Politicians are surely used to interacting with the media, but if one has active aspirations for the highest office in the country, you'd think he or she would be able to handle the level of media scrutiny that comes with that kind of ambition. But it seems that's not quite the case for Rand Paul, evidenced in his clash with Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday.
Appearing on the "Today" show to tout his presidential bid, the Kentucky Republican grew agitated as Guthrie asked about the shifts in his political stances — regarding Iran, Israel and defense spending — since being elected to the Senate in 2010 in the Tea Party wave. Paul attempted to interrupt Guthrie as she asked her question, and when she didn't let up, he spoke over her and said (ironically), "Why don't you let me explain instead of talking over me, OK?"
Paul also repeatedly accused Guthrie of "editorializing" and offered unsolicited journalism advice (maybe he should consider changing career paths?) to the "Today" show anchor:
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?" That would be better way to approach an interview.
However, asking a presidential contender about his change in political views is a perfectly valid — and important — topic of discussion, especially considering Paul's strategy to appeal to mainstream conservative voters as well as the Republican establishment.
Paul's "Today" interview raised eyebrows, as it didn't appear to be his first run-in with a female journalist. In February, he shushed CNBC anchor Kelly Evans and told her to "calm down" when she asked about his tax proposal, later telling her that she would need to "start out with a little more objectivity going into the interview."
Some raised the question as to whether Paul had a problem with female interviewers. Later that day while speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Paul expressed a hint of contrition while defending his reaction to Guthrie, saying that his temper with both male and female journalists was equally short.
I think I've been universally short tempered and testy with both male and female reporters. I'll own up to that. ... It's hard to have a true interaction sometimes [when you're only speaking to a camera] particularly when it's a hostile interviewer.
I think I should have more patience, but I think I'm pretty equal opportunity. I was annoyed with a male reporter this morning. I will have to get better at holding my tongue and holding my temper.
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