Rand Paul has had a nearly 20 year relationship with Alex Jones, who has not only endorsed him and raised funds for him but told his listeners that they should ignore Paul’s obvious flip flops because he’s just playing politics. Now that it seems that might be a liability in the Republican primary, he suddenly has little memory of this Alex Jones guy.
Bloomberg Politics’ David Weigel reported that when “asked whether he regretted talking to Jones, Paul demurred,” stating: “I’ve been pretty open to doing a lot of interviews with a lot of different people … And people want to characterize one or two of them, whether they’re on the right or left, you know, they’re welcome to do it. But I’ve been pretty open to doing interviews and it’s one way to get the information out.”
Weigel added: “Asked if he listened to Jones’s show, Paul said that he simply didn’t listen to much news. ‘When I’m brushing my teeth in the morning I turn on the news channel,’ he said, ‘but I’m busy all day.'”
Paul’s suggestion that his connection to Jones was just a random media appearance is disingenuous: Paul has made numerous appearances on Jones’ radio program since the 1990s and admitted Jones and his audience were integral to helping him win his first Senate race.
Further, Jones said yesterday that Paul has “been a listener of this show for years.”
As Media Matters documented, Jones endorsed Paul, turned out listeners to his events, and partnered with Paul for fundraising. Since Paul’s election to the Senate, Jones has continued to serve as a key Paul booster, including endorsing him for 2016 and attacking Paul’s critics.
During a 2010 appearance about his candidacy, Paul told Jones and his listeners, “we can’t do it without you.” He has also described Jones as one of the first people to give him “a fair shake” and “representation” in the political debate. And Paul said he hears from Jones fans “across the country and all across Kentucky” and their support “shut down my website ’cause they overdid it.”
Paul previously acknowledged that he got information from Alex Jones. On his radio show in January, Jones told listeners that while it may seem like Paul has moderated his views, he is merely “playing politics.”
Just as he is by now denying any relationship with Jones. When one your most prominent supporters is a bizarre conspiracy theorist who publicly says that you’re lying now that you’re running for president by pretending to be a moderate, that can’t be good for your campaign.