Washington (CNN)Rand Paul blew the launch of his presidential campaign by being sidetracked into a debate over abortion, the head of the Democratic National Committee and his sparring partner on the issue said Tuesday.
DNC chief: Paul still hasn't answered abortion questions
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair who's been trading barbs with the Kentucky Republican senator, took her latest shot at Paul during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
She said he hasn't answered questions about whether he supports abortion rights in any cases -- and also criticized him for allowing the issue to derail a broader message.
"It's unlikely that voters are going to be deciding who they're going to vote for for president and whether a candidate has their back on this issue. It's more going to be jobs and the economy," Wasserman Schultz said.
And on those issues, she said: "Rand Paul failed that test on his first day as a candidate."
Their back-and-forth started when Paul, who opposes abortion rights, deflected a question about whether he favors exceptions in cases of rape or incest by saying: "Why don't you ask the DNC, 'Is it OK to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus?'"
Wasserman Schultz quickly responded by saying she wants those decisions left in the hands of women and their doctors -- and took a swing at Paul's contentious interviews with two female television reporters, saying she hopes he can "respond without 'shushing' me."
Paul answered back that Wasserman Schultz's comments seemed to suggest she's in favor of allowing abortion any time in a pregnancy, without limits -- and said that position could make many pro-choice advocates uncomfortable. Paul's campaign did not respond to request for comment on the latest attacks Tuesday.
Wasserman Schultz said Tuesday that Democrats "believe a decision on a woman's reproductive choices is best left between a woman and her doctor," and again asked for answers from Paul.