January 26th, 2014
10:19 AM ET
9 months ago

Rand Paul says 'women are winning' the war on women, blasts Bill Clinton as predator

Updated 1:52 p.m. ET

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Democrats are failing in their attempts to frame the GOP as a party that wages a war against women, and argued the message comes from the party of former President Bill Clinton, whose reputation is still tarnished from his “predatory behavior” in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"The whole thing of the 'war on women,' I sort of laughingly say, 'Yeah, there might have been – but the women are winning it,'" the Republican senator from Kentucky said on CNN's "State of the Union." He said women have made great strides and, as an example, now make up more than half the students at medical and law schools.

"I think women are doing very well, and I'm proud of how far we've come," the potential 2016 presidential candidate continued.

Rand Paul clarifies comments about poverty and unwanted pregnancies

"And I think some of the victimology and all of this other stuff is trumped up. We don't get to any good policy by playing some sort of charade that somehow one party doesn't care about women or one party is not in favor of women advancing, or other people advancing."

As the GOP gears up for the 2014 midterms, some in the party have acknowledged that Republican candidates could do better when it comes to talking about women's issues.

"Some of our members just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be." House Speaker John Boehner said last month, when asked about efforts by the House GOP campaign arm to improve how candidates appeal to female voters.

CNN's chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, pressed Paul on whether the issue is a "matter of words and tone."

"Somewhat," Paul said. "I think also a lot of the debates we have in Washington and in the public, generally, are dumbed down. They're characterized and we get to the point where we're talking about stuff and throwing stuff back and forth, and we are never getting to the truth."

Paul's comments came in response to a question about controversial remarks made by 2008 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee last week at a meeting of the Republican National Committee.

"Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women," Huckabee said. "That is not a war on them; it is a war for them. And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it."

Huckabee defends 'libido' comments

No excuse for 'predatory behavior'

In a separate interview Sunday, Paul said Democrats have “concocted” the supposed “war on women,” but they tend to ignore Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office,” he continued. (Lewinsky was closer to 22 when she started her internship in 1995 and moved to a paid position later that year.)

“There is no excuse for that, and that is predatory behavior. And it should be something we shouldn't want to associate with, people who would take advantage of a young girl in his office.”

Paul’s wife, Kelley, said in a Vogue article last year that if Hillary Clinton becomes the next president, Bill Clinton’s history with Lewinsky “should complicate his return to the White House, even as First Spouse.”

Asked if Bill Clinton’s past should be a consideration in a potential second presidential bid by his wife, Paul said he’s “not saying that,” but “sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.” When it comes to judging Bill Clinton’s legacy, however, Paul said the affair should certainly be considered a factor.

“Someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office? I mean, really. And then (Democrats) have the gall to stand up and say, ‘Republicans are having a war on women’?” he said. “Now, it's not Hillary's fault … but it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history.”

CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Rand Paul • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. rs

    Rand Paul is right! Democrats aren't "framing" a war on women as being Republican, the Republicans are doing it themselves. Proof? 268 laws in the past year passed by the GOP in states restricting access to abortion, birth control, and forced ultrasounds. Now add in the dopey talk by Huckabee, and others and THAT is your war on women.

    January 26, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. CTYank

    Sorry, I missed the memo. Why is this self-important jerk getting air-time? Maybe if he spent some time learning his job, and why plagiarism is wrong, he could make some progress.

    January 26, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Paul IsRansid

    What is "laughable" about the war on woman?
    And if he says, "but the woman are winning it" then he's acknowledging that there is a war on woman. Isn't that terrible for the GOP to be at war with woman?

    Woman equally represented in medical and law majors isn't wining the war. It's like saying ok, so now there are no Jim Crow rules so now the blacks are winning the war on inequality. It's an extremely simplistic and offensive analysis.

    Paul, thank you for being on the GOP's side, you are an asset to the democrats for being so pathetic.

    January 26, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Rose Marie

    Oh, so in 2014 we women can go to school to become doctors and lawyers? Is that the best he can come up with? I think we've been doing that for 200+ years without any help from Paul Rand and his gang of Republicans. Are they really that blind? Also, I don't see Mr. Rand scrambling to find ways to help finance the educations or the educators. I guess he's too busy trying to finance uncertified-by-anyone-with-real-qualifications certification boards and schools.

    January 26, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. J Robinson

    The recent VA gubernatorial race front and centered the "war on women" theme to put Clinton lapdog McAuliffe over the top. This "proof of concept" strategy will play on the big stage to put Hillary and Bubba back into the WH.

    January 26, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Another Republican in denial? In a way, Aqua Budha is right. Women voters will take care of the likes of him.

    January 26, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. G

    GOP must be dizzy from all that spinning.

    January 26, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. ChrisM

    There it is again, a GOP male telling the American Women what they are doing or should do. The Americans Women is not delusional, She can see All the laws the Red State legislators and Red State Governors have passed in the last five years against Woman's. The GOP men are blind if they cant see it

    January 26, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Trevor

    Lets start talking about the most current gender battle: the battle against men. Look entertainment, literature, and media. Men are the true victims of the new millennium. However, though not surprising, it is unfortunate that politicians and the military area little slow on the uptake. I think women are making headway in traditionally male dominated fields based on their merit. Is it equal yet? Well not till the remnants of the old establishment die off. But making policy or agenda so deserving men who a better qualified lose out isn't the answer.

