On Monday, Rand Paul’s presidential campaign made explosive gains in New Hampshire, home of the 2016 presidential election’s first primary contest. WMUR-TV notes that Senator Paul picked up endorsements from 20 Republican members of New Hampshire’s House of Representatives, and, according to Newsweek, he had just surged past Hillary Clinton in the state in a new poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
However, the mainstream media all but ignored news of his advances in the trendsetting state, largely because of a bizarre incident, seen in the above-embedded video, involving a controversial member of Rand Paul’s New Hampshire campaign staff. At a Monday Rand Paul rally in Londonderry, NH, a staffer, identified by The Washington Post as Paul’s New Hampshire political director David Chesley, licked the camera of a tracker assigned by liberal opposition research super PAC American Bridge 21st Century to follow Republican candidates and film them in an effort to catch them in gaffes. Video of the incident subsequently spread through the media like wildfire, refocusing the nation’s attention on David Chesley’s behavior, rather than Rand Paul’s impressive surge in endorsements.
Aaron Day, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire and the liberty-focused Stark360 PAC, spoke exclusively to Truth in Media and said that Chesley “has typically been an establishment Republican in the past” and that he is “shocked and dismayed to see him [as political director for Paul’s campaign].” When asked whether he thought that Chesley’s now-famous lick was an intentional attempt to upstage the Paul campaign’s New Hampshire surge, Day said, “I don’t think it was intentional, but David Chesley is manifestly unqualified to head New Hampshire for Rand Paul’s campaign.”
Describing Chesley’s background and associations in New Hampshire politics, Day said, “[Chesley] worked directly for the New Hampshire GOP prior to the campaign and was recently involved in trying to engineer the New Hampshire Young Republican leadership election on behalf of [Senator] Kelly Ayotte.” The New Hampshire GOP’s website lists Chesley as a Senior Advisor and Political Director. Day said that he believes that Chesley was at one time a paid consultant for New Hampshire’s Republican Party.
Rand Paul campaign officials declined Truth In Media‘s request for a comment on the incident.
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