UPDATED AT 6:20 P.M.
By Bill Estep – firstname.lastname@example.org
A television commercial that questioned Republican Rand Paul’s religious beliefs backfired on Democrat Jack Conway and boosted support for Paul, the Kentucky GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate said Monday.
Paul said he believes he has been solidly in the lead since the general election began. But when asked during a campaign stop Monday if there was one thing that pushed the race his way, Paul mentioned the ad.
“I think it was a mistake for ‘em to attack my religious beliefs. And I think it backfired on ‘em,” Paul said while speaking to reporters during a campaign stop at TAC Air in Lexington.
The ad refers to Paul’s membership in a secret society at Baylor University that mocked Christianity in satirical articles and was previously banned from the Baptist-affiliated school for being sacrilegious.
It also mentions another college incident in which a woman, who has remained anonymous, said Paul, as part of an ill-conceived prank, tried to get her to smoke pot, then took her to a creek outside town, told her he worshiped “Aqua Buddha,” and made her bow down.
Paul has called the accusations “all lies.”
Paul and Conway were crisscrossing the state on Monday in advance of Election Day. Former President Bill Clinton is expected to appear with Conway at 5 p.m. in Louisville.
During a stop in Lexington, Conway continued his argument that Paul’s anti-government philosophy would undermine a range of federal programs and policies that help people, such as workplace safety rules, access for people with disabilities and college loans and grants.
He also repeated claims that Paul supports imposing a $2,000 deductible on Medicare recipients and a plan that includes doing away with the income tax but adding a 23 percent national sales tax.
“Folks, in the world in which I live, the seniors to whom I talk, they can’t afford a 23 percent national sales tax on groceries . . ., Conway said. “They can’t afford a $2,000 Medicare deductible.”