U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is worried that the current political climate could get someone killed.
Speaking with Kentucky radio host Leland Conway Tuesday, Paul urged his fellow lawmakers to be mindful of their rhetoric amid escalating tensions between the parties.
The senator expressed concern that the division could lead to an “assassination” following the highly-charged fight over the Supreme Court and Brett Kavanaugh.
“I really worry that someone is going to be killed and that those who are ratcheting up the conversation… they have to realize that they bear some responsibility if this elevates to violence,” Paul said.
Paul made specific mention of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) after being asked about the politician’s recent call for activists concerned about homelessness to “get up in the face of some congresspeople and tell them about common sense solutions.”
“I think what people need to realize is when people like Cory Booker say ‘get up in their face,’ he may think that that’s OK,” Paul said. “But what he doesn’t realize is that for about every 1,000 persons who want to get up in your face, one of them is going to be unstable enough to commit violence.”
Paul’s remarks come just days after his wife, Kelley Paul, penned an op-ed to Booker in which she detailed the threats her family has received.
“I would call on you to retract your statement,” Kelley wrote. “I would call on you to condemn violence…”
Kelley’s op-ed goes on to note the recent leak of GOP senators’ addresses by an accused Democratic staffer working for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).
Paul also recalled during the interview being assaulted late last year by a neighbor and the 2017 shooting at a baseball practice for Republican lawmakers.
“When I was at the ballfield and Steve Scalise was nearly killed, the guy shooting up the ballfield, and shooting I think five or six people, he was yelling, ‘This is for health care,'” Paul added. “When I was attacked in my yard and had six of my ribs broken, and pneumonia, lung contusion, all that — these are people that are unstable, we don’t want to encourage them.”
“We have to somehow ratchet it down and say we’re not encouraging them that violence is ever OK.”