In a campaign appearance in New York City, Buchanan said "liberal cop-bashing by folks like Hillary Rodham Clinton is in part responsible for the diminishment of the morale of the police."
That, he claimed, may have diminished police response to Sunday's attacks on women in Central Park. More than two dozen women say they were attacked; some stripped, fondled, and sexually abused while others were robbed by a roving gang of men. Six men had been arrested by late Thursday. Several victims said they complained to police officers who failed to take them seriously.
"It does not surprise me in the least that a lot of these cops were far less aggressive in defending citizens and far less likely to get involved in what they ought to be doing, which is quite frankly busting a few heads and taking those folks to jail who behave like that," Buchanan said.
In response, Clinton repeated that she was "outraged by that kind of violence and abuse of women" and called for better resources and more training for police.
She portrayed Buchanan's attack as "another in a long line. He's always looking to try to put people down and insult them, so I'm not surprised."
The first lady noted that she refused to seek the support of the Independence Party in her run for the Senate "because I did not want to be associated with him and with things he says and the views that he holds."
"I think we have to make it very clear that any kind of violence against women is not acceptable," she said. "It is, you know, not something that we can just pass over and ignore. It's a crime and it needs to be prosecuted and viewed as such."