https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3704611-rand-paul-rips-democratic-iowa-senate-nominee-for-mocking-attack-by-neighbor/

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called for Iowa Democratic Senate nominee Mike Franken to be disqualified for his tweet last year mocking a 2017 physical attack by Paul’s neighbor.

Paul’s neighbor broke several of his ribs and caused the Kentucky Republican to undergo surgery after saying he was angered by the senator repeatedly putting debris near his house when doing yard work.

“Wasn’t Rand’s neighbor more than a little in the right?” Franken wrote on Jan. 21, 2021, in response to an appearance Paul made on Fox News the day before.

“Disgusting that Mike Franken would celebrate an assault (from behind) that resulted in 6 broken ribs, a damaged lung that had to be removed, and chronic pain,” Paul responded on Tuesday. “Advocacy for violence should disqualify Franken from holding ANY office.”

Paul had appeared on Fox News last year to respond to President Biden’s inauguration speech, which took place hours earlier.

“Also, if you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book, calling us people who don’t tell the truth,” Paul told host Brian Kilmeade.

Franken faces seven-term incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in next month’s midterm elections. 

“Like most Iowans, I’m sick and tired of being lectured by Washington politicians — especially by someone who’s never served a day in his life in the military and just voted against giving our veterans the healthcare they deserve,” Franken said of Paul in a statement to The Hill on Wednesday. “If that’s who’s defending Sen. Grassley, it’s clear that his 63 years in office is way too long.”

Franken also responded to Paul publicly on Twitter, writing that “I’m not going to be lectured to by an insurrectionist.”

Michaela Sundermann, communications director for the Grassley campaign, in a statement on Wednesday said, “Mike Franken’s support for violence makes him unfit for public office.”

Grassley has previously cruised to reelection, typically defeating his challengers by double-digit margins, and the parties had largely written off the race as noncompetitive.

But a Des Moines Register-Mediacom poll released earlier this month raised alarm for the GOP by suggesting the race may be much closer.

The survey found 46 percent of likely voters supported Grassley, but Franken was just 3 points behind at 43 percent support.

Nearly two-thirds of the likely voters in the poll indicated Grassley’s age is a concern. Grassley would be 95 years old at the end of his next term if he wins reelection.

Updated at 10:56 a.m.

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