February 17th, 2012
09:52 AM ET
3 years ago

Friess apologizes for birth control comment

(CNN) – Rick Santorum backer Foster Friess apologized Friday for a now-viral comment he made Thursday about contraception.

"After listening to the segment ... I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable," Friess wrote in a blog post. "To all those who took my joke as modern day approach I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness."

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His apology came after Republican presidential candidate Santorum distanced himself from the statement and women's advocacy groups criticized the billionaire mutual fund manager.

Friess joked Thursday that women used Bayer aspirin as birth control "back in (his) days."

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

Later Thursday Friess, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a pro-Santroum super PAC, said it was a joke and suggesting aspirin as a form of contraception "is pretty ridiculous and quite funny."

Santorum said Friday he is not responsible for comments from a donor and accused the media of "gotcha politics."

"It was a bad joke, it was a stupid joke. It's not reflective of me or my record on this issue," Santorum said on CBS "This Morning." "This is the same gotcha politics that you get from the media and I'm just not going to play that game."

The former Pennsylvania senator's comments followed statements from Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called birth control "basic health care," adding it is "not something to belittle on national TV."

And while Santorum called it "bad joke," he also said questioning over the issue represents a double standard from the media.

"With President Obama what you did was you went out and defended him against someone who he sat in a church for for 20 years and defended him that oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years," Santorum said referencing the controversial comments from Obama's former Rev. Jeremiah Wright. "It's a double standard, it's what you're pulling off and I'm going to call you on it."


Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Rick Santorum
soundoff (595 Responses)
  1. Bill

    But the "joke" was made by one of your biggest donors and as such shows the type of people that are supporting you. The comments made by the donor may or may not reflect your views but it shows that if elected these are the types of people that are going to be around you and trying to pursuade your in your policy making decisions.....Thus its important to look into all of your major donors and the people who surround you....

    February 17, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Joke that fell flat. It just means "keep your legs closed" if you aren't ready to get pregnant.

    February 17, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Mom in MA

    This is exactly how they really feel. It's all anti-women with them. You should keep your legs closed.. no problem. Never the man at fault, it's always the woman's fault. Hell these morons have even admitted that they wouldn't be against states deciding to ban ..not abortion.. but birth control. Talk about the government staying out of OUR lives. Anyone who believes a female child should be forced to give birth after an incestuous rape because 'it's not the baby's fault' has NO business being in politics. Funny thing is the second that child is born and the unwed, poor mother goes to apply for aid she is instantly vilified for not keeping her legs closed and having children when she couldn't afford to. Prolife.. from conception to birth.. after that the baby is just a leech on society in their eyes.

    February 17, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Sorry Taran, busy, with work today. I checked out your source, and I wish he had more credibility. Someone who has worked for the NY Post ( a Rupert Murdoch rag) and Human Events ( another right wing source) raises big red flags ( in my mind) about their ability to be objective. It would be like me sending you to a site that had a piece by Rachel Maddow: there would be an immediate credibility problem for you. I try to stay away from advocacy journalism as much as possible, since I want to be able to make up my mind based on facts, rather than opoinion. I like news analysts, and your friend is not one of them, at least for me. If I want good, well-constructed conservative opinions, I"ll take the National Review anyday. My sources are primarily from my reading of history and trying to see where theings have evolved from: opinion pieces are just that, and I don't have a clue as to the context of the remarks that your writer reported on.

    February 17, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Wes

    Joke that fell flat. It just means "keep your legs closed" if you aren't ready to get pregnant.

    February 17, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    Obamacare has been one disaster after another, even before most of it takes affect. Can you imagine the disaster it will bring if fully implemented?
    -----------
    1. Since it was passed we have seen month after conscecutive month of positive private sector jobs growth.
    2. All of this talk about government has never made you go out and purchase something before is hogwash. You do wear clothes, don.t you? Government forces you to go out, buy them, and wear them. They even force you to do so for your kids and everyone else in your care. Government already forces you to go out and buy a whole lot of things.

    February 17, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. usualone

    Santorum trying to link his backer's dumb joke to the fact that the President attended services at a church with Rev. Wright is a big stretch. We don't even know which church Satornum attends and perhaps some will find fault with that church's priest.

