The man responsible for attacking Sen. Rand Paul Friday afternoon was an avowed liberal who frequently fought with his neighbors about politics, according to a report Sunday from The Washington Post.
Local citizens say Rene Boucher, the 59-year-old man who assaulted Paul, was a socialist who frequently fought with neighbors about health care policies and other liberal issues. Boucher and Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, are on the opposite end of the political spectrum, they told reporters.
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Jeff Jones, a registered nurse who worked with Boucher at the Bowling Green Medical Center, described Paul’s attacker’s politics as “liberal.”
“He was active on social media and said some negative things about the Republican agenda,” Jones said of Boucher, a Bowling Green, KY, citizen who lives in the same gated community as Paul. “I think it was unfortunate that they lived so close together.”
Boucher is a divorced socialist who is “pretty much the opposite of Rand Paul in every way,” Jim Bullington, a former member of the city commission who knows both men well, told reporters Sunday.
A Facebook account Boucher maintained before the attack contains numerous anti-Republican postings.
Boucher wrote “May Robert Mueller fry Trump’s gonads” in a May post referencing the former FBI director’s investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian government.
Paul is an ophthalmologist who has practiced in Bowling Green since moving there with his wife in the early 1990s. Boucher, meanwhile, is an anesthesiologist and the inventor of the Therm-a-Vest, a vest designed to help with back pain.
Paul had staff privileges at the hospital where Boucher worked, so Paul and Boucher “must have worked together at some point,” David Ciochetty, a doctor with Interventional Pain Specialists in Bowling Green, told reporters.
Paul’s injuries were far worse than initially reported. He has lung contusions, or bruises, caused by the broken ribs, Doug Stafford, Paul’s chief of staff, said in a statement Sunday. The type of fractures the senator sustained can cause other significant medical problems, including internal bleeding and pneumonia.
“This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force. It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying,” Stafford said.