With three days passed since Rand Paul was attacked at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, new reports are shedding interesting light on the motives and identity of the attacker.
On Friday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was mowing his lawn. Suddenly, he was blindsided by an attack that resulted in multiple sustained injuries, including five ribs that are now cracked, bruised lungs, and pain bad enough that Paul is unable to fly on an airplane for a considerable amount of time. This means that Paul's injuries are far more severe than initially reported.
The attack took place shortly after 3 pm local time on Friday when Paul's neighbor tackled him to the ground. On Saturday, initial reports claimed that Paul had a minor injury. Paul's Senate office initially reported that the senator was doing fine, but the description of Paul's injuries above, which came to light after the incident, display that Paul is severely wounded and suffering from considerable pain.
According to Vanity Fair, this could potentially upend the tax-reform debate in Congress — something that Paul was very critical in. Paul was considered to be a potential holdout on the bill. And given the slim majority that Republicans have in the Senate, whether or not he voted on the bill was expected to perhaps determine whether it passed or failed.
Both Senators Rand Paul and John McCain are very difficult to predict on the question of tax reform, although both of the men are difficult to predict for entirely different reason. On the one hand, McCain is a progressive Republican who blocked efforts in the Senate to repeal Obamacare. Paul, in contrast, is a libertarian-leaning Republican who might vote against tax reform if it does not slash taxes enough.
So who was this attacker? According to reports, the attacker was 59-year-old Ren Boucher, a man who apparently regularly engages in heated political exchanges with his Republican neighbor. Boucher is a vocal anti-Trump socialist, whereas Rand Paul is a libertarian-leaning Republican who has led the charge to repeal Obamacare, audit the Fed, cut taxes, and reduce federal spending.
According to online records, Boucher was released on a $7,500 bond on Saturday. He faces a court date on Thursday. And it is expected that further charges might be brought, given the severity of Paul's injuries.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the FBI is still currently investigating the situation to determine whether the attack was politically motivated, which is likely the case. But it turns out that the two may have an even longer history than one might expect, suggesting that it could also be personal. According to Vanity Fair, Boucher and Paul may have crossed paths at Interventional Pain Specialists, a clinic in Bowling Green, when the two men both worked there in 2010. Boucher was a general pain management specialist, whereas Paul was an ophthalmologist who had staff privileges.
According to a local paper, Jim Skaggs, a member of the state Republican Party, claims that both men knew each other for many years. Scaggs claims that the two men disagree politically, and often engage in heated arguments, but that the assault was very shocking. In fact, the two men seemed to be friends, said Skaggs, and would even walk their little dogs around the neighborhood. It is likely that the two might have stopped and spoken to each other during these walks.
“They were as far left and right as you can be,” Skaggs said, according to Kentucky.com. “We had heard of no friction whatsoever other than they just were difference of political opinion. Both of them walked their little dogs at about a mile and a half circle, a nice little dog trot. I’d see them out walking, maybe they might stop and speak with each other.”
Paul was also present at the recent shooting at a bipartisan Congressional charity baseball game, where the Kentucky senator was able to escape unharmed.
In breaking news, a local plumber is being praised as a hero for his brave actions in the recent Texas church shooting.