February 7th, 2014
11:04 AM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    And your plagiarism and views on civil rights is your liability.

    February 7, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Darlene

    Aqua Buddah I believe you are scared of the Clintons. I hope you run so Hillary can put you in your place.

    February 7, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Paul is demonstrating his desparation for headlines, and is doing so by regurgitating a manufactured scandal from two decades ago. An overblown scandal that has nothing to do with Mrs. Cllinton. This effort will only serve to backfire on Mr. Paul, although his hard core base of supporters will eat it up like circus animals.

    February 7, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Joe Peeler

    It's not just the Lewinsky scandal. It's the rape of Juanita Broaddrick. It's the sexual harassment of countless women in the workplace during his time in Arkansas and D.C.

    This is even more relevant given the Democrats' dumbed-down political discourse on the make-believe War on Women. This is nothing more that politics, but if the D's want to go down that road, they'll have to keep their distance from sexual predators like Bill Clinton, who has been waging a one-man War on Women for decades.

    The truth hurts.

    February 7, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Whatever gets you the attention, Aqua Buddha.

    February 7, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Greg In Arkansas

    Does that also mean that Jeb Bush shouldn't consider a run for the White House because "W" blundered the war in Iraq...?

    February 7, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Chipster

    I wish Bush #43 would have had an affair instead of waging a costly and unnecessary war against Iraq, passing unfunded mandates to state and local governments for No Child Left Behind and unfunded Medicare Part D ! People wonder why we still blame Bush for the economy? Well, it's because we're still trying to recover from the costs of his 2 terms and the loss of 4 trillion+ jobs. Even with an obstructionist Congress, we're slowly climbing out of the hole but campaigns of fake news have made it very difficult.

    February 7, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    I practically don't give darn hoot at that scandal of Monika Liwinsky. It is Benghazi. GOP needs to understand, it is very common, normal. Are you going to be Buddha when cute gal comes and hugs you and shows signs to have that? Nonsense.

    February 7, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Well.......it SHOULD BE, but the truth is, Dem voters LOVE bad behavior, they LOVE corruption, and they LOVE getting away with doing the wrong things, as long as they stay in POWER!

    February 7, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    Monica Lewinsky was of legal age and willing, not some under-aged victim. She might have even been the predator, not Bill.

    That said, Bill should have known better, and behaved better. His actions significantly changed the course of history.

    Likely, without Clinton's impeachment, Al Gore would have won the 2000 election. We would have had a president who would work FOR the environment, not against it. Probably, the USA, and the world, would be correcting the issues leading to Global Warming.

    We also would not have been drug into the war in Iraq, since there was no reasonable justification for that war at all.

    February 7, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Thomas

    This is not about Bill and his stupidity .

    Very hypocritical , the Aqua Buddha calling the Bubba Blue !

    Rand Paul is a joke , he should have gone to hollywood .

    February 7, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. O'drama ya Mama

    People remember Clinton for working with Congress and getting things done. Thats what they truly care about Paul.

    February 7, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. rs

    The GOP is truly crazy- no one bought the impeachment of Clinton in the '90s as relevant then. Whith the GOP's perverted morality now, how can this be relevant again.
    These are just very despirate people grasping at straws.

    February 7, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Tony

    Any person who donates to Paul should demand his or her money back, because Paul is a plagiarist.

    February 7, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. JC

    What hogwash. Monica Lewinsky was an adult who engaged in consensual sex. No one took advantage of her. Rand proves that the GOP war on women continues as he attempt to make a mountain out of a molehole. It seems to me the GOP is grasping at straws if the only ammunition they have against Democratic contenders is a decades old affair.

    February 7, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. rs



    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!
    Filibustering a bill changes the metrics of the vote. Most bills simply require a 51% passage rate. By filibustering everything, those bills require a 61% rate of passage. In other wwords, champ, if the GOP didn't bugger up each and every bill in Congress, something might actually get done.

    February 7, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. rs

    Rick McDaniel

    Well.......it SHOULD BE, but the truth is, Dem voters LOVE bad behavior, they LOVE corruption, and they LOVE getting away with doing the wrong things, as long as they stay in POWER!
    And how is Mr. Vitter (and his diaper) doing today?

    February 7, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Rick McDaniel
    Well.......it SHOULD BE, but the truth is, Dem voters LOVE bad behavior, they LOVE corruption, and they LOVE getting away with doing the wrong things, as long as they stay in POWER!

    Vitter, Foley, John Ensign, Christie, Need I go on?

    February 7, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. smith

    Everyone knew this was coming and it will get worse for the Clintons. B. Clinton lost everything for being dumb and his shame is well deserved.

    February 7, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Laverne

    Yeah, only because you continue to try and make it an issue, but it will backfire. To be honest, the dems were never interested in what Clinton did in the bedroom, more interested in him being a good president which he was. It was a lot cheaper fro this country than the costly wars the "other" president created after him.

    February 7, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. tom l

    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.

    February 7, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Jack

    Seriously, you tried a guy over his interpretation of sex. There was no violation of his oath to the constituiton, just his definition of sex.

    February 7, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. countingdown

    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?
    Typical liberal!

    February 7, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Clinton lost everything for being dumb and his shame is well deserved."

    Yeah, being revered by so many as one of our best presidents and beloved around the world for his work with the Clinton Global Initiative etc....it's so sad, but he's really bottoming out.

    February 7, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. smith

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

    February 7, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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