Republican Senator Rand Paul returned to the Senate last week after taking a little more than week off after suffering multiple broken ribs in a fight with his neighbor, Rene Boucher, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. According to neighbors and Boucher’s lawyer, the embarrassing fight sprang from the two men’s years of arguing over their property line and lawn maintenance philosophies. Sen. Paul has obliquely referenced that the fight was more about politics than landscaping, and now his wife is backing him up.
In a column for CNN, Kelley Paul details her husband’s injuries. She says that he has not taken a single breath without significant pain since the attack, has had trouble sleeping because of extended coughing fits, and was diagnosed with pneumonia shortly after arriving back in Washington.
Kelley devotes more time, though, to pushing back against the narrative of an ongoing dispute and calls Boucher unhinged. Referring to the “speculation” provided by “an attention-seeking person with no knowledge of anything to do with us” as “incredibly hurtful,” Paul explains that she and Rand hadn’t spoken to Boucher or anyone in his family in years (“since before his wife and children moved away,” she adds). Kelley continues:
This was not a “scuffle,” a “fight” or an “altercation,” as many in the media falsely describe it. It was a deliberate, blindside attack. The impact left Rand with six broken ribs, three displaced, pleural effusion and now pneumonia. This has been a terrible experience; made worse by the media’s gleeful attempts to blame Rand for it, ridiculing him for everything from mowing his own lawn to composting.
Kelley further states that the “dispute” was a concoction of “the attacker’s troubled mind,” and she says that her husband was caught unaware while mowing the lawn and wearing noise-canceling headphones. She ends by saying that the pain will force Sen. Paul to miss the annual touch football game at their Thanksgiving celebration.