In a revealing and somewhat endearing short interview with a local blogger, Rand Paul's former campaign manager defended the Kentucky Senate candidate's decision to give that controversial, post-primary interview to Rachel Maddow in which he questioned the reach of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
David Adams, who was replaced as campaign manager in part because of that interview's ensuing uproar, said he has no regrets about scheduling the sit-down or about failing to pull the plug as the interview careened into dangerous political territory. If Paul's libertarian philosophies were going to get him in trouble, Adams insisted, it would have happened regardless of Maddow. Moreover, he claimed, the candidate came off as less of an extremist once the full interview was digested.
"Go back and watch that entire 18 minutes," Adams said, in footage recorded by Joe Sonka of Barefoot and Progressive. "I think that the people who do that, we have had a lot of people complain about it initially, or complain about the dustup, who went back after the fact and said, 'I watched the whole 18 minutes, I understand what he was talking about, it made sense to me.'"
"If that was the issue that was going to cause real problems, it already would have by now," he concluded.
Adams, of course, has ample reason to regret scheduling the Maddow interview. It was partially responsible for his dismissal from the campaign. His defense contradicts the line offered by Paul himself, who has said in retrospect that he should not have sat down with the MSNBC host. The Kentucky Republican and Tea Party favorite has since clarified that he would have voted for the landmark civil rights bill -- an implicit acknowledgement that, unlike what Adams says, the full context of his interview did indeed leave voters confused.
Adams was in the room at the time of the interview. And when asked whether he ever thought about cutting the live feed mid-broadcast, he playfully responded: "Good question, I suppose."