February 7th, 2014
11:04 AM ET
8 months ago

Sen. Paul: Bill Clinton's Lewinsky scandal still a liability for Democrats

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul doubled down on his criticism of President Bill Clinton, saying Democrats should return any money they raised with the help of the former President, who was impeached in 1998 by the House for lying about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

The Kentucky Republican reiterated that Clinton's history is a major splinter in the eye for Democrats as they argue that the GOP is waging a war on women.

"They can't have it both ways. And so I really think that anybody who wants to take money from Bill Clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I think they should give the money back," the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with C-SPAN set to air Sunday on "Newsmakers."

"If they want to take position on women's rights, by all means do. But you can't do it and take it from a guy who was using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace."

Paul, who's mulling a 2016 presidential bid, said last month that Clinton's past of "predatory behavior" should be considered a liability for Democrats, who've been trying to make the case that Republicans are out of touch on women's issues.

"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," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Clinton has frequently been a big attraction on the campaign trail for congressional candidates, and he met with Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama at a retreat this week.

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."

The Democratic National Committee responded to Paul's new comments Friday, faulting the senator for not supporting pieces of legislation favored by women's rights groups.

"If his claims of concern for women are sincere he should start by rethinking his opposition to the Violence Against Women's Act, paycheck fairness and the right of women to make their own health care decisions," said Lily Adams, DNC's deputy communications director.

Sen. Claire McCaskill defended the Clintons following Paul's interview last month, calling his remarks "infuriating," but Paul pointed out Friday that McCaskill said in 2006 she didn't "want (her) daughter near him."

McCaskill immediately regretted the comment and asked forgiveness from the Clintons. But she still went on to endorse then-Sen. Obama in the Democratic presidential primary over then-Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Fast forward to 2013, McCaskill appeared to be back in Hillary Clinton's camp.

The Missouri senator, who won re-election in 2012, became the first member of Congress to officially back Ready for Hillary PAC, throwing her support to the group last June.

The Washington Times first reported Paul's comments in the C-SPAN interview.


Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    This is really reaching. I thought the cry of false outrage of "Benghazi" self-identified the tin-foil hat conspiracy folks. "Lewinsky" is like putting up the loony banner for all to see. I know, I just know there is a Clinton Birth Certificate group starting out there. C'mon Right Wing, we can go all the way on the conspiracy bus.

    February 7, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "I wrote: "A "filibuster" could prevent a vote however, the vote was taken and the measure defeated. Duh!", nothing i wrote was untrue and your cry baby bs still DID NOT prevent the vote and it was still DEFEATED as it should have been, so duh!"

    Jesus H., man. You still don't get it? A filibuster is when they vote and can't get 60 votes on cloture. Cloture is not a vote on the merits of the bill and whether it should become law. It's a vote on whether to end debate and have that vote. In other words, a "filibuster" can be accomplished either by threatening to prevent 60 on cloture or by actually taking the cloture vote and preventing it from getting 60 votes. Your attempt to say it wasn't a filibuster because they held the cloture vote is PATENTLY RIDICULOUS.

    February 7, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. smith

    @Sniffit- If you think B. Clinton was one of the best presidents you have some serious issues.

    February 7, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    I have nothing but encouragement for all GOPers/Teatrolls who think it's a great idea to make Hillary a victim of Bill's adulterous behavior all over again. See where it gets ya with the wimminz vote.

    February 7, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    And what about you, "Mr. I wouldn't vote for Civil Rights"?

    February 7, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @countingdown
    JC
    The issue is not Monica.
    The issue is the moral standard of the Presidency.
    You don't see anything wrong with what the president did?
    ---------–
    Well I know conservatives don't see anything wrong with it. The GOP has endorsed lying with phony websites, sex scandals, sending 1000's to die in War based on lies, hackers attacking federal websites, corruption. Marital issues seem pale in comparison. And yes, he lied to the American people about it. But along side the moral cesspool of conservative justification, it is clearly dwarfed. any claim of "moral" anything should stick in the GOP throat.

    February 7, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This is really reaching. I thought the cry of false outrage of "Benghazi" self-identified the tin-foil hat conspiracy folks. "Lewinsky" is like putting up the loony banner for all to see. I know, I just know there is a Clinton Birth Certificate group starting out there. C'mon Right Wing, we can go all the way on the conspiracy bus."

