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Rand Paul aide says Marco Rubio aide punched him in the face at a bar

Rand Paul and Marco Rubio at their Senate freshman orientation, nearly five years before this sad alleged incident.
Rand Paul and Marco Rubio at their Senate freshman orientation, nearly five years before this sad alleged incident.
Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.
  • John Yob, the national political director of Rand Paul's presidential campaign, has publicly accused Marco Rubio's deputy campaign manager Rich Beeson of punching him in the face at a Michigan bar Thursday night.

Last night I went to a bar on Mackinac Island for the GOP Mackinac Conference. I ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who...

Posted by John Patrick Yob on Friday, September 18, 2015

Here is a video of the incident:

Rubio and Paul are both hoping to get media attention by winning the Mackinac straw poll

The Mackinac straw poll has never been viewed as a particularly important event in the GOP nomination contest — Michigan isn't an early voting state, and the contest tends to be a low turnout affair (just 526 people voted in 2013, the last time it was conducted).

Still, it is an event where a clear "winner" will be declared based on votes, rather than media attention. So six candidates — Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich — will visit the island over the next two days in hopes of drumming up support and potential buzz from a victory. (Rubio isn't coming.)

Paul in particular has hoped that his organizational strength and motivated libertarian supporters will help him win lower-turnout events like this. Indeed, Paul won the 2013 straw poll with 36 percent of the vote. Second place was Chris Christie, with 18 percent. But both of these candidates have since done poorly in the national contest.

Rubio was always an unlikely victor in this straw poll, since he's not going to the event like the other candidates. But, though we still have no idea what may have motivated the alleged incident between Yob and Beeson, it seems unlikely that these headlines will help Rubio's cause.

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