The GOP isn't known for being particularly friendly to women, and on Monday that behavior was on public display when, in an interview on CNBC about tax reform, Sen. Rand Paul shushed an anchorwoman so he could speak, and told her to "calm down." Paul was visibly cranky during the interview on the "Closing Bell" segment with reporter Kelly Evans, where he was asked about tax reform legislation that he is co-sponsoring with Sen. Barbara Boxer. Among other things, the presidential hopeful told Evans that her questions were "mischaracterized,” “argumentative,” and “full of distortions.”
The interview began rather amicably, with Paul making some inane remarks about "freedom," "vaccine," and its "profound mental disorders" side effects (which are a myth; please get vaccinated), but he grew heated when Evans asked him about the bill that would allow companies with cash overseas to bring it back to the country at a holiday corporate tax rate of 6.5 percent, and mentioned research showing it would actually cost more money than it will bring in.
Rankled, Paul went off on an extensive tangent, pointing to one study that indicated otherwise — to which Evans interrupted, raising concern over the long-term viability of the plan. Further irked by her (a woman's!) insolence, Paul put a finger to his lips and shushed Evans:
Hey, let me finish. Hey, hey, Kelly... Shh, shh. Calm down a bit here, Kelly.
Um, is it me, or does that sound like something you'd hear from a man in the '60s?
Admittedly, the Kentucky senator was in high defense mode and would have probably done that to whichever reporter was interviewing him, regardless of whether it was a man or woman. But shushing someone else is just plain rude, and Paul should have known better. I mean, the lawmaker willingly went on a news network for an interview, and having reporters interrupt you to ask a question pertinent to the very point you are speaking about is, quite simply, part and parcel of being interviewed on air.
Paul has never seemed to be on the side of the whole 21st century women's suffrage movement. He has gone on record saying that women aren't struggling, no, because the women in his family are "incredibly successful," going off on a list of his family members' achievements:
This whole sort of war on women thing, I’m scratching my head because if there was a war on women, I think they won. You know, the women in my family are incredibly successful... I don’t see so much that women are downtrodden. I see women rising up and doing great things. In fact, I worry about our young men sometimes because I think the women are outcompeting the men in our world.
All well and good that the senator doesn't look down on women and their abilities, but obviously the struggle for gender equality extends beyond that of his family and peers, most of whom I am sure come from a more privileged background than the majority of women in the U.S., let alone the world.
Whatever the case may be, Paul's behavioral lapse definitely didn't help his standing with women. Case in point:
Sorry, Paul, wrong move.
Image: CNBC/Screenshot (2)