In an interview on the Steve Malzberg Show yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky claimed that if Democrats want “any consistency” in fighting for women’s rights, they should “disown” former president Bill Clinton, who he called “gross,” an “unsavory character” and a “sexual predator.” Paul specifically urged Hillary Clinton to disown her husband: “All the time, candidates are asked to return money if an unsavory character gives them money. What if that unsavory character is your husband?”
“Where are the women who believe in women’s rights, the women who allege some kind of war is going on by the other party?” Paul demanded. “Where are they to stand up and say, you know what, maybe Bill Clinton isn’t really the best representative of our party since he really depicts what’s really gross and wrong with workplace harassment.”
“I think if they want to be credible in saying they defend women’s rights in the workplace, they really need to disown and really return any contributions that Bill Clinton’s either raising for people or given to people,” he added. “I think for the movement to proceed on or have any consistency, they need to disassociate themselves from him.”
Paul’s argument that the “War on Women” consists not of large-scale legislative attacks on women’s health, reproductive freedom, and rights in the workplace, but on individual instances of sexual harassment by Democratic politicians, has become popular among Republicans. It’s the same laughable argument that conservatives made last summer when they pointed to San Diego mayor Bob Filner and New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner to claim that it’s Democrats who don’t care about women’s rights.