« I never saw him, never had a conversation. »
Rand Paul has given his first interview since the attack be a neighbor that left him with six broken ribs. The full interview will air later tonight but Fox News has published a preview in which Sen. Paul describes what happened and what he thinks about the attacker’s motives.
“I was working in my yard with my ear muffs on, you know, to protect my hearing from mower and I had gotten off the mower facing downhill,” Paul says. He adds, “And the attacker came running full… I never saw him, never had a conversation. In fact, the weird thing is I haven’t talked to him in ten years.”
That confirms what a spokesman for Sen. Paul said previously and also what his wife, Kelley Paul, indicated in a piece she wrote for CNN. Paul is now on the record saying there was no disagreement prior to the attack. It’s hard to see how any healthy person could get violent over a grudge that goes back more than a decade.
So what was Rene Boucher’s motive in the attack? Sen. Paul says that after he was blindsided Boucher said something about his motive but, at least in this preview, we don’t learn what that was. “After my ribs were broken, then he said things to me to try to indicate why he was unhappy,” Paul said. He added, “I guess to me the bottom line is it isn’t so important. If someone mugs you is it really justified for any reason.
“So I think the more people belabored ‘Oh, well was it about yard clipping? Was it because he hates Donald Trump? Does he…he hates you because you oppose Obamacare’. You don’t really know what’s in someone’s mind and so it may have some relevance but for the most part, the real question should be: Are you allowed to attack someone from behind in their yard when they’re out mowing their grass? Even if you dislike something about their yard.”
Again the story here still isn’t clear but from what Paul is saying it seems possible Rene Boucher did say something about yard work after the attack. Does that necessarily mean that’s what motivated him? I don’t think so. Maybe after realizing he had just tackled a Senator, Boucher quickly came down from his personal rage and offered an excuse for his behavior. That doesn’t make what he said true, especially given that what he’s claiming tends to downplay the seriousness of his actions.
Most normal people don’t attack their neighbors over a yard issue they haven’t discussed in 10 years (if ever). It’s much easier to believe there was a more proximate motivation for this attack on Rand Paul. Hopefully, we’ll learn more tonight when the full interview is released. For now, here’s the preview.