As a wave of stories unfold about sexual harassment and assault by men in power, a senior Democratic leader says her party should reflect on how it handled such charges when they were leveled against former President Bill Clinton.
“Not only did people look the other way, but they went after the women who came forward and accused him,” says Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of Health and Human Services and Kansas governor. “And so it doubled down on not only bad behavior but abusive behavior. And then people attacked the victims.”
Sebelius extended her criticism to Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton White House for what she called a strategy of dismissing and besmirching the women who stepped forward—a pattern she said is being repeated today by alleged perpetrators of sexual assault—saying that the criticism of the former first lady and Secretary of State was “absolutely” fair. Sebelius noted that the Clinton Administration’s response was being imitated, adding that “you can watch that same pattern repeat, It needs to end. It needs to be over.”
The comments came during a conversation with David Axelrod on the latest episode of “The Axe Files,” a podcast produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.