The freshman Senator from Kentucky was the subject of deeply researched story on the front-page of Sunday's New York Times as he tries to navigate his roots in the sometimes radical libertarian tradition with the mainstream, as he prepares for a 2016 run for the White House.
But Paul also has the habit of occasionally saying things that he ultimately has to walk back. That makes him catnip for political reporters and television bookers, such as what happened Sunday morning on
NBC's Meet The Press. Paul was asked by host David Gregory if the Monica Lewinsky scandal that paralyzed much of then-President Bill Clinton's agenda in his second term in office should have any impact on a potential 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run. Paul said that scandal should be remembered when Democrats accuse the GOP of having a "war on women."
The subject came out because of a comment that Paul's wife Kelley made in Vogue magazine in September about Clinton's illicit liaison with the White House intern, saying "his his behavior was predatory, offensive to women,” she tells me.
“The Democrats - one of the big issues they’ve concocted is saying Republicans are committing a war on women,” Paul said. “One of the workplace laws and rules that, I think, is good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office.”
“This isn’t having an affair, I mean this isn’t me saying 'he’s having an affair and we shouldn’t talk to him,' ”he continued. “Someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office? I mean, really, and then they have the gall to stand up and say 'Republicans are having a war on women?' ”
However, Paul added that Hillary shouldn’t be judged by her husband’s actions, and that it likely wouldn’t be an issue if she decides to run for president in 2016.
“But, I think, it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history,” he said.
“With regard to his place in history, it certainly is a discussion and I think in my state people tend to frown on that. If there was someone in my community who did that, ... we would disassociate with someone who took advantage of a woman in the workplace.”