October 19th, 2010
09:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Attack Ad Goes Too Far?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, hear from Jack Conway the Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky accused of going too far in an attack ad against his Republican opponent, Rand Paul.

As we reported last night, Conway's ad claims Paul tied up a woman, forced her to smoke pot and then  "bow down" and worship their god 'Aqua Buddha'.   It reportedly was part of a prank when Conway was a member of a secret society at Baylor University in the 1980s.

The story first surfaced in August in a GQ article that quoted an anonymous woman. That same woman has talked with the Washington Post a couple of times - most recently today. We'll have the latest developments.

Plus, we have breaking news on a crucial court ruling on the military's 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy. It comes just hours after the Pentagon allowed gay and lesbian Americans to sign up to serve. Anderson will talk with Dan Choi, who was forced to leave the Army for being gay, and who lined up to volunteer again today. We’ll also ask CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, to make sense of today's legal moves.

And, don't miss Anderson's exclusive one-on-one interview with Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow. Lennon would have turned 70 this month. Ono talks about her life with him, and the pain of losing him to an assassin nearly 30 years ago. See how she's keeping his legacy alive.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    As far as I see nothing in the ad was untruthful per se. Does it influence my vote on the content of the ad actually not at all it was 27 years ago clearly a college prank and the kind of thing in my own life at college that I can still wonder what posessed me to do it.
    On policy Rand Paul is Nut and therefroe not electable.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:31 am |
  2. Aquavelva

    The false anger displayed by Rand Paul the crazed ophthalmolgist running for Senate who claims to be a Kentuckian and a board certified ophthalmologist when he actually certified himself is an outrage. I know the story is mostly true except it was AquaVelva that they actually worshipped all else is true. Take that Rand Paul and smoke it!!!

    October 20, 2010 at 3:23 am |
  3. Tahni

    I've gotta say, seeing religion of any sort becoming a main point of focus in any political race makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I do think this ad crosses a certain line – it's OK to question a person's behavior and actions in the past, especially if their actions are innately questionable (and, if what Paul is accused of in the ad is true [he hasn't denied it to my knowledge, but we tend to forget that lack of denial doesn't immediately make the accusation true]) so I think this ad had the potential to be OK, but the language seems, to me, its religious nature. I don't think issues of "false idols" have any place in politics, but that is a term that not only appears in the ad but peppered the interview as well. As someone who isn't Christian (or a follower of any of the Abrahamic religions) seeing talk of "false idols" slipping into political debates makes me incredibly nervous.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:22 am |
  4. Annie Kate

    This truly is silly season – the remarks by the candidates this year are so ludicrous and wishy/washy that it seems to be an election of fools – which one is the biggest fool to represent us and our country? Shameful and embarrassing. I'll be glad when it is all over.

    October 20, 2010 at 2:05 am |
  5. jacob

    Why are you assuming that Conway is questioning Rand Pauls's faith?? He has stated over and over that he would like Rand Paul to answer the question regarding his actions??
    Chris Mathews and you have missed the point!

    October 20, 2010 at 2:01 am |
  6. Kyle Evans

    The Democrat Jack Conway is actually doing a favour for social conservatives like Dr James Dobson by pointing out the instances when those lobbying for an endorsement from an evangelical figure are doing so for political purposes. Dr Dobson may be more circumspect in the future with his endorsements if it is true that Rand Paul was contemptuous of Christianity before he got into politics.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  7. K

    We can thank Rove for the hateful turn of political campaigns. McCain said he couldn't believe how vicious Bush was, and that was Rove's method. He TAUGHT that method. Ironically now he thinks other people have "gone to far". Whatever – can't tame the tiger once it's out of it's cage Karl...

