DAVID GREGORY: Let me ask you more about some of the debates within the Republican Party. Former candidate Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, got in some hot water this week with comments he made, I’ll play a portion of it, as he talked about a war for women. Here’s what he said.
MIKE HUCKABEE: The Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.
DAVID GREGORY: Is this helpful?
SEN. RAND PAUL: Well, you know, I think we have a lot of debates in Washington that get dumbed down and are used for political purposes. 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 have a niece at Cornell vet school, and 85% of the young people there are women. In law school, 60% are women; in med school, 55%. My younger sister’s an ob-gyn with six kids and doing great. You know, I don’t see so much that women are downtrodden; I see women rising up and doing great things. And, in fact, I worry about our young men sometimes because I think the women really are out-competing the men in our world.
What Mike Huckabee said about “Uncle Sugar” and the relationship between women’s libidos and their need for contraceptive coverage was highly misleading at best, and at worst absurdly out of touch. But Paul’s comments in response were representative of something much more insidious about the way politicians on both sides of the aisle talk about “women.” While Huckabee’s comments reflect a conservative Christian ideology that some women do subscribe to, Paul seems to forget altogether that women might be listening to his interview.