Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) denied on Wednesday afternoon that he has a problem with female journalists, just hours after he got into a testy exchange with NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie.
Paul was asked during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about the accusations from his critics that his interactions with journalists have a sexist bent.
“I think I’ve been universally short tempered and testy with both male and female reporters. I’ll own up to that,” Paul said. “And it’s hard sometimes. As you know, like during our interview right now, I’m looking only at a camera and it’s hard to have a true interaction sometimes, particularly if it’s a hostile interviewer and so I do think that interviews should be questions and not necessarily editorializing.”
Paul said if he’s been interviewed by someone who’s editorializing “you feel somewhat at a loss on the other end. You can’t see the person who you think is mischaracterizing a position and not really asking a question.”
Earlier in the day, Paul got into a heated exchange with Guthrie on the “Today” show. Paul accused Guthrie of “editorializing” as she peppered him with questions.
The interaction was reminiscent of a similar incident in February in which Paul shushed CNBC reporter Kelly Evans on-air, telling her to “calm down.”
Later on Wednesday, Paul got into it again, this time with a male journalist, the Associated Press’s Philip Elliot, when pressed to explain his stance on abortions. Paul, according to Elliot, “grew testy” and said at one point “I gave you about a five-minute answer. Put in my five minute answer.”
Paul told CNN that he “will have to get better at holding my tongue and holding my temper, but I think it’s pretty equal opportunity, not directed towards one male or female.”
Watch video of Paul’s interview below: