Santorum calls Foster Friess’s Bayer aspirin comment a “bad joke”

Rosie Gray, writing at BuzzFeed, chatted up Rick Santorum about the unfortunate comments his SuperPAC backer, Foster Friess, made about contraception earlier:

Rick Santorum wasn’t very amused by his friend and super PAC backer Foster Friess’ comment today about using aspirin as birth control.

Today on MSNBC, Friess said “Back in my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” adding, “The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Asked about the quote outside the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner here in Novi, Santorum wasn’t at first aware of the incident — but when it was described to him, he told BuzzFeed “I’m not responsible for every bad joke one of my supporters makes.”

Friess will be appearing on MSNBC again at 10 tonight to “set the record straight” on his aspirin remark, he tweeted earlier.

Speaking with Lawrence O’Donnell this evening, Friess played dumb, saying: “Back in my days, they didn’t have the birth control pill, so to suggest that Bayer Aspirin could be a birth control was considered pretty ridiculous and quite funny. So I think that was the gist of that story, but what’s been nice, it gives an opportunity to really look at what this contraceptive issue is all about.”

Right, the part about putting the aspiring between girls’ knees had nothing to do with it.

“I have been blessed by contraceptives,” Friess went on, inexplicably. “It’s an important thing for many women. it’s allowed them to advance their careers and make their own choices. That’s what’s special about America. People can choose. That’s what’s so annoying about this idea that President Obama forcing people to do something that is against their religious beliefs and that’s what the issue’s about, where Rick Santorum, as I said earlier, you know what his position is, but yet he’s never had any attempts, in fact, has even funded contraceptives to fight aids in Africa.”

What an odd shuffle. It’s almost as though Santorum and Friess are coordinating their message, and when Santorum expressed his distaste for Friess’s joke, Friess backed away from it. Not surprising, really, given Santorum’s meteoric rise in the polls and his need to start appealing to larger swaths of the American public. One can only play the far-right social conservative card in so many settings. After a while you need to diversify.

The problem for Santorum is that he really can’t shake his social conservative bona fides. That’s his strength and his weakness. Despite what Politfact might say, a majority of Americans are not hardcore so-cons, and most Americans are pro-birth control. 2011 was the first year that most Americans voiced a favorable opinion about gay marriage, for that matter. Santorum’s politics are a dying breed.

I hope he wins the nomination, even though I’m pretty sure he won’t.

(cross-posted)

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






76 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “I have been blessed by contraceptives,” Friess went on, inexplicably.

    Foster Friess was, according to Wikipedia, born in 1940.

    The Pill was approved by the FDA in 1960.

    Therefore, during prime sexytime, the pill was available to Foster Friess partners, if any.

    Furthermore, the condom predates him by, um, just a few years. On the order of centuries?

    So, this statement makes no sense, based on his previous statement about the aspirin. If you bother to consider factual information.

    Now, I realize this makes it totally out of bounds for wingnuts, but for the other 73% this is pretty telling.

  2. 2
    Richard says:

    If Santorum wins the nomination, he should be asked the same question they put to Kennedy back 1960 – “Will you be taking your orders from the Catholic Church?”.

  3. 3
    Mark S. says:

    I have been blessed by contraceptives?

  4. 4
    Dynaboy says:

    I don’t know if anybody else has noticed this yet… but all these Republicans are all batshit fucking C-R-A-Z-Y!!!

  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “I have been blessed by contraceptives,” Friess went on, inexplicably.

    I’ll guess he had some nervous moments when the spring lambs were born and he never knew if they were gonna have his eyes.

  6. 6
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Mark S.: apparently there are holy contraceptives. Like holy water, but with condoms. Or holy pills or something. I don’t know. I don’t get it either. Maybe he’s just thinking of all the brats he didn’t end up raising.

  7. 7
    amk says:

    All kindsa whackos are being given a platform by the fucking media to spout their bile and bs.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    This is OT, but shocking news: the local KING 5 news told me that there’s a good chance that Obama might pullout a squeaker of a win in Washington in spite of the fact that everybody in the world hates him! Imagine that, Obama wins in Seattle!

  9. 9

    “Back in my days, they didn’t have the birth control pill, ”

    ORLY, Friess? The pill was approved for use as a contraceptive in 1961. You were born in 1940.

  10. 10
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: LOLWUT?? When did KING go full-metal wingnut?

  11. 11
    RD says:

    That was one of the strangest interviews I’ve ever seen.

    Lawrence O’Donnell sort of backed off when he sensed something was wrong.

  12. 12
    Mark S. says:

    Freiss last had sexual relations in 1959. He doesn’t know what you crazy kids are talking about.

