January 26th, 2014
10:19 AM ET
6 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. ari

    rand paul is as out of touch as any other republican. don't let the libertarian sheen fool you–the whole "small government" thing doesn't include the right to bodily autonomy for women.

    January 26, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. rick

    Rand Paul would end public education, end SS and Medicaid. end min wage, end any government programs for food assistance for every man woman or child in America, end the ACA, the list is endless....
    But he would put woman back into their husband homes cooking and cleaning as they homeschool their kids,
    and put America back into the hands of the greedy oil companies, Banks and the top 3% to do anything they want to the American public for their greedy pursuit of the all mighty dollar.
    Anyone that wants to see America return to the early 1900's should vote for Paul. he is your man.

    January 26, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Thomas

    @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.
    =====

    It must be Sunday , your not using the word dictator .

    January 26, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Calcommuter

    After Huckabee's ridiculous speech, Rand Paul tries to bring up Clinton as a defense? His toupee glue must be seeping through to his brain.

    January 26, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. lean6

    The GOP cannot be so dumb to not at least have an idea that their rhetoric doesn't match their behavior on most subjects. At some point, they understood that they will always have enough followers of the party who simply don't care...people who just like to hear the right things every now and then when they are forced to confront their party's growing obsolescence and anti-social identity. The media loses credibility every time they allow these politicians to make these absurd statements without completely destroying them on the spot with facts. There's almost like a silent agreement that politicians and the media have to keep each other in business.

    January 26, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Elliott Carlin

    As most of the comments on here prove Rand Paul correct, in that many would rather bash the messenger than get to the actual roots of the problem, Democrats/Libs have proven themselves just as lecherous when it comes to morality. Menendez in his Haitian romps, Clinton/Lewinski, Edwards and the love child....et. al. And yes, the Dims don't have a corner on this behavior, but until we agree on certain things which are true anyway, we'll always get the government we voted for. Paul understands this. I cannot abide Huckabee, but his comments weren't far from the truth.

    January 26, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. srcactus

    His will certainly bring out the "truth stretchers" and fact spinners in droves.

    January 26, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. pjoe

    What "war on women"? As a man, I surrender.

    January 26, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Ctrygrl

    I am glad Dr. Paul thinks we are doing so well, and if women are so smart they encompass more than half the law school and medical school students, how com the republican party don't think they should be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies.

    January 26, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Chris e- al.

    Get over it dems! anti christ ur toast.... that pit dont have no bottom 4 a reason!

    January 26, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Get over it dems! anti christ ur toast.... that pit dont have no bottom 4 a reason"

    Since we are talking about the pit, maybe some of the GOP should consider that a higher authority will determine if women are "killing babies" and of so, they will have to atone for it. Just like that shooter that killed 2 in the mall will have to explain.

    But if I were the GOP "chri$tians" I might be more concerned, since you profess to "follow His word" if God will be pleased that your actions to make an exception to that whole "thou shalt not kill" commandment by using your narrow, little human mind to exempt, and verily I say, even sanction capital punishment!

    This heathen will be waiting to meet you, while we both search for the bottom of the pit.

    January 26, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    Chris e-al.

    What are you talking about?

    January 26, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Elliott Carlin
    As most of the comments on here prove Rand Paul correct, in that many would rather bash the messenger than get to the actual roots of the problem, Democrats/Libs have proven themselves just as lecherous when it comes to morality. Menendez in his Haitian romps, Clinton/Lewinski, Edwards and the love child....et. al. And yes, the Dims don't have a corner on this behavior, but until we agree on certain things which are true anyway, we'll always get the government we voted for. Paul understands this. I cannot abide Huckabee, but his comments weren't far from the truth.
    =====================

    Ever heard of Vitter? Sanford? Ensign?

    If this is the argument (Bill Clinton) you consider Rand Paul is correct on, Rand Paul has a long and hard job ahead of him proving he can stand the heat when the kitchen gets too hot.

    January 26, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. don in albuquerque

    Elliot Carlin

    I cannot see where you think half the post here think Rand Paul is correct. If anything they prove that the majority think the squirrel skin Rand wears on his head has slipped down over his eyes again.

    January 26, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. shawbrooke

    What! Here is a candidate who actually believes that women can run their own lives. Bravo!

    January 26, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. JeffreyRO5

    Is anyone, anywhere, paying attention to Rand Paul??? This guy is irrelevant, but so self-important he's going to be one of the three (THREE!) GOP responses to the state of the union speech on Tuesday. I love how Monica Lewinsky is a "girl" at 20 or 22. if she had committed a crime, the GOP would be only too happy to try her as an adult, so that the punishment could be stiffer.

    It is not a "war" when only one man does something, such as has an affair, and with no particular policy position that all females should be this or that. But that's what the GOP does with regard to women's private parts.

    January 26, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Liz the First

    Jim
    Liberalism is a disease...
    ----–
    Here's a hot flash for you, Jim. Jesus had a baaaaaad case of it.

    January 26, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. TLORop

    Like rand Paul knows the first thing about women.

    January 26, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. captcaps

    Ah Yes! The Feminine Fundementalists,,, Gender Jihadists ,, And Feminista have won the war i'm living proof of that.... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    January 26, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. MaryM

    Just keep talking GOP men. You will assure Hillary will be the next President of the U.S.
    Can you say Madam President Hillary Clinton and First Gentleman President Bill Clinton

    January 26, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. jmr621@earthlink.net

    Women have advanced so much, but Paul still wants to hold Hillary accountable for the actions of her husband . . . they DON'T GET IT!

    January 26, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. bspurloc

    again another nutcases pointing the finger at the OTHER...
    Farme the GOP? Remove the frame and u see a very clear picture the GOP painted of itself, and just keeps doubling down on it.

    January 26, 2014 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. OrmondGeorge

    Rand Paul, wow, just WOW

    January 26, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Eric

    If this is war, we as men need to regroup, and fight harder

    We allow them to vote
    We allow them to own property
    We allow them to divorce no questions asked
    Abortion has been legal for 40 years
    They can work any job a man can
    They can go to school
    We have given them all of the opportunity, privileges, and responsibilities of a man.
    And what do we get in return, our children taken away, our boys shamed, and the joy of making payments for ever
    We've lost the battle, the war, and the spoils.

    (Feminists- this is a satire)

    January 26, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. SteveOfTX

    It wasn't the Democrats who originally framed the GOP's "war on women" as a war on women. It was surprisingly or unsurprisingly, women. If the GOP wants everyone to stop talking about them as having a war on women, then they need to stop having a war on women. It's that simple. Rather stop taking actions that make it seem like the GOP's position is that women can't think for themselves and need the GOP to do it. I assure you, women don't need that kind of help. The GOP could go a long way about distancing themselves from the war-on-women perception by promoting policies that do actually help women, such as "equal pay" and that birth control medication should be covered by insurance just like any other prescription is.

    January 26, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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