Though Paul has drawn favor from liberals for his defense of civil liberties and opposition to America's wars, the MSNBC host argued on Tuesday night's installment of "All In With Chris Hayes" that it's impossible to take him seriously after the revelation that one of his aides used to be a neo-Confederate activist.
Earlier on Tuesday, The Washington Free Beacon published some surprising details about what Paul's social media director, Jack Hunter -- who also co-wrote a book with Paul in 2011 -- used to do in his spare time:
From 1999 to 2012, Hunter was a South Carolina radio shock jock known as the “Southern Avenger.” He has weighed in on issues such as racial pride and Hispanic immigration, and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
During public appearances, Hunter often wore a mask on which was printed a Confederate flag.
Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”
This isn't an isolated incident, Hayes argued, listing the three "white supremacist strikes" Paul has racked up so far.
"Strike one was in 2009 when Rand Paul's Senate campaign spokesperson was forced to resign over a horribly racist comment and historical image of a lynching -- I'm not making that up -- posted by a friend of his on his MySpace wall on Martin Luther King weekend, then allowed to remain for almost two years," Hayes said.
Strike two, Hayes added, was when Paul expressed reservations about the Civil Rights Act in an interview on the Rachel Maddow Show. (Paul later said in a statement that he supports the Civil Rights Act "because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.")
"And now this. Southern Avenger on the Senator's staff," Hayes said. "Well, I'm sorry, Rand Paul. That's three racist strikes. You're out."