    February 17, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Connie W

    @ Yogi ~ I haven't decided yet. While I register as a Republican I prefer to do my homework and vote for the person I believe will do the best job for our country. The blanket republican remarks are really wearing me out. Are we not one nation under God? I don't agree with ANYONE on the birth control issue because I really don't believe it should be a political issue. It's not anyone elses business whether I use birth control or not, it should be a woman's choice.

    February 17, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "Planned Parenthood has already solved this issue, contraception is readily available to all."

    And what happens when conservatives close all of them up, as they have been more aggressively trying to do since the 2010 elections were final.

    February 17, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Gurgi

    From all the hooplaw about the abortion/contraception issue, it sounds like liberals are for promiscuity and increasing the number of baby mommas and children on welfare, due to deadbeat dads, and when the contraception methods don't work, after all none are 100% effective.....except abstinence. Yeah, a lot of men are horndogs, but women have to cooperate, so neither side can be completely blamed.

    February 17, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Gloria

    Oh, grow up! It was a joke; it's been around for years! Someone has to find fault whenever someone sneezes. It's ridiculous.

    February 17, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. FlyGuyInSJ

    I'm not a Santorum backer (but he's better than Gingrich or Romney, at least), but hey, the joke was moderately funny, if old. If you don't think so, you need to see a proctologist about your craniorectal inversion syndrome. In many cases, it can be cured.

    February 17, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Thank you Republicans for showing your . . .

    sensative side . . .

    February 17, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    No one has been able to point to a mainstream study that has concluded the healthcare law has been a failure: to brand it a failure by inference to the rest of the economy ( even when the economy in clearly strengthening)without being able to cite a credible source in its proper context is withful thinking at best by conservatives and downright fear-mongering at worst. Recognise the sources of the information you use for what they are, and make the decision if using them is the proper course of action.

    February 17, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Gurgi wrote:

    From all the hooplaw about the abortion/contraception issue, it sounds like liberals are for promiscuity and increasing the number of baby mommas and children on welfare, due to deadbeat dads, and when the contraception methods don't work, after all none are 100% effective.....except abstinence. Yeah, a lot of men are horndogs, but women have to cooperate,
    ------
    I'm a moderate who has come to despise conservatives for nearly destroying this country, and I only practice abstinence in public.

    February 17, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    sorry, " wishful " thinking: sorry for the typo.

    February 17, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Henry Miller

    Rick Santorum is single-handedly wrecking any chance we had of getting rid of Obama the Clown.

    February 17, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. janelle

    He muffed the joke. It goes like this: "The most effective birth control pill is an apsirin. You put it between your knees and make sure it doesn't fall on the floor."

    The REAL joke here is that Andrea Mitchell, sophisticated, world traveling, journalist extradordinaire, doesn't understand that if you don't spread your legs, you won't get pregnant.

    February 17, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Kimberly

    Im an Obama Liberal, that will vote for him again in November, and cant wait to see him be sworn in, having said that, GET A GRIP! He was in NO way suggesting that women should do this! Hes an old man, said it as a joke, all be it bad timing, but funny. The PROBLEM is however, that RICK does feel this way. He believes women shouldnt use birth control, and he make no bones about it. He believes women should not work, he believes women should only be around to bear children, and take care of him. He is in some 1950's warped zone. Im a single mom now, and I work 8-5 every day! I am very sure that my strength as a mom to my boys will only make them grow up to be strong men, that appreciate, and VALUE women. They certainly will NOT grow up to think women are there for their enjoyment! Yes, Rick Santorum as president is a very scary thought indeed, thank God, it will never happen!

    February 17, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. gran

    Why do men think they have to make a joke of serious issues involving women? No one is laughing at the idiot!

    February 17, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Davethecanuck

    I think the angry folks just didn't get the joke...
    Fools just looking for an opportunity to whine.

    February 17, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Mike

    The Real Tom Paine
    Your source then for toting the success of the health care bill?
    I'm waiting...................................................................

    February 17, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Mike Johnson

    Anybody who did not understand that this was a joke is a moron

    February 17, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Gurgi, I honestly thought you were better than saying that anyone would be in favor of promiscuity. No one wants that. In an ideal world, abstinance would work, but we don't live in one. I agree with you that people do need to accept responsibility for their behavior, but your statement diminishes you. You are better than that.

    February 17, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Coexistor

    I watched the clip, what's offensive about the joke?

    February 17, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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