Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is ratcheting up his criticism of former President Bill Clinton, suggesting Democratic candidates return any money he helped raise for them in protest of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
“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,” Paul said in a C-SPAN “Newsmakers” interview set to air Sunday, as quoted by the Washington Times.
“In fact, I think they should give the money back,” he continued. “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 has repeatedly attacked Clinton for “predatory” sexual behavior over the past couple weeks, each time accusing Democrats of being hypocritical for both championing the former President and claiming to support women’s rights.
But the Kentucky Republican, who is widely considered to have presidential aspirations, has conceded that the Lewinsky scandal “doesn’t really apply” to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) took Paul to task when he first dredged up the ’90s-era affair, accusing him of trying to “show he can be tough” to win a presidential nomination.
“It was a political posturing and, frankly, what Rand Paul doesn’t get is that women want birth control,” she told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell at the time. “What Rand Paul doesn’t get is that women don’t want to be marginalized in the workplace, that we are not yet at the point we need to be in terms of our country and around the world.”
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.