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Rand Paul denies GQ's 'kidnapping' claim

by Joe Arnold


Posted on August 10, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 10 at 5:44 PM

Did the GQ article change your opinion of Rand Paul?

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says a "kidnapping" claim against him as alleged in GQ magazine is "untrue."

An excerpt on the magazine's website on Monday quoted a woman who says she was a fellow team member of the Baylor University swim team when Paul and another male classmate blindfolded her, tried to force her to smoke marijuana, and drove her to a creek where she was forced to say  "I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you."

"The more they throw at me, the more convinced I am that the leftists, statists and special interests are terrified that I will get to Washington," Paul said in an e-mail to supporters, "Did you see their latest smear attacks yesterday?  Let's just say they give a bad name to tabloids."

"They accused me of "kidnapping" someone when I was a teenager.  It is, of course, untrue.  I'm eagerly awaiting the story where they try to accuse me of having been abducted by aliens. Somehow, libelous smears by drive by journalists with a leftist agenda are considered "news" these days. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic," the statement continued.

While the statement denies "kidnapping," it does not explicitly address the validity of the woman's account, including whether any of her statements are true.

On national cable news networks and political websites and blogs, the story feeds an insatiable appetite for a national fascination with Rand Paul.  His Tea Party candidacy has become a more frequent target of the national media since a series of controversial interviews after Paul won the Republican primary.

Before Paul's denial to his supporters, his campaign did not expressly deny the story, instead threatening a libel lawsuit.

"We have consulted our attorney about avenues for a libel suit, I think that speaks to the story's validity," said Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton.

"I am sure that some leftist agenda driven writers will try to drub up other nonsense, but they will find slim pickings even when they take extreme liberties with truth," Benton continued.

In the GQ article, an unidentified woman is quoted as saying that Paul and the other male classmate  "knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot."

The article says Paul was a member of a secret society that pulled pranks and published a satirical newspaper.  The woman says the two young men drove her to a creek.

"They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," 

 "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.'

As the story is featured across the country, Kentucky voters will no doubt hear more about it. The question is, does it matter?  What do you think? Vote on WHAS11.com and leave a comment.