Rand Paul complains about 'incivility' months after telling Rep. Omar to leave the country


The Kentucky Republican offered to buy Rep. Ilhan Omar a plane ticket to Somalia earlier this year after Trump told the congresswoman to 'go back' to her home country.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is still outraged that two people at a restaurant expressed their displeasure with him earlier this month, and in an interview on Sunday, he cited that encounter to claim that only those on the left were uncivil.

Paul appeared on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) eponymous Trinity Broadcasting Network program over the weekend. After explaining that he was right about supporting Trump's decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria, The Kentucky senator was asked about the incident at a California eatery.

"We're having lunch, minding our own business, there's only two other people in the restaurant..." he recounted. "These people tried to ruin our day by coming over, showing the middle finger at us, using profanity, yelling at us."

"My question really to everyone is," he continued, "they keep blaming incivility on President Trump, and yet the only people I see that are acting rude, that are coming up to people at restaurants and yelling and screaming are the left."

The encounter in question took place at a California restaurant on Oct. 19, as Paul was traveling the country to promote his book, "The Case Against Socialism." Paul was confronted at the time by a man and a woman, who identified the pair as "New Yorkers," with the man requesting calmly to speak to Paul, and the woman yelling that she would not put up with Paul's "Republican bullshit."

A spokesperson for Paul, who captured video of the incident and tweeted it, accused the two of being "unhinged," stating that the group had been "verbally assaulted by these aggressive libs complaining about incivility."

Paul's comments on Sunday ignore his own past behavior, specifically his comments toward Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D).

This summer, Trump tweeted that four Democratic congresswomen of color, including Omar, had been too critical of him and should be sent back to their home countries. Only one of those congresswomen, Somali-born Omar, who came to the United States as a child, was actually an immigrant.

At subsequent rallies, Trump said nothing as his supporters chanted "send them back."

The comments prompted swift backlash by those who recognized Trump's words as a racist trope. Rather than denouncing the remarks, however, Paul stood by Trump, telling conservative site Breitbart, "I'm not saying we forcibly send [Omar] anywhere ... I'm willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia. I think she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia."

Paul then suggested the Minnesota Democrat "might come back and appreciate America more" after being sent back to Somalia.

Since the 2016 elections, Muslim Americans, immigrants and Spanish speakers, people of color, and LGBTQ Americans have been subject to a significant amount of harassment from those on the right. Reports of hate-based violence — often echoing Trump's own bigoted rhetoric — have increased.

Paul, meanwhile, has fiercely defended Trump and attacked "unfair" assessments that Trump is a racist.

Paul himself has been subjected to harassment by Trump. During a 2016 GOP primary debate, Trump congratulated himself for having not yet attacked the Kentucky senator's looks, adding "believe me there is plenty of subject matter right there."

In an August 2015 tweet, Trump also called Paul "Truly weird" and a "spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.