    October 20, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  8. Jade

    I wish that Mr. Conway had run an ad that shows a Kentucky that Rand Paul wants. For example, why not run an ad that shows modern day "Kentucky" businesses only catering to a certain type of clientele? It's very chilling when you really think about it. Rachel Maddow gave Mr. Conway an easy blueprint to follow right after the primary. Rand Paul has very extreme views and that's what Mr. Conway needs to really show in these last critical weeks. My suggestion for damage control with the current controversial ad is to highlight that the ad is not about religion but about the types of decisions that Rand Paul makes. His decision making skills are scary and the types of decisions he made in the past tie directly in to the types of decisions he's making now and the types of decisions that will directly affect the future of his constituency.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  9. Barbara Hinklin

    I do not feel that this ad went too far. Jack Conway has gone on the attack, but no different than any other candidate. Rand Paul is a radical libertarian with extremist views. His radical views were formed and stated in his college years that are well documented. He is not a Republican....he is an extremist. Have a tea party I would rather drink something else.

    October 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  10. P. Ledden

    Anderson, you asked if behavior matters that happens 30 years ago. Remember when Sarah Palin pulled up accusations that Barack Obama "paled around with terrorists"? Barach Obama was a child when Bill Ayres participated in anti-war events in the 1960's! Why did Bill Ayres' behavior matter 40 years ago (and 30 years before he met Barack Obama)...he was just a college kid, right? The Tea Party does so many things over the line. The Jack Conway ad is a small part of his advertising and probably now gone.

    October 19, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  11. Sara mong

    Republicans did to J. kerry Swift boat 46 years ago. so it is ok to look at Mr. Paul 30 years ago

    October 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  12. greg

    The important thing to remember in this election for whom ever you favor is that we have the !right ! to vote for our choice. Everywhere in this world people are struggling with the right to live, never mind voting. We as a nation have to demonstate to others that there are fundamental rights for all persons. As a nation let us not fracture our "unitedness" for the sake of partisan beliefs. All of us have a stake in our collective future. Let us determine it collectively. Let us put aside our personal biases and work for the "all" the people.

    October 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  13. Raymond Cottrell

    If you are going to take a stand as Rand Paul did at his time at Baylor; a Christian University, you must expect at least someone to ask you, what is your point? Here lies the irony of this story. Is someone as outspoken as Rand Paul afraid to now let his potential constituency in on his views regarding religion? It reminds me of a joke that has no punch line. It just keeps going and going. The time it takes you to realize that there is no point is the joke. If Mr. Paul has no point after the enormous lengths to which he has gone to garner attention, then perhaps the joke is on the voters in Kentucky. Is there a Blue Grass version of “American Gothic”?

    October 19, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  14. Paula

    Either he is fibbing or he has let other people dig up these allegations that he thought would be useful dirt. Either way it is very immature and very wrong.I would also like to know where this "anonymous woman" is.Until she comes forward this is all slur. I don't believe it for a second. Who cares about what Rand Paul said and did in college. Silly pranks. Jack Conway would never get my vote. I loathe dirty politics.Jack Conway sold his integrity when he purchased airtime for this ad.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  15. Joanie

    Anderson – Frankly, I believe Rand should answer the question, because the information can be substantiated. Rand's body language speaks volume. Even if he did what he did twenty years ago, how would we know that those tendencies are still not there.

    He also stated that his religion is being questioned, therefore it is still his religion.

    Remember this is just my opinion of the situation.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  16. P. Ledden

    The ad is certainly not too far considering how critical it is to discredit and remove Rand Paul from consideration as a serious US Senator to represent Kentucky. Rand's Republican opponent in the primary, Trey Grayson, published a website that delivered much more damning evidence about Randy Paul. That site was removed immediately after the primary and Republicans united behind a candidate they did not respect 24 hours earlier. Jack Conway is getting unjustly crucified for this one ad and re-surfaced questions about Paul's behavior, not his faith. I am flabbergasted that the media is paying so much attention to this when Rand Paul has attacked Social Security, Medicare, mine safety laws, the Civil Rights Act, Veterans' benefits and other hallmarks. Rand Paul has acted like a jerk in all of the previous debates, gesturing to the crowd while Jack Conway was speaking. To be so outraged at a political ad is simply theatrical.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  17. Kelly Moore

    What happened to truth in advertising? That apparantly got tossed out with the baby and the bath water....

    October 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  18. Kelly Moore

    The behavior of these two candidates is an embarrassment to America! This is one of the worst election years I remember. Lies and hateful ads. It is just appalling. These are adults.. Our children deserve to see better out of candidates for office.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm |