Rand Paul urges Clinton to return foreign government money
Mar. 20, 2015
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Sen. Rand Paul on Friday urged Hillary Rodham Clinton to return donations several foreign governments made to her family's philanthropic foundation.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, the Kentucky Republican and likely 2016 presidential candidate said Clinton should give back money from Saudi Arabia, Brunei and the United Arab Emirates because of their "horrific" rejection of women's rights. He listed several examples, such as women who were punished for reporting rapes or who aren't allowed to vote or sit on juries.
"All of these countries appear to have a war on women, and I think it's unconscionable," he said. "I don't know how Hillary Clinton can condone that or accept that money. I think she should immediately send the money back."
Nick Merrill, spokesman for the former secretary of state and probable Democratic presidential candidate, declined to comment.
Hillary Clinton, who is building a campaign team, remains the leading Democratic presidential contender if she enters the 2016 campaign. But as she prepares for a likely launch, she's been dogged by questions over her use of a private email account and server during her tenure as secretary of state as well as scrutiny of foreign donations supporting the foundation.
The Clinton foundation, launched more than a decade ago by former President Bill Clinton, has faced criticism for accepting money from foreign governments while his wife was secretary of state and after she left that job in early 2013.
Hillary Clinton has said she is proud of the foundation's global work and that she has been clear about standing up for the rights of women. "I think that people who want to support the foundation know full well what it is we stand for and what we're working on," she said recently.
Paul is expected to announce his presidential campaign in his home state April 7, followed by trips to the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Visiting New Hampshire on Friday, he declined to discuss those plans except to say: "We're very close to making a decision and should have a decision by then."
Paul spoke at Dyn Inc., an Internet performance company, where he told about two dozen workers that he prefers how those in the technology sector, unlike government, focus on solutions. "They're not waiting for government to fix problems," he said.
One employee questioned Paul's call to eliminate the federal Education Department, asking how much his taxes would go up to replace whatever support the federal agency provides. "I don't think that much," Paul said.
"I'm not positive where the money from the Department of Education is going, or whether you'd miss it," he said.