Does presidential hopeful Rand Paul have a problem with women? If the first full day of his campaign is any indication, there is certainly cause for concern.
Paul announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday, and managed to shame himself first thing Wednesday morning by sparring with Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie, instructing her to “let me explain instead of talking over me, OK?”
It seems that Paul had a problem with her tough line of questioning over his shifting positions on the threat caused by Iran and America’s role in doling out foreign aid to countries including Israel.
GUTHRIE: You have had views in the past on foreign policy that are somewhat unorthodox, but you seem to have changed over the years. You once said Iran was not a threat, now you say it is. You once proposed ending foreign aid to Israel; you now support it, at least for the time being. And you once offered to drastically cut…
PAUL: No , before we go –
GUTHRIE: Well wait, wait, wait.
GUTHRIE: So I just wonder if you’ve mellowed out.
PAUL: Yeah, why don’t we let me explain instead of talking over me, OK? Before we go through a litany of things you say I’ve changed on, why don’t you ask me a question: Have I changed my opinion?
GUTHRIE: Have you changed your opinion?
PAUL: That’s a better way to approach it.
GUTHRIE: Okay. Is Iran still not a threat?
PAUL: No, no, no, you’ve editorialized it. No no no no, listen. You’ve editorialized. Let me answer a question. You asked a question and you say ‘Have your views changed?’ instead of editorializing and saying my views have changed.
And this isn’t the first time Paul seems to have had a problem with taking questions from a prominent female television correspondent.
On February 3 of this year, Paul once again showed the world his class and utter disdain for women by shushing CNBC host Kelly Evans for challenging him on a tax proposal during a testy interview on Monday.
The Hill reported that Evans questions Paul about his “plan for a tax ‘holiday’ for companies bringing back cash from overseas.” At one point, Evans noted that research shows that “plans like Paul’s cost more money than they save over the long term.”
Paul responding by putting his forefinger over his lips saying “shush,” adding: “calm down a bit here, Kelly, let me answer the question.”
PAUL: Well that is incorrect. Let’s go back again. Your premise and your question is mistaken.
PAUL: Most of the research doesn’t indicate that. In fact, there is a prominent study by Robert Shapiro looking at the holiday in 2005, when we lowered the rate to 5 percent, and his conclusion was that it brought $300 billion of new capital home. And then it brought it about $30 billion of new tax revenue. The whole purpose of doing that is to bring the money home. There’s two trillion —
EVANS: Right, but it works that first year, senator. But their concern is down the road.
PAUL: Hey, let me finish. Hey, hey, Kelly.
EVANS: I’m sorry, go ahead.
PAUL: Calm down a bit here, Kelly. Let me answer the question. The whole point of this legislation is that money has been accumulating. Much money has actually been inverting and people are reincorporating because the tax code in our country is not encouraging money to come home. So this is to lower tax rate, to bring more money home, and to take that new money, some of the tax revenue, and put it into the highway fund. I think this is a win-win-win. You lower a tax rate, you bring in more revenue and you are actually able to plug a whole we have in our highway trust fund.
EVANS: What people want, senator, is for you to make this permanent. Why not just make it 6.5 percent period? The problem is that as it happened in 2005—
PAUL: Let me answer the question before you get going.
That exchange brought Paul a swift rebuke from Fox’s “Outnumbered” all-female hosts, as you can see in the clip, below:
Never one to shy away from controversy, apparently at the expense of women, Paul also managed to stop into the middle of conflict surrounding where a woman’s rights begin and a fetus’ end in an Associated Press interview this Wednesday.
Asked by Phillip Elliot what exceptions, if any, should abortion procedures be banned, Paul refused to answer if his opposition to abortion extended to instances of incest or rape or in the event of a risk to the life of the mother:
The thing is about abortion, and about a lot of things, is that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, you’re this or this or that, or you’re hard and fast (on) one thing or the other.