SHELBYVILLE — The Kentucky Democratic Party is featuring video of a Rand Paul supporter stomping a liberal activist in a television ad that it plans to air Friday night in Lexington and Bowling Green.
Party spokesman Matt Erwin said the ad will appear only after 10 p.m., when children are less likely to see it.
"We think it's so frightening for children that we don't want parents to have to explain why a woman is getting beat up," Erwin said.
The party hopes to make other TV buys to air the ad, but it's scheduled to run only a limited number of times in Lexington, where the incident occurred, and in Bowling Green, hometown of Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul, Erwin said.
The ad shows footage of Paul's now former Bourbon County campaign coordinator, Tim Profitt, allegedly assaulting liberal activist Lauren Valle after two men tackled her when she tried to approach Paul before a debate Monday night at Kentucky Educational Television in Lexington. Profitt was an unpaid volunteer for Paul's campaign.
The 60-second ad also displays the words "The Rand Paul Stomp," which the party says describes the effect Paul's positions on issues ranging from taxes to Medicare would have on Kentucky voters. It ends by asking for contributions to the party.
Paul did not take questions from the media at campaign stops in Columbia and Somerset on Thursday, but he has previously said his position on the issues the ad mentions have been taken out of context or are incorrect.
Profitt has been served a criminal summons and could face misdemeanor assault charges, but he said that Valle instigated the incident and that she should apologize to him.
Lexington police are continuing to investigate, spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Thursday. She did not know whether more charges were pending.
"We are continuing to investigate this case and part of that investigation, is looking at what Kentucky law says about incidents like this," she said.
The Democratic Party ad comes as polls show Democrat Jack Conway trailing Paul.
Earlier Thursday, Conway told reporters during a stop in Shelby County that the stomping incident is "a game-changer if the Paul campaign continues to mishandle it and to fail to understand the signal that they are sending."
The Paul campaign has condemned the incident and says Conway is "grandstanding."
Conway also criticized Paul for not returning $1,950 in contributions from Profitt.
"It's a potential game-changer, and the women of Kentucky have a big decision," Conway said.
"It's not that particular issue," added Conway, noting that Paul has called for more local instead of federal funding for breast cancer research and questioned laws that require equal pay for women.
The "stomping" incident has garnered national media attention, and even President Barack Obama has weighed in on it.
The Daily Caller, a news site founded by media veteran Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, reported that Obama told a group of liberal bloggers that Paul should not be blamed for the actions of a campaign supporter.
"In fairness, I don't expect every candidate to be responsible for every single supporter's actions," Obama reportedly said.
Obama also said that "what we saw on the video was an example of people's passions just getting out of hand in ways that are disturbing."
Paul has tried to link Conway with Obama, who is unpopular in the state.
Asked Thursday how he differs from Obama, Conway mentioned that he favors extension of tax cuts enacted during President George W. Bush's administration, his pro-gun stance and his opposition to the military surge in Afghanistan and trials of terrorists in New York City.
Told that polls indicate many conservative Democrats tend to be crossing over to back Paul, Conway said they need to understand that he is against federal cap-and-trade legislation that deals with carbon emissions at coal-powered plants and that he is "A rated" by the National Rifle Association.
Paul's campaign has accused Conway of flip-flopping on the cap-and-trade issue and tax-cut extensions.
Conway said he will be spending "a lot of time" in Western Kentucky before Tuesday to "set the record straight" with Democrats there. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state about 1.6 million to 1 million.
Conway campaigned in Lexington on Thursday with Gov. Steve Beshear and attended a rally late in the day at state Democratic Party headquarters in Frankfort with Beshear, former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Woodford County and state Auditor Crit Luallen.
Paul campaigned Thursday in south-central Kentucky, a Republican stronghold. He stuck to familiar themes, blasting Obama's policies on health care, financial regulation and the environment.
The increased regulations under health care reform and new rules on the financial sector will kill jobs in the country, Paul said.
"In the midst of a tenuous economy, with 10 percent unemployment, adding all this new regulatory burden, adding higher premiums to small businesses who provide insurance, is a big mistake," Paul said at a stop in Somerset. 'We can create jobs just fine here if we get government out of the way."