Dana Perino, former White House press secretary and Fox News host, suggested that presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul consult with his wife about his combative television interviews with female news anchors.
“He needs to go back and quietly sit with his wife and watch these interviews and say, ‘What are they talking about?’ If he doesn’t see what other people are seeing, that looks like he has a short temper,” Perino said on Fox News Wednesday night.
“The Five” co-host admitted that she doesn’t think his aggressive approach is “gender specific,” but said “women are very important in the campaign.”
“When women watch that, they might have a different reaction to it,” she told Megyn Kelly.
The newly-announced presidential candidate challenged NBC host Savannah Guthrie Wednesday on her questions about his foreign policy record.
“Before we go through a litany of things you say I’ve changed on, why don’t you ask me a question? … You’ve editorialized. Let me answer a question. You ask a question and you say, ‘Have your views changed?’ Instead of editorializing and saying my views have changed,” Paul told Guthrie on NBC.
In February, he caused a stir when he shushed CNBC’s Kelly Evans after she repeatedly talked over him with an inaccurate premise about his stance on vaccines. He pushed back and made clear that he was not anti-vaccine, and was pro-parental choice.
Fox host Megyn Kelly pressed Paul Wednesday night on his handling of interviews.
Perino predicts that the Kentucky senator will need to get ready for more “gender talk” from the Clinton campaign.
The former White House spokesperson believes Paul missed an opportunity in his interviews.
“I think Rand Paul could have done a much better job today explaining to us why he should be the leader of the country,” she said.
“Those women were not yelling at you,” Kelly said to Paul in a separate interview. “Do you regret shushing the one reporter and — Savannah Guthrie’s not exactly known for her, you know, aggressive unfairness?”
“I think that people want someone who will stand up and not just roll over and take it,” Paul responded. “If people start out and basically start out with mischaracterizing your position and then saying, ‘Well, defend why you’ve changed your position’ when in reality the question should be ‘did I change my position?’ because on all three questions, my answer is no, I didn’t change my position.”
Paul disagreed with the claim that his pushback had anything to do with gender.
“Am I equal opportunity? I mean, I had a tiff with a male reporter today, so it has nothing to do with sexuality. When I think of doing an interview with you, I don’t think whether you’re a man or woman. I think of an intelligent person going to ask me questions,” Paul told Kelly.
Paul reminded the Fox News host of when other politicians have pushed back on the media.
“Do you remember Reagan when he said ‘I paid for the microphone?’ So I think they feel like, for example, like in the debates the last time some of us wanted Romney to be tougher against Obama after Benghazi. I’m not going to lay down and let Clinton talk over me,” he said.