Paul: Candidates should return 'predatory' Bill Clinton's donations

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) escalated his criticism of former President Clinton, saying any candidate who has accepted money from the former president should return it.

Paul said Democratic candidates who accept money from Clinton have some “explaining to do” when it comes to women’s rights.

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Paul has become increasingly critical of Clinton’s past affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, calling it “predatory behavior” on numerous occasions. 

“They can’t have it both ways,” Paul said on C-Span’s “Newsmakers” set to air Sunday. 

“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. In fact, I think they should give the money back,” Paul said. “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 was reacting to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has called Paul’s past comments about the Lewinsky scandal infuriating. 

Paul said the Missouri senator should look back at her past comments. During her 2006 Senate campaign, she called Clinton a great leader but that she wouldn’t want her daughter near him. She has since apologized and endorsed Hillary Clinton for 2016. 

“Sen. McCaskill needs to remember what she had to say about Bill Clinton that she wouldn’t want her daughter in the same room with him,” Paul said. “So they can’t have it both ways.” 

Paul has recently said Clinton was given a pass by the media on the issue more than a decade ago and has used it in an attempt to undercut Democrats' accusations of a Republican “war on women."

Paul has made a number of similar comments in a half dozen interviews, saying he is just answering interviewers’ questions.

The questions were spurred by his wife, who said during a Vogue profile last year that Clinton’s “predatory, offensive” behavior would complicate him making a return to the White House if Hillary Clinton won the presidency.

Paul has said it should not be a factor in judging Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential bid, but that it is sometimes hard to separate the two Clintons.

"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, and it is predatory behavior," Paul said recent interview on “Meet the Press” in reaction to a question about his wife’s comments.

The Democratic National Committee fired back at Paul Friday.

"If his claims of concern for women are sincere he should start by rethinking his opposition to the Violence Against Women’s Act, paycheck fairness and the right of women to make their own health care decisions," DNC spokesperson Lily Adams said in a statement. 

—Updated 12:20 p.m.