Rand Paul comments on hellish recovery from neighbor's attack

Sen. Rand Paul’s recovery from a mysterious attack by his estranged neighbor was “living hell,” he said Sunday.

“It was really a tough go of it,” Paul (R-Ky.) said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation." “But each day I feel a little bit better. This last month I've been doing better.”

The appearance was Paul’s first time on a Sunday morning show since the Nov. 3 altercation, which left the then-54-year-old with six broken ribs. Paul added he couldn't get out of bed by himself, and his damaged lungs endured pneumonia twice.

But he refused to get into why neighbor Rene Boucher tackled him near the line between their Bowling Green, Ky., homes three months ago.

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DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 1: Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) speaks during a caucus day rally at his Des Moines headquarters on February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Presidential hopeful was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, mother, Carol Wells and his father, former Congressman Ron Paul. Pauls were there to thank all the staff and volunteers for all their hard work in Iowa. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump, right, acknowledges US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), left, prior to signing H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Department of Interior's Stream Protection Rule, which was signed during the final month of the Obama administration, 'addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites,' according to the Congress.gov summary of the resolution. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and other members of the House Freedom Caucus hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) arrives for a classified briefing on the airstrikes launched against the Syrian military, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Rand Paul speaks at a campaign rally in the Olmsted Center at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank/File Photo
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and wife, Kelly, arrive on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul talks to supporters at a campaign stop at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to the media about repealing Obamacare after playing golf with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor John Kasich pose together onstage at the start of the debate held by Fox News for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Des Moines, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rand Paul speaks at the New Hampshire GOP's FITN Presidential town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mary Schwalm
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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (C) speaks about Obamacare repeal and replacement while flanked by members of the House Freedom Caucus, during a news conference on Capitol Hill, on March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives is currently working on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 16: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., attends a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building featuring testimony by David Friedman, nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel, February 16, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Rand Paul and Kelley Paul attend the Capitol File 58th Presidential Inauguration Reception at Fiola Mare on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol File Magazine)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 15: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during the House Freedom Caucus news conference on Affordable Care Act replacement legislation on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Behind Sen. Paul from left are Rep. Tom, Garrett, R-Va., Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Kelley Paul and her husband, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, at the National Gallery of Art on September 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 6: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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Paul was reportedly doing yard work, with his ears protected, when Boucher knocked him down from behind.

“I just don’t think of any kind of motivation or justification, whether it’s political or personal, to attack someone who’s unaware from behind in their own yard,” he said.

Whether the altercation was actually for political reasons has remained unclear.

“I think one of the things about motivations is people got obsessed, some in the media, about the motivations,” he said. “But I think really we usually don't ask if someone's raped or mugged or whatever why the person did it. We want punishment and deterrents.”

Paul, speaking with the Washington Examiner a few days after the November attack, said he and Boucher hadn’t spoken in roughly 10 years.

Boucher’s lawyer also told CBS News around that time he and Paul were feuding over something “trivial,” but not about politics.

Boucher pleaded not guilty to an assault charge.

Paul, speaking Sunday on “Face the Nation,” said the attack has made him concerned about potential political attacks.

“My colleagues come up all the time, and they want to make sure that there is some kind of deterrent because people don't want to think that it's open season on our elected officials,” he said.

Part of his concern was the June attack on GOP lawmakers and staffers at a baseball practice, which left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise severely wounded.

“I’ve been involved in violent attacks twice in the last year,” said Paul, who was at the practice.

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