Rick Santorum was on the defensive Friday over controversial birth control comments made by wealthy backer Foster Friess.
“This is someone who is a supporter of mine, and I’m not responsible for every comment that a supporter of mine makes,” said Santorum on CBS’s “This Morning.” “It was a bad joke, it was a stupid joke, and it is not reflective of me or my record on this issue [of contraception].”
On Thursday, Friess had said in an interview that, regarding contraception, “back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”
Friess, a donor who has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to efforts to get Santorum elected president, was making a joke about abstinence.
But Santorum, in his interview Friday, said that his record is one which shows support for federal funding of contraception.
“It’s funny that I’ve been criticized by Governor Romney and Ron Paul for actually having voted for something called Title 10, which is actually federal funding of contraception,” he said. “This is the same gotcha politics that you get from the media, and I’m just not going to play that game.”
After he segued to comments about his strength on economic issues, Santorum was pressed by CBS host Charlie Rose to return to his views on social issues.
“You have been identified as a social conservative, and those issues have been part of what you have said to the country. So this is not ‘gotcha,’” Rose responded.
“Charlie, when you quote a supporter of mine who tells a bad, off-color joke and somehow I’m responsible for that, that’s ‘gotcha,’” said Santorum.
Santorum said that the media held a double-standard, and had defended President Obama when it was revealed during the 2008 campaign that Rev. Jeremiah Wright made controversial statements at the church then-candidate Obama attended.
“Now I have respond to every supporter who says something… This is what you guys do. You don’t do this with President Obama. In fact, with President Obama, what you did was you went out and defended him against someone who sat in a church for 20 years, and defended him, that he can’t possible believe what he listened to for 20 years,” said Santorum. “That’s a double-standard, this is what you’re pulling off, and I’m going to call you on it.”
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