January 26th, 2014
10:19 AM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. Stuffitu

    Just heard Bob Schieefer say he would be having "tea party darling" Ted Cruz on along with Chuck schemer this morning. Talk about biased intro. He could have said Chuck the Scmuck, and be equally as insulting and demeaning, but he is a member of the highly biased liberal media.

    January 26, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Alan S.

    It is time for MEN to STOP telling WOMEN what they can or cannot do with their own bodies. This isn't about abortion or birth control, but rather the right to personal freedom. I doubt that Men would allow Women to decide if they should be neutered like the Political Dogs they are!

    January 26, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. John Tighe

    The GOP are masters of denial.

    January 26, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Pete

    Paul is as outta touch as his collegue Huckabee..Fighting women on birth control is one way of quickly ending ones political career..You'll see how these republicans and their old stance as one republican said years ago of women keeping a penny between ones knees to prevent pregnancy..He later retracted that statement and if I'm correct soon left his political position ,another republican with foot in mouth disease...

    January 26, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Rand Paul is truly a man who does not understand women's issues at all. This man doesn't even understand poverty, let alone its effect on women and children; or old people; or everyone else he has apparently not spent much time getting to know. It's doubtful he has any insight beyond his own ideology and now finds himself trying to shove that ideology into certain categories; most of whom he accepts as being misfits in his otherwise glowing society of boot-string(er)s, but has no need of in his personal life.

    January 26, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    So Rand, You're holding up the shiny object in front and got your hand in my back pocket..I mean really??? I mean you can't clean up what was so obvious what was being said..Really?? You folks think your word jumbles are being taken seriously. When you see how bad it really sounded, be it you or Huckabee..you idiots really think we women are stupid. Saying freedom, and taking our rights away..I hope a lot of women in those gop lead areas are smart enough to get rid of Neanderthals like these guys... SMDH

    January 26, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. freedom

    "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."

    Totally agree.

    January 26, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Incredulous45

    Rand Paul seems to be in favor of advancing the rich.

    January 26, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. oh no you didn't

    Rand, you can't BE serious. We are vastly less ahead than we were in 1972. Board room stonewalls, hiring discrimination is rampant today as in no other time since I began in HR.
    We are not wining.. we are slipping further behind. How many of your colleagues are female in the house and senate? How many are in the Bildeberg group? I rest my case. Unless you are a woman...you have no idea the stuff we put up with.

    January 26, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. sgp1066

    How far "we've" come? I always had my doubts Randella

    January 26, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Why does anybody even bother to address a man who wears a dead squirrel of his head?

    January 26, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. sgwlife

    It's not just about getting into med school or becoming a lawyer; the war on women is also about how women are treated once they're there. Women are still seen as less adept in many professions, and that has to change.

    January 26, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Sandra

    I say, let's just be quiet. Let's let them dig their graves... AGAIN... and watch what happens... AGAIN. Because it can only repeat itself with this mindset and their inability to do a 180 on this mentality.
    Come on, November!

    January 26, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Charlie Sheen

    I agree with Rand Paul! He is winning just like ME!!!!

    January 26, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. The stupidity of the GOP utterly astounds me

    Why don't the GOP start waging a war on the obese people in this country too & not wanting insurance to cover diabetic or cholesterol meds??!!!! The GOP answer would be, "We should not have to pay for these meds simply because you cannot control your eating habits"!
    I cannot hear another one of these morons say another thing about birth control, abortion or anything that has to do with the female body! GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!!

    January 26, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Tony

    "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. "

    No kidding. Women are winning the war on women, and Republicans are losing national elections. Any connection, Sen. Paul?

    January 26, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Eric

    You've conquered the enemy

    Women graduate college more then men
    School is catered to feminine learning style (Boys are chained to desks for eight hours a day)
    Women are given custody of children in divorce
    Women are awarded alimony even though they have just has much earning potential as men
    More men are in jail than women
    Womens health receive far more air time and financial support than mens, even though women live longer
    Women are given preferential treatment in the workplace, they are pushed to succeed only because they are women
    Men have no say in abortion or adoption, and are still expected to pay
    Small business loans and grants exist for women
    College grants and programs exists solely for women
    The 77% wage gap is a lie
    Women are a majority in this country, yet given special status as a minority
    Women have all of the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities as men.

    Stop the war on men.

    January 26, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. That's just crazy talk

    When you live with your head in the delusional sand it's easy to laughingly say all kinds of nonsense.

    January 26, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. rl

    Women should be winning the war on women brought about by the republicon/TBers. I just a very glad that I am not a woman married to a republicon/TBer, where I woud be considered a second class citizen and not loved as an equal in the marriage. I really do feel so sorry for their republicon/TBer wives and daughters.

    January 26, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Name

    The bubble be strong with this one

    January 26, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Harleigh

    Good attempt to neutralize any potential Republican candidates for 2016>

    January 26, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Jenna

    Rand Paul wants to advance those that want to advance themselves instead of having things handed to them by the government. A war on women is so dumb. Women that see themselves as true equals don't need their issues addressed separately. I understand that birth control is my responsibility. If I can't provide myself with it or deal with being pregnant, I need to keep my legs shut. If we women want equality, we need to take responsibility for ourselves. We do not need to put it on the government.

    January 26, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Ryan Farnham

    Sorry Rand, the evidence is a massive mountain against your words that the republican party isn't waging a war on women, heck the republican party is waging a war on everything let alone just against women and I'm not a democrat who is saying this, I am someone sitting on the side lines who doesn't even vote as we are a country of many sides and having this failed two party system that should have never been in place I can not support, once we have a more direct democracy where the citizens actually have a say that isn't overridden or out right ignored constantly I'll put my vote in.

    January 26, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Lynn

    First, Ted Cruz is a citizen of Canada with Cuban heritage, so where's the Birthers now? Second, any discussion of women's rights and the decisions she feels she must make, should never be included in a political debate. No other person or persons or the state should impose their will on this person no matter how well meaning.

    January 26, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. tm1946

    This is why I predict the Republican Party could not catch a cold on the national scene. War on Women, who says so the Democratic Party and their lefties. So what does a Republican "leader" say, yep there is one.

    Look, stupid, the Democrats want to rule by divide and conquer, how about we are all need to join to together to fix our problems as opposed to one group need to be ahead at the expense of another.

    January 26, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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