Kentucky Senate hopeful Charles Booker (D-KY) put a noose around his own neck in an attack on sitting Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) that was so blatantly dishonest it triggered a fact-check style article from USA Today.
Booker’s ad, which was deemed graphic enough that it needed a “content warning,” showed the Democrat candidate with a noose around his own neck while he claimed that Paul had “single-handedly blocked an anti-lynching act” at the federal level.
“Lynching is a tool of terror. It was used to kill hopes for freedom. In Kentucky, it was used to kill three of my uncles,” Booker tweeted along with the video ad. “In this historic election, the choice is clear. Rand Paul may want to divide us, but hate won’t win this time. It’s time to move forward, together.”
Lynching is a tool of terror. It was used to kill hopes for freedom. In Kentucky, it was used to kill three of my uncles.
In this historic election, the choice is clear. Rand Paul may want to divide us, but hate won’t win this time.
It’s time to move forward, together. pic.twitter.com/oYxuqKFdWR
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) June 1, 2022
“In Kentucky, like many states throughout the south, lynching was a tool of terror. Now, in a historic victory for our commonwealth, I have become the first Black Kentuckian to receive the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate,” Booker said in the ad. “My opponent? The very person who compared expanded health care to slavery. The person who said he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act. The person who single-handedly blocked an anti-lynching act from being federal law. The choice couldn’t be clearer: do we move forward together? Or do we let politicians like Rand Paul forever hold us back and drive us apart?”
Taking off the noose, Booker says, “In November, we will choose healing. We will choose Kentucky.”
But as USA Today pointed out, Booker left out the fact that Paul had opposed the initial bill because he argued that Congress needed more time to get it right — and had later co-sponsored a bipartisan anti-lynching bill that passed in March. “The Senate unanimously voted this March to pass the updated Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which is now law,” the outlet reported.
The ad blasts Sen. Rand Paul for his 2020 stance on an antilynching bill. It doesn't mention Paul co-sponsored a new version of that legislation.
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) June 1, 2022
Paul’s team responded to the attack as well, saying in a statement, “Dr. Paul worked diligently to strengthen the language of this legislation and is a cosponsor of the bill that now ensures that federal law will define lynching as the absolutely heinous crime that it is. Any attempt to state otherwise is a desperate misrepresentation of the facts.”
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) also co-sponsored the bi-partisan legislation – and Sen. Booker released a statement at the time, saying, “The effort to pass anti-lynching legislation has spanned more than a century. After 200 failed attempts, Congress is now finally prepared to reckon with America’s history of racialized violence. I am proud to announce Senators Paul and Warnock as cosponsors of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act. Their support underscores the bipartisan backing that we have to finally meet this moment and help our nation move forward from some of its darkest chapters.”