Kentucky GOP senate candidate Rand Paul refused to shake hands with Democratic opponent Jack Conway following a debate, citing campaign Conway campaign advertising that questioned the sincerity of Paul's Christian faith. Paul spurned Conway after his opponent's campaign aired an ad charging that Paul participated in a secret society as a college student at Baylor University that was said to mock Christianity.
"When this debate ends," Rand told the audience at the debate, "you will notice that I will not be shaking his hands tonight. I will not shake hands with someone who attacks my religion, and attacks my Christian beliefs. These are some things very personal to me, my wife, my kids take it very personally, and I will not be associated with someone who attacks my religion."
The acrimony between the two has grown increasingly bitter in recent weeks, as Conway apparently has sought to steer the conversation away from the economy and toward Paul's character and his stance on social policy issues.
In the ad, an announcer asks: "Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible 'a hoax,' that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?"
During the hour-long debateat the University of Louisville on Sunday, Rand blasted Conway telling him at one point: "You demean the state of Kentucky."
Paul demanded that Conway apologize for the ad, but Conway defended it.
"Values matter," Conway said. "Why did [Paul] freely join a group known for mocking or making fun of people of faith?"
Paul has denied the GQ magazine story about his college escapades that was basis for the Conway ad.
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