CONDEMNING VIOLENCE SHOULDN’T BE DIFFICULT…. We talked earlier about the pre-debate assault in Kentucky last night, in which Rand Paul (R) supporters grabbed a MoveOn activist, forced her to the ground, and at one point, literally stomped on her head as she lay helpless on the curb.

This morning, Paul apparently felt compelled to address the incident, so he did what Republicans always do: he scurried to Fox News. Here’s what the right-wing ophthalmologist had to say about the incident:

“We want everybody to be civil; we want the campaign to be about issues. I will tell you that when we arrived, there was enormous passion on both sides and it really was something where you walked into a daze of lights flashing, people yelling and screaming, bumping up. There was a bit of a crowd control problem.

“I don’t want anybody, though, to be involved in things that aren’t civil. I think it should always be about the issues. It is an unusual situation to have so many people, so passionate on both sides, jockeying back and forth and it wasn’t something that I liked or anybody liked about that situation. So I hope in the future it’s going to be better.”

I don’t mean to sound picky, but a defenseless woman was stomped on the head by Rand Paul supporters, and wound up in the hospital. I was hoping Paul would have the decency to use words like “condemn” and “denounce.” Maybe he could give her a call to see how she’s doing.

Instead, he sought comfort on a Republican news network — where Paul knew he wouldn’t be pressed for a stronger statement or face follow-up questions — and talked about “both sides” being worked up, and his dissatisfaction with “crowd control.”

Here’s a hypothetical: if large, male union members had grabbed a young woman who worked with Tea Partiers, dragged her to the ground, and literally stepped on her head, would Rand Paul be on Fox News saying “it wasn’t something that I liked,” or might his response be a little stronger?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.