Jon Stewart calls Rand Paul a ‘scalawag and a ragamuffin’ over vote against 9/11 bill

Stefani Reynolds

Jon Stewart promised to “escalate” his feud with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) after he and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) were the only senators to vote against a bill to reauthorize the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund Tuesday.

Stewart said, in an interview with CNN alongside 9/11 victims advocate John Feal, that they tried to talk to staffers of Paul and Lee but were unable to get into their offices.

{mosads}”We’ve tried to get into that office many, many times to have those conversations with those staffers, and haven’t been able to,” he said.

He added that after Paul called him a “guttersnipe” he had insults of his own for the senator. 

“He called me a guttersnipe. I have a mind to call him a scallawag and a ragamuffin. I’ll escalate this,” he joked.

Stewart also called out Paul’s reasoning of fiscal responsibility for voting against the bill, citing the senator’s vote for new tax laws. 

“What he said was ‘This isn’t about blocking the bill. I think it’s a good bill, it’s about fiscal responsibility,'” Stewart said of Paul.”He said he raised the same objection to the tax cut, but he voted for that.”

Paul’s Deputy Chief of Staff Sergio Gor denied Stewart’s assertion that he attempted to reach the lawmaker’s office. 

“Jon Stewart never reached out to me or our office,” he told The Hill in a Wednesday statement. “He is a liar and a demagogue who has revealed himself as nothing more than a disheveled charlatan.”

A spokesperson for Lee told The Hill in a statement Wednesday that Lee’s staff met with 9/11 first responders “multiple times.” 

The Senate voted 97-2 on Tuesday to extend funding for the compensation fund through fiscal 2090.

It had previously passed in the House. Stewart has advocated for the bill’s passage and was present for the vote. 

— Updated at 12:07 p.m.

Tags 9/11 Jon Stewart Mike Lee Rand Paul September 11 Victim Compensation Fund
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