Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Rand Paul | Mika Brzezinski | Rand Paul | Savannah Guthrie | Megyn Kelly

Brzezinski: Female Journalists 'Not Victims' of 'Testy' Rand Paul

By    |   Thursday, 09 April 2015 02:56 PM

Presidential candidate Rand Paul admits he's been "universally short-tempered and testy" with reporters, but MSNBC "Morning Joe" correspondent Mika Brzezinski said Thursday that she doesn't think that means his shortness comes toward just female journalists, as some critics claim.

Earlier this year, Paul was criticized for telling CNBC journalist Kelly Evans to "calm down," and this week ended up arguing back in separate interviews with NBC's Savannah Guthrie and Fox News' Megyn Kelly, but Brzezinski pointed out that Paul admits to being "testy" with both sexes.

"I don't think it has to do with women," she said. "If we make it against women, that's saying Savannah and Kelly can't do their jobs. They are just fine, they are not victims. They are fine. Here is what he's doing. Interrupting, deflecting and trying to get away from a tough question on whether or not he flip-flopped on three issues."

But Brzezinski said that if an interview subject like Paul is "a jerk about it," then other people "will give the answer for you and cover your bad interview."

With Guthrie, Paul accused her of talking over him and editorializing after she asked about his alleged changing views on Iran and foreign aid for Israel.

"Why don't you let me explain instead of talking over me?" he told her. "Before we go through a litany .
of things you say I changed on. Why don't you ask me a question? Have you changed your opinion. That would be a better way to approach an interview. No, no, no, no, listen. You editorialized. Let me ask a question. You say have your views changed instead of editorializing saying my views have changed."

Kelly on Wednesday night's "The Kelly File" cornered Paul on the interviews, and although she considered the sexism issue ridiculous, she wanted to know why he became so angry both times, reports Mediaite.

Kelly told Paul that Guthrie isn't considered an aggressive, unfair journalist, and Paul told her that Guthrie's questions were "unfair" and he would rather have a good interview than one with "gotcha" questions.

She also told the Kentucky senator that there are people raising concerns about whether he's ready for "primetime" because his exchanges with journalists make him come across as being "thin-skinned."

Paul replied that he isn't going to "roll over and take it" when he believes a journalist is "mischaracterizing" his views and he won't let them keep doing that.

Such responses are leading to concerns that Paul's way of what some see as turning reporters' questions around is not a method that can continue to work, the Morning Joe hosts concluded Thursday morning.

But Paul's prickly responses to questions has stretched beyond comments to female television journalists, with The Associated Press reporting he "grew testy" when asked about his belief in exceptions when it comes to abortions.

"I gave you about a five-minute answer. Put in my five-minute answer," he told the reporter.

And later that day, when asked about the interview at an event to which the Democratic National Committee had sent reporters, Paul replied: "Why don't we ask the DNC: Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus?"

"You go back and go ask (DNC head) Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she's OK with killing a 7-pound baby that's just not born yet," Paul said. "Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she's willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me."

Wasserman Schultz later replied that she supports "letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story."

Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday evening that he knows he can handle himself better, but his annoyance reaches to reporters of both sexes.

"I think I should have some more patience, but I think I'm pretty equal opportunity," Paul said,pointing out that he was annoyed with a male reporter earlier Wednesday. "I will have to get better at holding my tongue and holding my temper."

He argued that "it's hard to have a true interaction" with journalists when he's being interviewed remotely by camera, rather than in person. "Particularly if it's a hostile interviewer."

Meanwhile, NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, who appeared on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show to discuss Paul, said his reaction to Guthrie's question was a "standard trick" because the Republican base "is always ginned up when you beat up the press," reports RealClearPolitics.com.

But he warned that attacking female reporters "is turning into a habit" for Paul, and said that "he's got to be careful."

The tough-as-nails Kelly, however, said on her own show on Fox News that she and other female journalists don't need Todd to stand up for them, and that he should just "butt out."

Watch the video here.

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Presidential candidate Rand Paul admits he's been "universally short-tempered and testy" with reporters, but "Morning Joe" correspondent Mika Brzezinski said Thursday that she doesn't think that means his shortness comes toward just female journalists, as some critics claim.
Mika Brzezinski, Rand Paul, Savannah Guthrie, Megyn Kelly, female journalists, testy, temper
Thursday, 09 April 2015 02:56 PM
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