Already the target of death threats, including from a person who threatened to chop up his family with an ax, Rand Paul worries the current political climate could spawn deadly violence. "I fear that there's going to be an assassination … I really worry that somebody is going to be killed," the Republican senator from Kentucky told WHAS on Tuesday, referring to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation and ongoing protests in Washington. "Those who are ratcheting up the conversation, they have to realize they bear some responsibility if this elevates to violence," he added, referencing Sen. Cory Booker's call in June for activists concerned with ending homelessness to "get up in the face of some congresspeople," per the Hill.
"What he doesn't realize is that for 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 said, per Time. "When I was at the ballfield and Steve Scalise was nearly killed, the guy shooting up the ballfield … was yelling, 'This is for health care.'" His comments echoed a recent CNN op-ed by his wife, Kelley Paul, who also called out Booker. "Preventing someone from moving forward, thrusting your middle finger in their face, screaming vitriol—is this the way to express concern or enact change?" she wrote. Describing "violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level," she added, "I now keep a loaded gun by my bed."