The Huffington Post Luke Johnson
First Posted: 02/16/2012 2:36 pm Updated: 02/16/2012 4:35 pm
Foster Friess, a top donor to a Rick Santorum-aligned super PAC, dismissed the importance of his candidate’s stances on social issues in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday, adding a bizarre statement about birth control.
Friess was asked about Santorum’s beliefs on social issues such as abortion and gay rights, which have led many to question his viability in a general election.
“I get such a chuckle when these things come out,” he said. He added, “We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex — I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.”
Friess then turned to contraception. “This contraceptive thing, my gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive. Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly,” he said.
Mitchell, taken aback, said, “Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that” and changed the subject. Friess later described Santorum as “truly the post-partisan candidate,” a line ascribed to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.
Santorum said that he personally believes in the Catholic Church’s position on contraception, which is that it should not be used by members of the religion, but that he thinks it should be available. He noted Wednesday that he had voted for funding for contraception “domestically and internationally, and would not support any law that would prevent that.”
Still, Santorum has strongly opposed the Obama administration’s rule requiring most religiously-affiliated employers to provide contraception in their health plans. He said in 2006 that he thinks that contraception is “harmful to women.”