Sen. Rand Paul needled Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona over President Joe Biden’s controversial executive order barring schools from preventing biological males from competing in all-female sports competitions.
In opening his questioning during a confirmation hearing Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican cited a previous ruling by the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights which stated that allowing biological males to compete in sporting events designed specifically for girls violated the rights of those female athletes.
“What do you think in general about boys running in girls’ track meets like they’ve been doing in Connecticut?” Paul asked.
But Cardona appeared to dodge the question.
“I think that it’s critically important to education systems and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender,” he said. “And that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities.”
Paul pressed Cardona again.
“Does it bother you that, like, the top twenty percent of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in the state … that it would completely destroy girls’ athletics, that girls are being pushed out, they don’t make the finals in the state meet, they don’t get college scholarships, that it’s really detrimental to girls’ sports?” Paul said. “Do you worry about having boys run in the girls’ track meet?”
The nominee acknowledged that many are frustrated and angry at Biden’s order while claiming he would work with Paul and others to sort it out.
Unsatisfied, however, Paul asked Cardona directly if he believes that it’s fair to allow boys to compete in girls’ track and field events.
“I think it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students that are transgender,” the nominee responded.
“So, you don’t have a problem then, with boys running in the girls’ track meets, swimming meets, name it, you’re okay then with boys competing with girls?” Paul responded.
“Respectfully, Senator, I believe I answered the question.”
Some female student-athletes are fighting back, however.
In an interview Wednesday with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Connecticut student Selina Soule explained that she is against competing with biological males because of their documented physical advantages.
“That’s why sports have always been segregated and that’s why they should continue to be segregated,” she said. “To protect women and to give them a fair chance at sports.”
Soule’s attorney, Kristen Waggoner, who appeared with her for the segment, told Carlson that Biden’s order is “an abuse of power” that “violates federal law,” adding “it will be challenged.”
As he continued to grill Cardona, Paul noted that “a lot of us” believe it is “bizarre” and “not very fair” to have biological males competing with biological females. He said there are many girls in his extended family who have competed in collegiate athletics and that the notion of a 6’2” boy competing against his 5’4” niece did not sound like an even contest.
“I think most people in the country think it’s bizarre…and you’re going to run the Department of Education and you’ve got no problem with it?” Paul asked.
“I think the fact that you seem to be afraid to answer the question, or you basically do answer the question by saying it’s okay without saying it’s okay, really is a statement to a real problem we have and a disconnect between what middle America and what most Americans actually believe,” he continued. “I even think most Democrats don’t believe … boys should run in the girls’ track meet.
“So I’m disappointed in the answer and I can’t imagine that we’re going to have a policy like that nationally,” he added.
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