WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Sen. Rand Paul still believes Bill Clinton is a detriment to Democrats as the former president is reprising his role as super surrogate for the party.
Speaking to Fox News Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican and potential 2016 White House contender said that the Democrats are mistaking Clinton’s popularity after the former president spoke at a campaign rally for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell.
“We have a lot of conservative Democrats in our state who go to church each week and really don’t approve of his behavior, what he has done with sexual harassment in the workplace,” Paul said, referencing the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “A lot of Democrats in our state don’t approve of that kind of behavior.”
Paul, who previously called Clinton a “serial philanderer,” thinks it’s a mistake for Democrats to view Clinton as some type of role model.
“I think really having him as some sort of role model for the Democrat Party, it’s something they ought to rethink because there are a lot of people who don’t agree with those kind of values,” Paul told Fox News.
Talking about Clinton’s appearance at Grimes’ rally, Paul said Democrats should return money he has raised and that they should be “embarrassed” to be seen with him.
“I think he’s a bad role model for the workplace, for women’s rights, for all of that, and I think really they ought to be a little embarrassed to be associated or being seen with him,” Paul stated.
Clinton is the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry a swath of Southern states crucial to the 2014 midterms, including his native Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana. The former president remains in heavy demand as a fundraiser and adviser as his wife plans an upcoming book tour and considers how she may help Democrats this year.
Clinton could be helpful in Senate races in states like Louisiana, where Sen. Mary Landrieu faces a tough re-election campaign, and Georgia, where Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, is running. Her father was among the first Senate Democrats to endorse Clinton in December 1991. Democrats in frequent presidential battleground states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida also expect to see the former president.
While Clinton does not yet have an extensive list of scheduled events for Democrats, party strategists note that he has helped longtime friends and Democrats in past elections.
Clinton’s speech at 2012 Democratic National Convention generated headlines for making the case for Obama’s re-election, and he joined Obama on the campaign trail. But the former president also helped Senate candidates in nine states, including races in Republican-leaning states like Arizona, North Dakota and Indiana.
Hillary Clinton’s political future may benefit from her husband’s politicking, observers say, but it’s not necessarily why he’s helping Democrats this year.
(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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