    Apparently Rand Paul is quite proud of himself. I can't imagine many following his lead on this ... well, beyond folks who get a kick out of sexual innuendo talking points. Seems to be a really great go-getter for the bottom feeding GOPers.

    February 7, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Flagship, NC

    Rand,
    This is so high school!

    February 7, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    @smith,Lewinsky was an adult. You are confusing Clinton with Foley who did hVe underage pages at his beck and call.

    February 7, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. s

    All I know is some of the best times of my life happened under Bill, I'll support anyone who gets him involved with policy again.

    February 7, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    smith

    @Laverne-Bringing Bush up doesn`t excuse B. Clinton`s repulsive behavior. Funny to see liberals sticking up for a sexual predator.
    --------
    It doesn't stop there. Why just yesterday the MA legislature voted 146-5 to expel a Representative Carlos Henriquez, (D) Dorchester, who was convicted of 2 counts of assault on a woman he knew. Now if that wasn't bad enough, you get bonus points for correctly identifying the political party of the 5 members voting to not expel. Take a guess.

    February 7, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    rs,
    Do you know what Clinton was impeached for? You are far too smart to think it was about sex. He lied under oath. As the leader and defender of the Constitution he basically said that its okay to lie about some things.
    -----------------------
    Personally, I think that it's okay to lie about cheating on your wife, and Newt Gingrich agrees with me. :)

    February 7, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Pam from Iowa

    Too funny!!!
    A Republican talking about morality.....tee hee!!!!

    February 7, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    How come this wasn't an issue with Republicans during Mrs. Clinton's two Senate campaigns? How come this wasn't an issue during Mrs. Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign? I have just four words for Mr. Paul. "Talk to the hand."

    February 7, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    tom l

    rs,
    Do you know what Clinton was impeached for? You are far too smart to think it was about sex. He lied under oath. As the leader and defender of the Constitution he basically said that its okay to lie about some things.
    -------–
    Personally, I think that it's okay to lie about cheating on your wife, and Newt Gingrich agrees with me
    --------
    I bet you do. Such a redeeming quality.

    February 7, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. smith

    @Marie-Wasn`t it Paula Jones who then Gov. Clinton sexually harassed on a daily basis?

    February 7, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein

    I think that this is a major reach. What has Bill Clinton been caught doing in the past 10 years? Do we really care? I want to know how Paul thinks this is really Hillary's fault or something that she can control. This seems as if Paul is reaching for people to look at Hillary as they would at Bill and think that his sins are hers.

    February 7, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "He lied under oath"

    Where's the conviction?

    February 7, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Pander Bear

    Next up on the GOTea false equivalency smear campaign: Vince Foster and how he was shot in cold blood by Hillary herself.

    Paul is pathetic and is trying anything to get attention as he's planning to run for POTUS and knows Hillary will clobber him.

    February 7, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @smith
    @Laverne-Bringing Bush up doesn`t excuse B. Clinton`s repulsive behavior. Funny to see liberals sticking up for a sexual predator.

    I hope you relish seeing Bill's face on television every night for the eight years his wife is President of The United States.

    February 7, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    RAND! Will you please take Squidward off your head and send him back to Bikini Bottom?!?!?!

    February 7, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. smith

    @Fair-My wild guess would be five democrats. The ticker didn`t like my first reply..lol

    February 7, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Personally, I think that it's okay to lie about cheating on your wife, and Newt Gingrich agrees with me

    I bet you do. Such a redeeming quality.
    -----------------------
    Cheating on his wife was none of Congress' business. They couldn't claim that a crime was committed. So what was the real point of the hearings on Capitol Hill? They just wanted to humiliate the man in public. Of course, he lied about it. So would any man to spare his wife the humiliation.

    February 7, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. freedom

    Typical democrat hypocrisy. War on women – ha! Hilary stayed with a sleazy womanizer husband just to reach her own political ambitions. Disgusting! This is not the example of a strong, independent woman of integrity.

    February 7, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. duke

    So, if you have any skeletons in your closet from any time ,you won't mind everyone holding those against you.

    And if you wife did ANYTHING wrong in her life, it is fair game now too right?

    And let's not forget Daddy. Anything your father has ever done that's stupid, unsthical or immoral, we can bash you with also? Including stuff before you were born?

    Thanks Rand. Let the Paul bashing begin!!

    Oh, hope you don't mind if your children get pasted with the same brush you do. All in the intwrest of
    'Fairness"

    February 7, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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