January 26th, 2014
10:19 AM ET
3 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. geospatiallibrarian

    This is not just about abortion/birth control. While I am pro-choice I can understand the point of view of the other side. But let's not forget that REPUBLICANS ALSO OPPOSED EQUAL PAY LEGISLATION!!!!

    We just want (and deserve) to be paid the same amount as a man for the same hard work. I really don't understand how anyone can be against that.

    January 26, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Randy Paul / Mike Huckabee

    Aqua Buddha and Uncle Sugar
    "Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women "

    January 26, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. koboldmom

    Oh, republican women dont have abortions??

    January 26, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. DH

    Dear destroyer, you have no idea how many women have died , especially in the red states where legislation is passed every other week to limit women's choices on abortion, birth control and OPENed plan parenthood centers. Women do not need your impute unless you were the man involved in the pregnancy or the dr.

    January 26, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Joan

    You have it all wrong I am a woman and I do not care if u want an abortion.. however I do not want my tax dollars paying for something I believe to be murder...

    January 26, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Tom

    Rand Paul is totally out of touch.

    January 26, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Jeebusss

    Yeah let's see.....Republicans want to tell women what to do with their bodies, and let employers get in between them and their doctors, and force them to have invasive medical procedures their doctors wouldn't otherwise do, and keep them from having access to birth control, and who they are allowed to sleep with, and when, but you know......other than that they love you.

    They love you and they need your money.

    January 26, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain - Feminism is the radical idea that women are people, too

    What's laughable is Rant's willful ignorance. Here are some facts regarding women's wages vs men's; I don't call this a "win":

    - The median annual earnings for full-time, year-round women workers in 2012 was $37,791 compared to men’s $49,398.

    - In 2012, the median weekly earnings for full-time working women was $691, compared to $854 for men.

    - In 2012, the median weekly earnings for women in full-time management, professional, and related occupations was $951, compared to $1,328 for men.

    - In 2011, full-time working married women with spouses present had median usual weekly earnings of $741, somewhat higher than never married women ($595) or women of other marital status (divorced, separated, or widowed – $662).

    - In 2011, full-time working married men with spouses present had median usual weekly earnings of $955, significantly higher than never married men ($614) or men of other marital status ($804).

    - In 2012, Asian women who were full-time wage and salary workers had higher median weekly earnings than women of all other races/ethnicities as well as African-American and Latino men.

    January 26, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Me

    Anyone else notice that the more women participate in governing this nation the more this nation is spiraling into political, social and economic chaos at a logrithimic rate? I remember all the feminists years ago saying how much better things would be if more women were involved in running this country.....blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is the vast majority of women love being taken care of and pampered by men...period.

    January 26, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain - Feminism is the radical idea that women are people, too

    Ours is a nation of the people, by the people and for the people, with liberty and justice for all.

    That means our government is tasked with protecting a woman's right to choose to do with her body as she wishes. Our government is also tasked with protecting a woman from the religious objections of her employer by requiring her health insurance to provide affordable access to contraception.

    January 26, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. isolate

    Every time a Conservative makes a public statement like this he– or (rarely) she– reveals how distant they are from the reality the rest of us live in. A hundred and sixty years ago people of a similar mindset were justifying slavery by saying how far slaves had come.

    January 26, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Jack Storrow

    Uh huh... Sure... It was liberals that fought for, among other things...
    The right for women to vote.
    Women's right to drive.
    The Bill of Rights.
    The Voting Act.
    Against Jim Crow laws.
    For Title IX.
    The 40 hour work week....

    The list continues without conservatives support.

    January 26, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Dave

    Rand Paul, trying to project the image that Republicans are too fundamentally dishonest to earn on their own.

    January 26, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Dave

    Rand Paul, the man who gave speeches to his students about the values of lying, uses that strategy again here.

    January 26, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    The war on women, was nothing but a campaign slogan for a liar and a deceiver, who used hand outs to win their votes.

    January 26, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Loathstheright

    The misogynist, racist, bigoted Republicans actually believe that intelligent people are going to believe that they are not all of those things. THEY ARE THE HATERS and only Republicans will believe their lies.

    January 26, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Bookldy209

    Soungs good, GOP. Now can we talk immigration reform?

    January 26, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "Bottom line is the vast majority of women love being taken care of and pampered by men...period."

    Who are these women you speak of, Me? Those living in poverty? Those who have suffered unconscionable abuse? Those who are literally treated as second class citizens by the men in their lives?

    I understand it is sometimes difficult for those who are not and have never been in abusive relationships to relate; but to pretend the such abuse doesn't exist by using blanket arguments is beyond loathsome.

    January 26, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. JOH

    Government should stop prohibiting things that people should have the right to choose. Abortion is the least of the worries. For me personally, I wouldn't choose abortion but I was lucky and born a man so I won't be troubled with that decision. The choice goes all to the women who hold the baby. There are many reasons and none of them should be disregarded or ignored. I generally don't hate on Republicans as both parties are pretty much useless but the Reps usually do something other than throw money around. However, they are being very reckless about this. There are trying to make a country where there are no quarters for women who get pregnant through rape or unwanted means.

    January 26, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    @Joan
    You have it all wrong I am a woman and I do not care if u want an abortion.. however I do not want my tax dollars paying for something I believe to be murder...
    ---------
    So I can withhold my part of the taxes used by Bush killing 1000's needlessly in Iraq? Since it was based on lies, it was murder in my opinion.

    January 26, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. FriendlyFired

    I am not sure where the message is getting muddled that women don't want this interference in their lives. A lot of medicines are needed for choices that you make or have made in the past, why is this any different? And to all the Republicans saying that this is only an issue because the Democrats make it, wake up. It is an issue because of the attacks on social issues time and again by Republicans. If it isn't an issue quit voting against gay marriage, abortions or any other social problems and do what Republicans do best and focus on the economy and debt. Let people live their lives without you putting your opinion everywhere.

    January 26, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. atteckus

    If women are winning the war on women, it is not because of any let up on the part of Republicans. They continue to press anti-women and anti-minority policies at both the federal and state levels. They deny women reproductive freedom, economic freedom and in some specific cases, even basic liberty itself. When you fight a war against conservatism, you can never be complacent. Rand Paul would like to lull the masses into complacency with his message that his party's war on women merely is benign. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just like Goebbels, Paul thinks you will be a sucker for the "big lie" strategy. Ladies, don't you believe him.

    January 26, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    "'Women are winning' the war on women"
    ----------–
    Somewhere in a conservative planning meeting: "We are getting hit hard on our outdated sexism. Let's put a bunch of words together to distract people from the issue."

    January 26, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. ItSoNlYmE

    Seriously? What planet is this guy from? Wherever it is, please GO BACK!

    January 26, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Vence

    War on women continues every time GOP attacks women rights!

    January 26, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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