Groups hit back against billionaire's birth control comment
February 16th, 2012
07:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Groups hit back against billionaire's birth control comment

(CNN) –Women's advocacy groups fired back after a major Rick Santorum donor stirred controversy Thursday with a now-viral comment about contraception.

Calling his comments "insulting and irresponsible," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said "birth control is basic health care and used almost universally by women. It is not something to belittle on national TV."

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Foster Friess, a billionaire mutual fund manager, made headlines earlier in the day when he joked women used Bayer aspirin as birth control "back in (his) days."

"The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly," Friess said on MSNBC.

He has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a pro-Santorum super PAC, the Red, White, and Blue Fund.

Later Thursday night, Friess said in another interview on MSNBC that it was merely a joke and denied that he was giving any medical advice for birth control.

"A lot of people who are younger than 71 didn't get the context of that joke," he said. "Back in my days, they didn't have the birth control pill, so to suggest that Bayer aspirin could be considered a birth control is pretty ridiculous and quite funny. So I think that was the gist of that story."

Meanwhile, National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill called on Friess to "immediately apologize" to woman.

"Mr. Freiss' comments today on MSNBC that women use aspirin between their knees for contraception were not only offensive, but demeaning and disrespectful to women," O'Neill said in a statement to CNN. "Santorum should also use this time to renounce his anti-birth control stance."

Asked in an interview on Fox News Thursday night, Santorum said it was a "stupid" and "off-color" joke and added that comments made by supporters don't reflect on him or his campaign.

Also see:

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Santorum took in $3.6M in four years; highest tax rate was 28.3%

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Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. PJ/TX

    I saw that idiot's comments. I don't know who was more stunned, me or Andrea Mitchell. There was dead silence
    for a few seconds, then she said something like "I'm trying to wrap may head around what you just said --well,
    let's change the subject".
    Unbelievable!

    February 16, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. WDinDallas

    Good point, but the weak minded and weak willed will not do it.

    February 16, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Laverne

    IGNORANCE is not bliss! This man is too old to be talking so stupid about birth control. Then again, he is just reflecting the same out-dated views that Rick Santorum has. Birds of a feather flock together!

    February 16, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. fernace

    This is the singlemost disturbing, derrogatory, insulting statement, belittleing to womankind everywhere! I am glad to report most Real Men don't share this, so called mans view! Then there's the issue of "the company we keep"! We already know Rick Santorums views on women are more strict than Rick Perrys (& thats saying something), but does he truly believe women are & should be treated as 2nd class citizens, again!? While hiding behind his religion to do so!? I don't think that's a good strategy! There are more women on this planet & in this country, than men! Check it out! We can STILL vote!!

    February 16, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. AvgGuyinKansas

    How cool is THIS guy?! He's proof not every ejaculation deserves a name.

    February 16, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Keyser Soze

    Stupidity from clowns like this is exactly why we need to keep taking the country forwards not backwards, and certainly not "back in (Friess's) days". What a moron, perfect Sanitarium backer.

    February 16, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Jamie from Riverside

    I can't believe what F.F. just said. If tomorrow the GOP will be recommending throwing women into a lake with with stone tied around their necks to see if they will float.

    February 16, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Ossian

    Foster Friess should try holding an aspirin between his teeth.

    Back in the day, that was how we treated stupidity.

    February 16, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Just keep giving these unhinged GOBP extremists more rope. Obama 2012!

    February 16, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Jim in San Mateo

    Amazing that there are some idiots out there that still think this way. I wonder if Santorum will disavow his comment.

    February 16, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. GOP = Cheap Talk

    Hey repugs, Ask Ann Coulter what she thinks about this comment? What a moron! And these idiots are supposed to be community leaders because they are white and rich? Who are you kidding?

    February 16, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Jake

    well at least Santorum is sticking on his disciplined message, "let's take America BACK to the 1950's!"

    February 16, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Neurodoc

    His comments suggest the onset of Alzheimers disease.

    The judgment is gone.
    He is disinhibited.
    He is unable to control his finances wasting money on Santorum
    And now this comment–it's like the old joke (which this guy is)–what do you call a wealthy moron– a moron who is wealthy

    February 16, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Joi Gibson

    What an ignorant, ignorant comment. The "gals"! Please go back to your cave.

    February 16, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. MTATL67

    He'd would not have made that joke if he listened to my mother's voice mail this morning. She was already upset with Rick Santorum and his 1950's positions. Now she is just PO'd because of Virginia's sanctioned rape bill and Rep. Darrell Issa refusal to hear from female witness. My mother has 2 brothers and 7 sisters and god knows how many cousins, nieces and nephew but is well over 100-150. So by angering this one women the GOP has lost over 100 possible votes with in one family. In starting this war on the women of this country the Republican party has doomed any chances of winning in the general election and could have very well doomed the party itself.

    February 16, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Common Sense

    Shame his mother didn't follow that advice.

    February 16, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. patNY

    If this is what Santorum is selling as his policy, then what kind of woman is he married to? She should knock his lights out with a frying pan.

    February 16, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. sick of republican phonies

    Back in your day, it was OK to own slaves. Times change.

    February 16, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Noreen Simone

    My Father said the same thing to my sister and me 32 years ago. Sat us at the dinner table and said "there will only be ONE kind of birth control in MY house......an asprin. " Now my being only 14 amd my 16 at the time, I knew enough that, that wasn't going to work. Then my Father proceeded to say..."AN ASPRIN BETWEEN THE KNEES".

    I knew right then and there WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION, what was expected of me.

    End of story.

    February 16, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. cali girl

    AvGuy – Lmfao! I needed the comic relief.

    February 16, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Movado

    So, Santorum, if elected would post an administration that consists of ALL WHITE MEN! No women, African Americans, Asian, Hispanic and damn sure no one of Muslim descent.

    February 16, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    "well at least Santorum is sticking on his disciplined message, "let's take America BACK to the 1950's!"

    Heck, half the GOBP deathcult wants to take America back to the 1850s.,

    February 16, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. GI Joe.

    But he LOVES his viagra.

    February 16, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Um, hmm. I see this guy wants to buy his way into heaven by bringing on Armeggedon. I'm not worried about his crusade. Won't be long now until the Santorum fellowship begins to crack up and fall apart. This might be the first irreversible crack in the armor for the crusader.

    February 16, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. PM Ohio

    dionysus...I think @WDinDallas meant that no matter how stupid these people are, the weak minded will still vote for them...

    February 16, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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