mass-assassination attempt by a leftist gunman on the Republican congressional baseball team in 2017. She said her husband wasn’t so lucky five months later when he was viciously attacked by a neighbor who left him with six broken ribs, lung damage and multiple bouts of pneumonia. Mrs. Paul slammed the liberals who made light of the attack, including Cher, Bette Midler, MSNBC commentator Kasie Hunt and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who joked about it at an August event.
Mrs. Paul also called out Mr. Booker, who recently encouraged supporters to “get up in the face of some congresspeople” and voice their disapproval.
“Earlier this week, Rand was besieged in the airport by activists ‘getting up in his face,’ as you, Senator Booker, encouraged them to do a few months ago,” Mrs. Paul wrote. “Preventing someone from moving forward, thrusting your middle finger in their face, screaming vitriol — is this the way to express concern or enact change? Or does it only incite unstable people to violence, making them feel that assaulting a person is somehow politically justifiable?
“Senator Booker, Rand has worked with you to co-sponsor criminal justice reform bills. He respects you, and so do I,” she continued. “I would call on you to retract your statement. I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials’ personal addresses (our address was leaked from a Senate directory given only to senators), and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families.”
Jeff Giertz, a spokesman for Mr. Booker, responded to the letter by claiming the senator’s words has been taken out of context by “right-wing” news outlets.
“If you listen to more than a deceptively-edited 18-second clip of the speech Ms. Paul references, Senator Booker’s enduring commitment to decency is clear,” Mr. Giertz told The Hill.
“Senator Booker actually says — to a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness — to ‘get up in the face of some congresspeople and tell them about common sense solutions’ that address this problem and ‘I don’t want to hate anybody, because I know the truth,’” Mr. Giertz said. “To think Senator Booker is somehow urging violent confrontation with these words requires you to ignore all context.”