Hillary Clinton campaign knocks Rand Paul for comment about gays

Story highlights

  • The libertarian-leaning Paul said in Iowa that he did not support LGBT anti-discrimination laws federally
  • On Thursday, Paul defended his remarks, though he said he "might have been able to word it better"

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton's campaign hit Republican rival Rand Paul on Wednesday for a comment he made earlier in the day about gay rights in the workplace.

The libertarian-leaning Paul, who is skeptical of more government regulations on business conduct, said in Iowa that he did not support anti-discrimination laws that would give LGBT Americans the chance to sue their employer if they are fired for their sexual orientation.
    "I think, really, the things you do in your house, if you could just leave those in your house and it wouldn't have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth," Paul said Wednesday to students at Drake University, according to a video posted by the Democratic opposition group American Bridge.
    Paul said that the laws increase the chance of more litigation against employers.
    "It sets up a whole industry of people who want to sue," he said. "I think society is rapidly changing and that if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you."
    The Democratic presidential front-runner's campaign quickly pounced on Paul's remarks.
    "The feeling when a GOP candidate says it's acceptable to be fired for being gay," her account tweeted, along with a gif of her saying, "No."
    The gif was her response to a question during Tuesday night's CNN/Facebook debate.
    On Thursday, Paul defended his remarks, though he said he "might have been able to word it better."
    He said he did not believe it was OK to fire someone based on sexual orientation, but he does not want a federal law expanding litigation.
    "I don't think anybody should be fired for being gay," Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. "I do also believe, though, that your personal life should be personal ... and shouldn't affect anyone firing you."
    He said that if a workplace put up a sign, for example, saying gays were not welcome, that would be potentially fair to sue over, but he doesn't want people thinking they are able to sue over a firing "because 'I happen to be gay.'"
    "I think these things should be decided at the state level," Paul said. "I don't think the federal government should weigh in on things like this."