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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An aide to Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has resigned because of some controversial comments he made in his past; comments that threatened to derail Paul's potential campaign for President.
Before going to work as Rand Paul's social media director, Jack Hunter was a "shock jock." And some of his more shocking comments cost him his job.
As Sen. Rand Paul was addressing the national VFW convention here in Louisville, Washington was buzzing about the resignation of his aide, Jack Hunter.
Hunter called himself the "Southern Avenger" during his radio days, sometimes wearing a confederate flag mask during public appearances.
Among his more controversial statements, in 2004, he wrote on his now defunct website that John Wilkes Booth's heart was in the right place, when he killed Abraham Lincoln.
"I think because of the views he had expressed before my employment, it became a distraction and it just wasn't going to work," said Paul.
Paul has been reaching out to African Americans, trying to expand the GOP base as he explores a possible run for President.
Though Hunter has since renounced many of his comments, Paul admits they would have hurt.
"I think people can judge me on who I am and what I'm trying to do rather than trying to go after one of my employees," said Paul.
And Paul was well received by these veterans from across the country, who applauded his foreign policy stands.
"Common sense tells us that we shouldn't be sending aid to nation's that burn our flag," Paul told the veterans.
But would applause here turn into votes in 2016?
"I think he has America's best interests at heart, not his political career," said Joseph Smith from Alexandria, Ky.
"What I heard I liked. Whether I could support him or not, I don't know are all the issues he stands on," said Thomas Young from North Carolina.
Paul says he won't announce his presidential intentions until next year. But he sounded very much like a man on the run.
"I think the one thing that distinguishes me from other Republicans, is that I think that we should not be sending aid to country's that don't like us," he said.
The veterans also heard from Kentucky's senior senator, Mitch McConnell, whose reelection campaign will soon face a new challenge.
Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin is set to announce this week that he'll challenge McConnell in the GOP primary.