Tales from the Trail

Santorum: backer’s contraceptives comment was bad joke

February 17, 2012

“It was a stupid joke,” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says about a wealthy backer’s “aspirins for contraceptives” comment.

Whatever it was, Santorum — a staunch social conservative – said he’s not going to be responsible for what his supporters say.

“I’m not going to play that game,” the former Pennsylvania senator told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren Thursday night when asked about what Foster Friess said earlier in the day.

Friess, the chief donor to the pro-Santorum SuperPAC, was asked whether he had any concerns about the candidate’s views on social issues. Part of his response raised eyebrows.

“Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

Here’s video from the MSNBC interview:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

At one point in her interview with Santorum, Van Susteren referred to Friess as his “creepy supporter.” She asked whether Santorum would “at least correct” Friess because “most women don’t think it was the funniest comment.”

Santorum did not “correct” his friend nor did he apologize for the comment.

“Foster is known in political circles for telling a lot of jokes and that some of them were are particularly funny, which this one was not,” Santorum said.

“He’s not creepy. He’s a good man. He’s a great philanthropist. He’s a very successful businessman,” Santorum added, in his donor’s defense.

“He told a bad, off-color joke and he should not have done it. That’s his business,” Sanotum said.  “It certainly doesn’t, in my opinion, reflect on the campaign or me because he wasn’t doing it as part of our campaign.”

Van Susteren took back her “creepy” description. “I shouldn’t have said he’s creepy… what he said was creepy.”

In the end they both agreed that it was “a stupid joke.”

At about the same time, Friess was back on MSNBC, making light of his earlier comments — and clarifying that he wasn’t actually giving medical advice.

“I don’t have a license,” he said laughing. “You can not believe some of the people didn’t get the joke.”


Photo Credit: REUTERS/Nathan Armes (Santorum at campaign rally in Loveland, Colorado)

Comments
4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Just goes to show how Santorium really feels about women that he would not ‘condone’ or ‘correct’ his friend for this bad joke. If it truely was a bad joke it would be easy to say ‘i’m sorry’. His social view points are rooted in Middle Aged thought processes.

Posted by USAPragmatist | Report as abusive
 

Flat out lie! I watched the interview and he never indicated it was a joke. When the interviewer said I really don’t know how to respond he never said it was a joke. Friess flat out is lying!

Posted by NewsDebbie | Report as abusive
 

“Back in my days” : Well let’s see. Back in the 1960s when I was in public high school in Atlanta my eighth grade class had 3 girls (one had been to Catholic private elementary school) had to leave in order to complete their pregnancy, while at least 5 others were able to stay at school since they arranged a “little operation”. All bible thumping, Christian church goers.

So back in my days women bore the consequences of sex, and the guys just kept on with their antics.

This is the environment Santorum and his supporters want to bring back: unwanted pregnancies, teenage mothers, etc. Why? Because it says it in the Bible somewhere. Did they forget that it also says in the Bible “harder for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle that the rich to enter heaven”.

Posted by Acetracy | Report as abusive
 

I don’t know what is more scary. The fact that Santorum is running for president or the fact that he actually won 3 states so far.

Posted by looploop | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/