Monica Lewinsky. Just when you thought you hadn’t heard that name in a while, Sen. Rand Paul pointed to her infamous 1995-96 affair with then-President Bill Clinton to question Democrats’ credibility in charging Republicans with waging a war on women.
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Paul used the Monica Lewinsky affair to suggest that Democrats have no moral high ground to stand on when it comes to women’s issues, saying:
“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?'”
Paul, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, takes a moment to chide the national press while pointing out and affirming his agreement with the fact that Clinton’s behavior during the Monica Lewinsky affair isn’t acceptable in any workplace, much less the Oval Office, saying:
“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. He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that.”
According to CBS News, the senator’s remarks echo similar comments made by his wife, Kelley Ashby, in a recent interview with Vogue. In her interview, Ashby referred to the former president’s behavior as “predatory.”
Sen. Rand Paul’s comments came in the context of a discussion about whether the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton’s affair was fair to use against Hillary Rodham Clinton, should she choose to run for president. Paul was quick to point out that he didn’t believe the affair was Hillary’s fault, but added, when it comes to the Clintons “it’s hard to separate one from the other.”
Democrats were quick to respond. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, scoffed at Republicans for dwelling on the past, adding:
“Hillary Clinton has established her own reputation, her own name. And her own basis for running for president should she choose to do it. And the issues that were raised by my colleague Senator Paul have been litigated in the public square for over a decade. For goodness’ sakes, let’s judge Hillary Clinton based on her talents and her vision of America should she choose to run for president.”
It’s too early to tell whether Hillary Clinton or Rand Paul will make a run for the Oval Office in 2016. If they do and recent interviews are any indication, we could start hearing a lot more about the Monica Lewinsky affair again.