February 17th, 2012
09:52 AM ET
11 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. Tom

    Yet another reason not to vote for a goper.

    February 17, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. Allen in Maui

    Man liberals are really obtuse and just plain dumb. This guy was talking about a woman saying she has a "headache" not actually using aspirin as contraception. I think CNN should have an intelligence test before letting people post to this web site. It sure would get rid of much of the liberal progressive stupidity I read here on a daily basis. This is a personal responsibility issue. It is not the role of government to ensure that men are carrying condoms and women are on the pill...

    February 17, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Jesus Fan

    Us ladies should start a revolution. We should all put an aspirin between our knees as a group and see how many men are laughing then. I didn't think it was that funny.

    February 17, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. O.T.

    Obama's spiritual advisor and preacher preached hatred of America. And the president listened to it for 20 years, when he wasn't listening to convicted anti-American terrorists and radicals.

    February 17, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. justin

    LOL...I', always amused by how offended people are publicly but privately they are no different. That's politics. Is funny to hear someone restate a joke older than me though. Guy should have pulled is condemn up over his mouth before the interview though. 🙂

    February 17, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Terry

    Why is it that women cannot accept their lot in life? They should be barefoot, pregnant, and making little Republicans.

    February 17, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. emersonkid8850

    thank god im canadian

    February 17, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. Marilyn

    Maybe putting an aspirin in Friess" penis would work as birth control, too! Next thing you know Republicans will want to take away women's right to vote because we might actually vote for candidates that are willing to protect our rights!

    February 17, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. Marilyn

    Maybe putting an aspirin in Friess" urethra would work as birth control, too! Next thing you know Republicans will want to take away women's right to vote because we might actually vote for candidates that are willing to protect our rights!

    February 17, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. shinden58

    Foster Friess should remove himself from the gene pool immediately. His existence is public insult to women

    February 17, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  11. paintpaintpaint

    Stop it with the whole 'Gotcha' media every time someone says something you don't like, Santorum. Stand up and fight like a man. 😉

    February 17, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  12. Ando

    Why is this news? Some guy who isn't running for president made a joke about a political issue. So what.

    February 17, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  13. heyheyhey

    Yea I wont vote for any GOP person. They have no idea what goes on in the medical community. They are naive about all medical issues. They bring in Religious leaders to plead their side. How about asking many of the females that take birth control for MEDICAL ISSUES!

    February 17, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. 2379

    "Retarded Olympics" "Sweetie" "Retarded Olympics" "Sweetie" "Retarded Olympics" "Sweetie" "Retarded Olympics" "Sweetie" "Retarded Olympics" "Sweetie" "Retarded Olympics" "Sweetie"

    February 17, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. JJ

    Goes to show, money IQ.

    February 17, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. SuRy

    The knuckledragging Republican-Teaba$$er American Taliban would love to drag us back to 1950.

    February 17, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  17. libsareajoke

    ooooooooooh.....................I've never been so offended in my life.......I hope Bill Clinton didn't hear this ...................

    February 17, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  18. muhron

    It's simple - Republican extreme conservatives = embarrassing morons.

    February 17, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  19. Alina1

    This man made me feel embarrassed for being a woman.

    February 18, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  20. nytw

    If women have time to complain about this joke there must be a lot of really clean houses around the country.

    February 18, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  21. B33r30

    Jann, could you possible gin up a little more false outrage. I think a little more sanctimony is in order.

    February 18, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  22. adoptapop

    I've been told this since I was very young another one is Keep the dam thing out of the dam thing and it is cost effective

    February 18, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  23. Ted

    Sure, Santorum says he refuses to play "gotcha politics." Until one of his opponents or their supporters say something dumb, then he plays.

    February 18, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  24. BaddaBing

    This Santorum guy is hilarious. Cmon, let's see the RNC nominate this bimbo. Will be a record landslide for Obama. I think secretly, both Romney and Gingrich realize this, and they hope Santorum gets the RNC nod.

    February 18, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  25. Deputy Duffy Spies - Ret.

    What a group of thin skinned morons. Y'all never come out of the woodwork with any facts to back up your simple minds. Your ignorance staggers the imagination. Y'all are truly a generation of poster children for your beloved abortions.
    I am ashamed to admit such ignorance can exist in people that call themselves Americans. It saddens me to see the people of my nation so easily mis-lead by an out of control "liberal/progressive/socialist" agenda.

    February 18, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
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