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. .

    Apologize? For what? I'd like to know how many times Andrea Mitchell has told that joke to her liberal girlie buddies over dinner at Elaine's?

    For just once, I'd like to see someone grow a pair and just say F U! to some "offended" liberal phony!

    February 18, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. atought

    It might not be a bad idea for some of the women who have made a kid factory out of themselves to get more welfare benefits. Oh, wait a minute, we don't want to trample on their rights. For the women libbers that believe that men have no say so in the matter. Just because you have an uterus does not make you the smartest cookies on the block, some of you need some aspirin!!

    February 18, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  3. sensible

    He sounds like Herman Caine......say something stupid and later say it was a joke.....Reptili'con's are not very funny.

    He was refering to the woman 'keeping her legs together', not to the use of aspirin as birth control.(if her knees are together....)

    February 18, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. sensible

    It seems it is 'gotcha journalism' if it looks bad for a republican candidate. Used to be called exposing a candidate's true colors!

    February 18, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. sensible

    Hey, he's backing Sanitorium....need any more proof he is stupid?

    February 18, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. TAJ

    Yawn. Another liberal manufactured crisis.

    February 18, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. MomOf 4

    It's one thing to tell "bad jokes" among friends, family, political circles but to share a tasteless joke with the rest of the world, especially regarding touchy subjects like birth control, tasteless. Mr. Friess should have known better.

    February 18, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. MomOf 4

    Stanley Ho, you aren't worth the air you breath.

    February 18, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. rika33

    This is an issue – its a non story. Anyone offended should take a hard look in the mirror at the real joke.

    February 18, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. sensible

    There are a lot of posters saying it was an old joke and there was no harm. Would they feel the same way about an old 'racial joke'?...and why not?

    February 18, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. arpad golgoth

    I thought it was funny and wise. Jokes can be useful tools.

    February 18, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. David

    Bend over? No way, Republicans only do missionary position. Everything else is a sin.

    February 18, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. David

    Bend over? No way, Republicans only do missionry positon. Everything else is a sin.

    February 18, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. GOP Hate America

    none of this matters because Im voting for Obama

    February 18, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. A little lesson for the chillins

    Just wanted to clear something up for the utterly ignorant on this comments board...seems to be quite a few.

    Calling someone out for saying stupid 5hit has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE 1st AMENDMENT.
    He was free to speak his mind, it was stupid, he got called out.

    Why do the mouth breathers ALWAYS confuse this point?

    Just stop with the stupid already, please!

    February 18, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Tommy

    Ooh let me try. What do you tell a women with two black eyes... nothing you already told her twice. How do you give a women directions.....you don't there's no road in the kitchen. HAHAHAHHAAH oh not funny. Ok funny but at the same time very offensive. If he was Eddie Murphy I would understand. What about the punchline that women must be doing this pregnancy on their own was that the joke. I don't see any Republican men preaching just keep it in your pants. Because they seem to love to show theirs around all the time. It's not a joke sir it's called real life. And at some point you will have to get serious.

    February 18, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. Denise

    I'm voting for Obama. The GOP gives me a migraine...pass me an aspirin, please!

    February 18, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Ben

    Yall are so stupid. It was a joke people. I've heard it before. Everyone wants to have something to fuss about I guess. Cause yall are idiots! Oh yeah, guy in Alabama goes to the doctor with his wife! Don't wont no more kids doc, here for the vasectomy! Doc says.its cheaper to do it yourself. Go home and.set.down. Get an m80 and hold it in your right hand and begin to count to 10. He got to 5 and stuck the m80 between his legs cause he had 5 more to go! Oops that was a bc joke. I'm so sorry... Did that offend you? My bad.......

    February 18, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |

    Apology REJECTED! Go contribute some more money to Santorum.

    February 18, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. JoeT

    No need to apologize. No need to vote for theocracy, either.

    February 18, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Me 3

    Foster Friess is no more crazy than Santorum himself. These people are lunatics.

    February 18, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Punisher2000

    Why do all these talking heads acquire foot in mouth disease? Do they have a coach for that or is there an app for that?

    February 18, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. oman

    Here is a joke, Rick Santorum for president.

    February 18, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. tom

    As usual...these right wing conservatives just don't get it. His 'apology' was that he was sorry for those who didn't get "his joke". WHat joke? There wasn't anything funny about that. He is the only joke here...well besides that sweater vest wearing neanderthal Santorum. Man...that guy is scary with his crazy 'moral' beliefs and theories about woman, gays, and anyone 'different' from him and his Steppord Wives neighborhood.

    February 18, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. sensible

    If contraception is a religious issue, then we should overturn the ban on multiple wives for the Morman religion. Then R-money (intended) could catch up to 'the grinch' in the 'wives department'.

    February 18, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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