Bashing former President Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal isn’t a good strategy to use if Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to position himself as a presidential contender in 2016, according to election oracle Karl Rove.
The veteran Republican strategist said Tuesday in an appearance on Fox News that Paul needs to shelve personal ambition and focus on a bigger message if he wants to field a viable campaign.
“Frankly, Rand Paul spending a lot of time talking about the mistakes of Bill Clinton does not look like a big agenda for the future of the country,” he said.
Rove said the Kentucky Republican ought to focus on strengthening his “skills” as a candidate, rather than on a White House affair that’s already 15 years old.
“I’m not certain again that beating up on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is a particularly good thing to strengthen your skills for the 2016 contest,” he said.
Even if Rove thinks 2016 contenders should be above such tactics, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the Lewinsky scandal is definitely fair game if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.