  13. 13
    cmorenc says:

    Until very recently, I would have totally agreed with you that Santorum’s recent show of increasing strength was but another temporary period of fortune for yet another not-Romney, but in the end Romney’s money and backing by the establishment would inevitably steamroll him the nomination. HOWEVER, now I’m not so sure. Romney’s resilience against the field and ability to hold enough tepid support among the GOP electorate to win contested primaries has depended on the notion that he will be the strongest candidate against Obama. However, the objective support for that proposition has weakened considerably over the last two to three weeks, and Santorum momentarily seems to be just as plausibly competitive a candidate against Obama, even though neither Santorum nor Romney currently have enough juice to likely defeat Obama. Nevetheless, more of the GOP electorate embraces Santorum as a truer embodiment of their values, and is willing to take the chance that Santorum can somehow achieve parity with and overtake Obama over the coming months. Better that in their view than nominate someone they distrust and are at best tepid about who doesn’t have any better chance of winning the general election than Santorum.

    That said, it’s a long way to Tampa and there are more structural problems in Santorum’s way than Romney’s (such as lack of being on the ballot in the Virginia primary). Gingrich also drains off some of the not-Romney vote in upcoming primaries that might disproportionately go to Santorum rather than Romeny. Nevertheless, it’s a bit premature to pronounce that Santorum won’t be the nominee, or that Romney is anywhere near as inevitable as he seemed just after Florida.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MikeJ:

    Seattle being well known as the “Fresno of the North”, filled with wingnuts.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Yutsano: They’ve seemed that way since I moved here.

  16. 16
    amk says:

    ovenmitt to rivals – quitcher whining.

    wonder he will be shoe bombed by noot in the next debate.

  17. 17
    redshirt says:

    It’s Two Dimensional Chess!

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @amk: well, that oughta put the nails in the coffin of Mitt’s whole “he just seems like an arrogant prick” problem.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    @amk: I know god doesn’t love us this much, but I’m soooo hoping that Palin gets it in the hung convention.

  20. 20
    grandpa john says:

    @MikeJ: RCP ave says Obama +9.5 so they might be on to something there

  21. 21
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I sort of doubt that, when I get to be in my seventies, I’m going to be telling people “back in my day, we didn’t have personal computers….”

  22. 22
    E.D. Kain says:

    @cmorenc: I’m really torn over this. Santorum really has no operation to speak of. I think it’s a fad. But I am willing to accept that I could be wrong.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I love to tell kids that in my day, we had to get off the couch, walk across the room, and turn a dial between the two TV channels available to us.

    Oh, and there was no programming before 7AM on a Saturday morning, when the first cartoons came on.

  24. 24
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Why do wingnut men have such a hard time remembering key events from early adulthood? Herman Cain thought he was still being stuffed in his high school locker instead of attending a historically black college when the civil rights movement was in full swing. Ron Paul came of age in the most prosperous period in American history but listening to his ravings you’d think he grew up in a country based on the gold standard. Good ‘ol boy Friess can’t recall the pill being available or men using condoms at all. But he can recall the off-color sex jokes his papa used to tell.

    Were the good ‘ol days so bad that these guys have to black them out? Are they suffering from early onset Alzheimers? I’m trying to be charitable here.

  25. 25
    Hill Dweller says:

    Speaking of LOD, the Twitter machine is telling me Arianna Huffington was on his show telling black people they should be disappointed with Obama.

  26. 26
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Man, I remember that. Kids today, they don’t believe me…

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    OT pleez

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @E.D. Kain: I’d say Santorum is still a very long shot. I think the notion that voters are offended by negative ads, they’ll turn against the one responsible. In a general, I’d say it’s nonsense. but in a primary, what percentage of primary voters are news junkies, and will see Romney’s ads as desperate and/or dishonest. Also, Romeny isn’t just doubling down on his opposition to the Detroit rescue, but specifically attacking unions. I would imagine that there are a lot of UAW members who are also social conservatives, NRA members, whatever, whom Romney is driving into the Santorum column. A loss in MIchigan, Maine over-turned, and the Mormon heads into Super Baptist Tuesday with the stink of loser all over him.

  29. 29
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Hey, did you tell them that TV used to go off after the late, late show? And that networks would sign off with the national anthem? When I was a kid, I’d stay up all night on Friday just to see that.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s so bad that VCRs are, for all practical purposes, antiques now.

    Don’t get me started on 33/45/78 turntables…

  31. 31
    amk says:

    @MikeJ: tundra twit is already making noises. You can expect her shake her booty in the convention to get a rise out of mawb boyz.

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Why isn’t it a violation of “religious liberty” to fund contraceptives in Africa? If any of that money came from any devout Catholic, isn’t the whole transaction a blot on his conscience? I thought the problem was any church money being transmuted into any form of birth control. Do they even know what they stand for?

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @amk:

    Ewick was bemoaning the women at CPAC dressed provocatively, and in strides Mooselini in “fuck me” pumps. Do you think Ewick would take note of that?

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Not surprising, really, given Santorum’s meteoric rise in the polls and his need to start appealing to larger swaths of the American public. One can only play the far-right social conservative card in so many settings. After a while you need to diversify.

    Here’s the thing, Little Ricky…there’s this thing called Youtube….and they have your right-wing azz saying, LAST OCTOBBER, that CONTRACEPTION SHOULD BE BANNED.

    Count on it, Little Ricky…that little snippet from youtube is coming to a political ad near you.

