Senator Rand Paul’s problems with women aren’t imaginary and contrary to the conservative narrative after his disastrous announcement rollout, these problems with women were not manufactured by the Democratic Party.
Just 11% of Republican and Independent women said they would seriously consider supporting Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in a new Bloomberg Politics national poll.
Just 11 percent of Republican and independent women in the poll said they’d seriously consider supporting Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky who announced his presidential bid last week, compared to 22 percent of men. No other Republican contender has a worse spread.
In the age of legitimate rape and binders full of women, it’s quite an achievement to have a worse spread with women than any other Republican, but the Republican Senator built that the old-fashioned way, with hard work and diligence. (See here.) It didn’t help when Paul referred to women’s rights “details” in an attempt to dodge a question asking if he would support exceptions for his abortion position for women who were raped or if the life of the mother was at risk.
However, “The news is not all bad for Paul, and in fact, when Republicans and independents were asked whom they would potentially consider supporting, Paul topped the field with 58 percent.”
So the candidate who doesn’t have a chance of winning a general election tops the field with Republicans and Independents. That sounds about right for the modern day Republican Party.
The King of the GOP Rush Limbaugh, the man who calls their platform and humiliates those who dare to disagree, blamed Savannah Guthrie for Rand Paul’s condescending and petulant behavior toward female journalists, saying she is a “radical” “partisan firebrand that anybody else on the left is.”
Rush also informed his listeners that the War on Women is not real and the blowback against Paul is all part of the Democrats and the media switching from race wars to gender wars:
This is the beginning of the process whereby the Democrats and the Drive-By Media switch from the race wars that have been going on to the gender wars. It’s an attempt, in a mild way — maybe not so mild — to keep alive (or maybe “revive” would be the word) the so-called Republican War on Women. Now, the fact is, there is no gender war. There never was a War on Women. It doesn’t exist. The Republican Party does not hate women. It’s absolutely asinine.
So says Rush, but survey (aka, closer to reality) disagrees.
According to Rush, the Democrats manufactured the fact that women didn’t like seeing Rand Paul tell Savannah Guthrie how to do her job:
But that’s what they are now trying to set up, and that is for the benefit of Hillary Clinton. They want to have husbands fighting wives by the end of all of this. Somewhere in the upper levels of the Democrat Regime, the Democrat Party, the message has gone out: “Race is out and gender is in because Hillary is a white woman,” and that’s what this really is all about. F. Chuck Todd, the first thing he did was come to her defense. “Oh, a poor defenseless woman!”
The folks at Glenn Beck’s the Blaze were quick to refuse to hold the Senator responsible for his own behavior, whining immediately, “Dems’ Battle Plan Against Rand Paul: Say That He Has a Problem With Women”.
And it wasn’t just the fringe. The Huffington Post covered Fox News laughing about the idea that Rand Paul has a problem with women:
Fox News had a good laugh Thursday night at the accusation that Kentucky senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul is short-tempered with female interviewers.
Host Megyn Kelly defended Paul, saying that critics are trying to turn Paul’s general problem with media interviews into a “gender issue.”
Yes, it’s always the “critics” and the “liberal media” and the “Dems” who are out to get Republicans by reporting or using facts against them.
It is a fact that Senator Rand Paul is “testy” (aka, petulant) with the media. But he definitely looked like a petulant teenager when he blamed Savannah Guthrie for reading his own positions out loud and asking him to account for the shifts. He looked even worse when he instructed her about how to do her job, a job he has never done – while live, on the air. He used his presumed superiority over her to talk down to her as if she were the idiot in the room. (Hint: She was not.)
Republicans can pretend they don’t have issues with women all they want. Women do not enjoy watching Savannah Guthrie get mansplained, they don’t enjoy sexism in the work place, and they aren’t claiming to be victims. Holding Rand Paul accountable for his behavior is just what grown ups do. His behavior was offensive to many women. Women are not impressed. The polls show it.
Even Republican and Independent women are not impressed. So Republicans can rail against reality all they want. Railing ain’t winning.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.