If Hillary Clinton wants to champion women’s rights, she should stop excusing the sexual predation of her husband, former president Bill Clinton. For someone so interested in combating the so-called War on Women, she has failed to address one of the most real issues women face—that of sexual violence.
Anyone old enough to remember Clinton’s presidency is aware of the scandal and eventual impeachment over his behavior and prevarications on what truth actually is during the Lewinsky affair. In the background was Hillary, supporting her husband and family. Less covered and discussed were accusations of rape against the former president by Juanita Broaddrick, a former Clinton supporter.
What Happened in 1978
In 1978, Broaddrick sought out Clinton to assist in his bid to be governor of Arkansas. While meeting with him to discuss his plans should he win the election, he allegedly held her down, injured her, and raped her. Broaddrick told four friends and her future second husband at the time of the attack about it, and hotel records back up her recollection of where the attack happened.
From Slate’s 1999 coverage of the accusations: “Five people say Broaddrick told them about the rape immediately after it occurred. A friend and co-worker named Norma Kelsey says that, 21 years ago, she found a dazed Broaddrick with bloodied lip and torn pantyhose in their shared hotel room and Broaddrick explained that Clinton had just raped her. (Clinton is supposed to have bitten her on the lip just before raping her.) Her current husband–then her lover–says Broaddrick told him about the rape within a few days of the event. Broaddrick was, at the time, married to another man, whom she didn’t tell about the assault. And three of Broaddrick’s friends–one of whom is Kelsey’s sister–say she told them about the rape shortly after it supposedly occurred.”
What happened in ‘78 matters today, and reflects on Hillary Clinton just as much as it does Bill. Hillary Clinton may claim she supports and believes women when they come forward about rape, but her behavior with Broaddrick doesn’t show this extends to women when they accuse Bill.
Twitter users chimed in to point out the incongruity of this sentiment.
Referencing Clinton’s alleged parting words to Broaddrick after the assault, “You better get some ice on that,” a Twitter user added:
Broaddrick herself recently opened up about this on Twitter.
I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73….it never goes away.— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 6, 2016
Was dreading seeing my abuser on tv campaign trail for enabler wife……but his physical appearance reflects ghosts of past are catching up
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 5, 2016
Thoroughly disgusting–Hillary's comments on rape. Shame on you, Hillary, shame on you!!
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 15, 2015
Broaddrick says she interacted with Hillary over this: “When they got there, she came directly to me and talked with me and said, ‘Bill and I are so thankful for all that you do for him.’ I was just going to say yes, and leave. She took hold of my hand. ‘Everything you do.’ And it sent chills up my spine. I thought, ‘My God, this woman knows. She knows everything.’”
If Clinton wants to be the next president, she needs to clarify her role in Bill’s past. She needs to stop ignoring the voices of women who question how she can defend and deny Bill’s actions while “unquestioningly supporting” women. So much is at stake when we are talking about presidential elections, especially if one potential candidate for the White House has enabled an alleged rapist.
Broaddrick has nothing to gain over opening up about her painful past with the Clintons. We’re past the statute of limitations, and she’s not asking for money. From RedState: “One of the things that’s notable about Broaddrick’s allegations is that she raised them after Bill Clinton was no longer eligible for re-election, and after his impeachment trial. In other words, there was no obvious political reason for anyone (including Broaddrick) to push false allegations about Clinton.”
Hillary has some answering to do. Either she believes all rape victims—including those hurt by her husband—or she doesn’t.