Rand Paul's Campaign Calls Underground Fence Idea A Website Mistake, Directly Contradicting Video Evidence.
Huffington Post is reporting that a spokesman for Rand Paul clarified on Friday that while his campaign website has long touted a proposal to build an underground electrical fence along the border to deter immigration, the Kentucky Republican Senate candidate himself has never endorsed that specific idea.
Jesse Benton, who declined repeated attempts for comment from the Huffington Post (which first reported on Paul's plan for an underground electrical fence), told the Plum Line's Greg Sargent that Paul actually doesn't believe a fence should be built below ground. Rather, the fence he envisions would be constructed above ground while still carrying an electric current, explained Benton.
"That's a stupid word that was put in by whoever is writing for our Web site and we need to remove it," Benton said, of the "underground" description.
At best, this explanation pins the blame on an underling (in this case, some unknown Web hand). At worst, it's a lie. Certainly it's misleading. Paul has been videotaped on multiple occasions talking very specifically about building a fence underground. In May 2009, he spoke about the need to bury the fence because anything constructed above ground would create a Berlin-Wall-like symbolism that might offend Hispanic voters.
Clearly, Paul believed at one point in time that an underground electric fence was cost-effective, more humane to Hispanics and a valuable way to stem illegal immigration. That his campaign distanced himself from the idea is a reflection of just how politically unpalatable it is, even in a conservative non-border state like Kentucky.