February 13th, 2012
12:03 PM ET
3 years ago

McDonnell hits Santorum over 'emotions' remarks

Washington (CNN) – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell chided Rick Santorum on Monday for expressing concerns about women serving in military combat roles.

Santorum told CNN last week that having women on the front lines could lead to a "compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved."

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He later said he was referring to both male and female emotions.

Either way, the remark did not sit well with McDonnell, a leading Mitt Romney supporter whose oldest daughter Jeanine did a tour of duty in Iraq.

"I like Rick Santorum a lot, I just disagree with any inference he might have made that somehow women are incapable of serving in the front lines and serving in combat positions," McDonnell said in an interview Monday with CNN's Kyra Phillips.

"And I base that in part on my own daughter's own experience as a platoon leader in Iraq with 25 men working with her," he continued. "She did a great job, as in some very risky situations, and yet endured and led and I'm proud of her. So, I just wanted to make sure people didn't think that women aren't capable of doing the job. And I've got firsthand experience in saying that."

McDonnell made similar remarks in his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend, saying that his daughter commanded 25 men in her Army platoon and encountered small arms fire in Iraq.

"Yes, I did get emotional, but she didn't," McDonnell told the CPAC crowd of his daughter's experience. "She got the job done."

Also see:

Romney wins mask lingering questions about his candidacy

Santorum: 'This is a two-person race'

Political clashes coming over budget, payroll tax cut

Ron Paul forges ahead after finishing second in Maine

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Filed under: 2012 • Bob McDonnell • Rick Santorum • TV-CNN Newsroom
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. tony

    I have a problem with military men and women coming back to foreclosed home why can these big banks that was bailedout with tax payers money do a debt forgiveness for these guys, instead you all use them as political foot balls and don't do nothing for them.

    February 13, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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