Tim Profitt, the former Bourbon County campaign coordinator for Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul’s campaign, gave the AP a non-apology apology yesterday for stomping on the head of a MoveOn.org activist outside a Senate debate Monday night, saying, “I apologize if it appeared overly forceful.” But apparently his pseudo-remorse was short-lived, as Profitt told local CBS affiliat WKYT today, “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.” (The Lexington Police think otherwise, issuing Profitt with a criminal summons).
And astonishingly, asked if he planned to apologize directly the activist Lauren Valle whose head he stomped on, Profitt said, “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.” Watch it:
Profitt has remarkably attempted to blame Valle for the incident in which he and another large man wrestled the 23-year-old woman to the ground, telling WKYT, “she was a professional at what she does and I think when all the facts come out, people will see that she was the one who initiated the whole thing.” Profitt has said he restrained Valle because he feared the petite woman represented “a danger” to Paul, and said he stepped on her because “I couldn’t bend over because I have issues with my back.” Meanwhile, Profitt now says he “fears for his safety.”
On a conference call organized by the campaign for Demoratic nominee Jack Conway today, a 60-year-old Conway supporter named Michael Grossman said he was also assaulted by a Paul supporter at the same event. Grossman — who attended the event “simply as a supporter” of Conway — was carrying a sign with Conway’s name on it. Shortly after Valle was attacked, Grossman said he “felt a heavy hand on my shoulder” and turned around to see a “thug” who “happened to be massive.” Grossman said the man tried to “thrust me to the ground” in order to get to Valle and take part in that melee. When Grossman turned around, he said the man “verbally berated” him, called him a “communist” and a “socialist,” and said “you ought to be back in California or New York with all the rest of the scum.”
In her first TV interview since the incident last night, Valle told MSBC’s Keith Olberman that the incident captured on video was actually only the very end of a lengthy altercation she had with Profitt, tea party activist Mike Pezzano, and several other Rand Paul supporters. “It was premeditated” Valle said, saying that Profitt and his compatriots knew she was a progressive activist and not any kind of “threat” to Paul. Watch it:
Rand Paul has disowned Profitt, despite the fact that the campaign ironically ran a full page ad yesterday touting the endorsement of Profitt, among many others. But apparently not all conservatives are prepared to denounce violence against an innocent woman. Right-wing talk radio host Neal Boortz tweeted today, “Wanted: A Rand Paul supporter with a bad back to stand on a Media Matters staffer’s head for a while.”
Kentucky blog Barefoot & Progressive notes that Rand Paul’s former campaign manager David Adams, who left the campaign three months ago under amicable circumstances, responded to the head stomping by writing that MoveOn.org “should rein in their wild out-of-state supporters.”