Controversial Rand Paul aide resigns

Jack Hunter, the aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who has in the past expressed pro-Confederate views, has resigned.

Hunter said in an e-mail to the Daily Caller that he will resume his career as a pundit and that he didn't want to be a distraction for the senator, who is considered a top potential 2016 presidential candidate. Paul's office has confirmed his departure to Post Politics.

“I’ve long been a conservative, and years ago, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one,” Hunter wrote. “But there’s a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I’ve also become far more libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant worldview, through the lens of which I now look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment.”

Paul stood by Hunter two weeks ago, saying his past comments were "absolutely stupid," but that he didn't think Hunter held any racist views.

“If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately,” Paul said.

Hunter formerly described himself as the “Southern Avenger” and wore a Confederate flag mask. He also wrote about raising a toast the John Wilkes Booth and was an activist for secession.

His past writings were first revealed by the Washington Free Beacon.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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Aaron Blake · July 22, 2013