Rand Paul: Bill Clinton's 'predatory' affair with Monica Lewinsky predates 'war on women'

Dylan Stableford
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to members of the media after an East Room event that President Barack Obama announced San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as "Promise Zones" January 9, 2014 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama announced the five areas as his administration's first five "Promise Zones" to help the local communities to combat poverty. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Rand Paul lashed out at Democrats over pushing the idea of the GOP's "war on women" while forgiving former President Bill Clinton for his "predatory" affair with Monica Lewinsky.

"The Democrats, one of their big issues is they have concocted and said Republicans are committing a war on women," Paul said on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday. "One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office.

"And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this," the Kentucky senator continued. "He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that, and that is predatory behavior, and it should be something we shouldn't want to associate with people who would take advantage of a young girl in his office."

Bill Clinton's sexual relationship with Lewinsky, then a 22-year-old White House intern, led to his impeachment in 1998 and subsequent trial for perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton was eventually acquitted of those charges.

"This isn't having an affair," Paul, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, continued. "I mean, this isn't me saying, 'Oh, he's had an affair, we shouldn't talk to him.' Someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office? I mean, really. And then [Democrats] have the gall to stand up and say, 'Republicans are having a war on women'? So, yes, I think it's a factor. Now, it's not Hillary's fault. But it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history."

Paul also dismissed the notion that some male members of the GOP have trouble talking about women's bodies.

"I try never to have discussions of anatomy unless I'm at a medical conference," Paul said. "But what I would say is that we didn't start this sort of glossy and sometimes dumbed-down debate about, you know, there being a war on women. I think the facts show that women are doing very well, have come a long way."

More from the transcript:

And, you know, like I say, I have a lot of successful women in my family and I don't hear them saying, "Oh, woe is me. This terrible, you know, misogynist world." They look out and they're conquering the world. The women in my family are doing great, and that's what I see in all the statistics coming out. I have, you know, young women in my office that are the leading intellectual lights of our office.

So I don't really see this, that there's some sort of war that's, you know, keeping women down. I see women doing great and I think we should extol that success and not dumb it down into a political campaign that somehow one party doesn't like women or that. And that I think that's what's happened. It's all been for political purposes.

"I think some of the victimology and all of this other stuff is trumped up," Paul said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We don't get to any good policy by playing some sort of charade that somehow one party doesn't care about women."

Paul's defense of his party's relationship with women comes on the heels of controversial remarks made by former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

"Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women," Huckabee said during a Republican National Committee meeting last week. "That is not a war on them; it is a war for them. And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America."