LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former campaign worker for U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul wants an apology from the liberal activist he reportedly roughed up, but he won't be getting his campaign donation back from the Paul campaign that dropped him after the incident.
Paul's campaign has tried to distance itself from Tim Profitt, the supporter caught on video stepping on the head of a MoveOn.org activist outside a debate Monday night between the Republican nominee and Democrat Jack Conway.
Profitt, who contributed some $1,900 to Paul's campaign, acknowledged his role in the altercation. But he insisted Wednesday that he had been wronged by the activist, 23-year-old Lauren Valle.
"I would like for her to apologize to me, to be honest with you," Profitt told WKYT-TV in an interview in which he would not allow the television station to show his face.
Neither Profitt nor Valle returned telephone calls Wednesday from The Associated Press.
Following Monday's incident in Lexington, the Paul campaign promptly dropped Profitt as campaign coordinator in Bourbon County in central Kentucky and banned him from future events.
However, Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton said the tea party-backed campaign won't return Profitt's contributions.
Conway said Wednesday during a campaign stop in Shepherdsville that the skirmish was "horrifying," and called on the Paul campaign to identify all its supporters who were involved.
"These are the people that carry around the signs that say, 'Don't Tread on Me,'" he said. "Sounds to me like they've got it backwards."
Benton defended the Paul campaign's response, and accused Conway of trying to exploit it.
"The Paul campaign condemned the incident far before Conway's camp ever addressed it and decisively severed all ties with the supporter in question," Benton said in an e-mail.
The scuffle broke out while scores of vocal supporters for both candidates rallied outside the studios of Kentucky Educational Television in Lexington, where Paul and Conway held the final debate of their highly contentious race.
Profitt told the AP on Tuesday that the scuffle wasn't as bad as it looked on video and blamed police for not intervening.
Valle was roughed up as she tried to give Paul a fake "employee of the month" award. She told police she was assaulted while trying to take a picture of Paul.
She said her face was swollen and her neck and shoulder were sore after she was wrestled to the ground by Paul supporters.
Lexington police have said officers would deliver a summons to Profitt to appear in court. A judge will determine whether to proceed with an assault case.
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Conway spokesman John Collins criticized Paul's campaign for a "tepid" response that has "evolved." Conway's campaign also distributed a photo that it said shows Profitt with an arm on the shoulder of a smiling Paul.
The Kentucky Senate race, one of the nation's most closely watched, turned personal when Conway aired an explosive ad this month that asked why Paul was a member in college of a secret campus society that mocked Christians.
The ad also revisited accusations that Paul, while a student at Baylor University, participated in a prank in which he tied up a woman and told her to worship an idol, and that he told the woman his god was "Aqua Buddha." Those claims by a woman who requested anonymity were made in articles this year in GQ Magazine and The Washington Post.
Paul has denied being involved in any kidnapping and has called the ad false.
Associated Press writer Brett Barrouquere and Janet Cappiello Blake in Louisville contributed to this report.
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