    January 26, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. jpmichigan

    Women are a lot smarter than the Democratic Party gives them credit. They are stronger, resilient and very capable of taking care of themselves and their needs. One would try to have less of the government involvement in ones life than more. As taxpayers millions are given ( not by individual choice but by government) to planned parenthood to provide services to women in need. Seeing Planned Parenthood for contraceptives is by individual choice and the price is free or close to it.

    January 26, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Anonymous

    @ Eric

    You went so far out of your way putting your list together that you ended up in lalaland. You are even going further by playing the victim, and only underscore how out of touch the GOP is.

    January 26, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Kris L

    The Republican Party fights for women? Then how come they do the thing they say they hate the most (government intrusion) only when it comes to matters that mainly affect women?

    January 26, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. katibabi

    You feminist haters and Liberals are so intent on hating you can't even understand when you get a compliment. He's not saying you can't have access to anything to do with your "body". He's saying the Dems think you're too stupid to do it without their hands up your va..... well you get the idea. If you stop hating long enough, you might find out that equality is out there. I am in a technical field and have had no issues getting jobs. i am always treated with respect. That has more to do with the fact I treat others respectfully and don't expect favors just because I am a female. Nor am I out looking for reasons to yell about being discriminated against. The problem is, the Democrats have made it sooo easy for you to whine and complain and sue and yell and throw a tantrum. They give you money for free to stay home instead of furthering yourself. Women are far ahead of men in the courts. We get the kids, the money etc.... Give me a break about how "put upon" we are as women. YOU might be, but I am not. And you are, because that's what you choose to be. You are willing to climb into bed with the very politicians who are oppressing you because you still fall for the "shiny diamond" promise they shove in your face. Try using the same advise you throw out to the men. GROW a PAIR!!!!!

    January 26, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Teapot dome to Teabags

    The headline would be true if women neutered the republican party.
    The party taken over by the descendants of slave holders, nut job hand servants they have become.

    January 26, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. ashamed canadian

    Nothing to do with this article, however this message needs to be spread to good people who have pets and travel. There is a growing and horrendous act in Alberta where dogs and cats are being cruelly tortured to death. The government isn't taking enough action to stop it, and the humans are being forced to put up large rewards to end these inhumane actions. If you plan to travel here, please tune into Canadian news and never bring your animals here. I have lived here for a decade now, and Alberta hides the dark truth about how it values money over animal welfare and environment.

    January 26, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Steve

    Keep telling you self that Mr. Paul

    January 26, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. joeblowski

    Jenna says "Rand Paul wants to advance those that want to advance themselves." amazing for someone who has had everything handed to him his entire life. dude has never done an honest day's work. perfect for the teabaggers, who expect everything given to the because they're 'real americans.'
    weird how all the teabagger states are so poor and take much more than they give.

    January 26, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. DRAKE MALLARD

    American Taliban: The GOP risks becoming Sharia Party

    they're not pro-life. You know what they are? They're anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don't like them. They don't like women. They believe a woman's primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.

    January 26, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. proud to be a woman

    The war on women is actually being waged primarily by other women, certainly not the republican party. Biologically, socially, and cuturally women are significantly different than men. Women are smart, verbal, and tough. We are capable of being leaders in law, medicine, and business. And we are blessed with the ability to bring children into the world. No one is disputing that.
    An interest in promotong responsible action is not a war against women. It is a battle to protect people who have no voices of their own. An abortion involves two people: a mother and a child. Talk to any biologist and they will tell you that an embryo is a human, a person, at conception.

    January 26, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Live mint

    At the same time Mike Huckabee said that women need to control libido instead of seeking birth control!

    January 26, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. destroyerofeconomies

    Zero women died in the republicans war on women while 55 million babies were slaughtered in the democrats war on babies.

    January 26, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. mkuske

    I'm still not sure what the media finds "controversial" about Huckabee's comments.

    I mean any trumped up outrage is weak, disingenuous, and propagandist. After all the issue is not whether women should be able to purchase contraceptives, it's about why the government should provide them to women for "free" whether they want them or not. And of course "free" is not really free, they are paid for with every insurance premium that is paid...by everybody. So the government is forcing all women - and men for that matter - to pay for contraceptives even though many women as individuals may not want or need them.

    Of course this fabricated "controversy" comes with perfect timing for the media to deflect attention away from Wendy Davis and her complete mischaracterization of her personal history.

    January 26, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Economy First

    Rand Paul is right. We need to change the focus to creating jobs and improving the economy. The policies of the past 5 years have been disastrous for both. This administration, aided by the media, keep bringing up Red Herrings to detract attention from Americas worse problems.

    January 26, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. ChrisM

    destroyerofeconomies said.
    Zero women died in the republicans war on women while 55 million babies were slaughtered in the democrats war on babies.

    You delusional freaks forget that republicans women have abortions also.

    January 26, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Lara

    @katibabi right so just because your experience is pleasant that means that the whole world is that way, right? I can't handle the stupidity this morning. That's like saying people don't starve, look at me I eat!

    January 26, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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