Washington (CNN)Sen. Rand Paul's blunt style led to a combative interview with a female reporter and controversial comments defending his insistence on voluntary vaccinations on Monday.
"Dr. Paul believes that vaccines have saved lives, and should be administered to children. His children were all vaccinated. He also believes many vaccines should be voluntary and like most medical decisions, between the doctor and the patient, not the government," he wrote in an email to CNN.
And though Paul has largely avoided such controversial topics in his effort to become more attractive to mainstream Republicans, they're nothing new for him and his father. Former Rep. Ron Paul said during his presidential run that "people have had some very, very serious reactions" from vaccines, and Paul is a member of a physicians' group that espouses the belief that vaccines can cause autism. Paul will be asked to answer for those past comments, and any future comments he makes, that are outside the mainstream.