  35. 35
    Narcissus says:

    man are the oligarchs really losing their shit or what

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    Oh it’s a bad joke little Ricky. Just not in the way you’re thinking.

  37. 37
    Cliff says:

    Boy, I sure give a rat’s ass about noted asshole Rick Santorum disapproving of how stupid his asshole employer sounds.

    Glad it’s over though. I’m sure no Republican will ever be a stupid fucking asshole ever again.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Martin says:

    I saw the interview, and he comes off like too much of a bumbler to have lied about the joke.

    And yeah, the pill was approved by the FDA in 1961, but it was illegal in many states. Remember Griswold, 1965? And even then it was only available to married women in many states. That didn’t change until the early 70s. Honestly, I think the suggestion that birth control pills were widely available in 1961 is akin to suggesting that abortions are readily available anywhere in the US. That’s clearly not true.

    So, I think it was an innocent joke that came off poorly. That said, his defense of Santorum over Santorum’s position was a bit bizarre. Santorum is quite definitely on the record not only opposing contraceptives personally but as a matter of policy, so things really went off the rails there.

  40. 40
    Warren Terra says:

    This is Off Topic, but the New York Times has reported that Anthony Shadid has died reporting in Syria, apparently from Asthma.

    I can’t say I know a lot about Shadid – can’t say for sure he never played footsie with Ahmed Chalabi, for example, like other Times reporters – but he seemed a hardworking and straightshooting reporter, a much more serious and important gatherer of real News than most of those around him.

  41. 41
    some guy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Oh, and there was no programming before 7AM on a Saturday morning, when the first cartoons came on.

    big dude has been getting a version of this tale recently. we had to walk 5 miles uphill, in the snow, to get to the newly invented push-button remote control.

  42. 42
    some guy says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Shadid was the only honest reporter the Times had in the Middle East. what a shame.

    rip

  43. 43
    Warren Terra says:

    @Martin:

    So, I think it was an innocent joke that came off poorly.

    It’s innocent except that it implicitly divides women into Pure Darlings and Brazen Hussies Who Deserve The Consequences.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Why isn’t it a violation of “religious liberty” to fund contraceptives in Africa?

    Actually some Cardinals came out against the Pope suggesting that letting people in Africa die of AIDS was a greater sin than tempting with a little sexytime. So he can hide behind that.

    But yeah, it does just go to show the complete arbitrariness of the whole thing.

  45. 45
    sloan says:

    Today’s NO GIRLS ALLOWED Republican hearings on women’s health reminded me of a signing ceremony held by George W. Bush back in 2003.

    Dubya held a signing ceremony celebrating the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and posed for the cameras in a room full of men, and only men, telling women what they could do with their bodies.

    Oh hey, who’s that in purple polka-dot tie? Why none other than Rick Santorum. Imagine that.

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Warren Terra: O’Donnell was playing a clip (over and over again) of the big fat junkie screaming about birth control being for people who want to ‘have sex all the time with no consequences’, I think was his wording. Lo’D made the obvious point about Rush having four wives but no Rush Limbaugh IV to show Pappy Rush II and Graddaddy Rush I in heaven. He neglected to mention Rush’s arrest for coming home from the Dominican Republic with a suitcase full of Viagra.

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @MikeJ:

    I know god doesn’t love us this much, but I’m soooo hoping that Palin gets it in the hung convention.

    As long as the delegate count is uncertain enough that the Media Village Idiots can keep talking about a brokered convention, Palin isn’t going away. And the more that rare & delicate species, the Independent Voter, is reminded about Palin’s last four years of #EPICFAIL, the better for President Obama’s re-election team. Since those ‘swing voters’ are largely divided between Republicans-susceptible-to-embarrassment, Democrats-susceptible-to-embarrassment (the worse the Repubs look, the higher the mostly-I-vote-Dem-but-really-I’m-independent turnout), and Bandwagon Jumpers, encouraging the Repubs to demonstrate their inate craziness is very much in our favor.

  48. 48
    Petorado says:

    If the aspirin comment was made by Foster Brooks, it would have been a bad joke. But since this was spouted by Foster Friess, the only conclusion is that the “bad joke” excuse is just the last refuge of a true asshole.

  49. 49
    some guy says:

    watching the GOP wage a war on Lady Parts and the Ladies Who Own Them, and kowtowing to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, all under the guise of “religous liberty” can only mean one thing for Devout Catholic Ricky Frothy:

    VICTORY!

    pass the popcorn

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: Horserace. Also. Too.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    I’ve been watching this shit today, and I find myself wondering, unexpectedly, are they trying to lose?

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    @Warren Terra: Well, I think the joke was only to say “I’m so old, I remember what it was like before the pill”, not to say that contraception was bad, which he actually had the good sense to admit to taking advantage of with his wife.

    I didn’t get any sense of trying to defend any kind of anti-contraceptive position by the time he got to Lawrence. If he told the joke to try and make the point people want to see him make, he made a hell of a 180 in a few hours. He didn’t even try and evade the joke or apologize for it – he basically let it stand as is, and he didn’t at all come off like someone who lies with ease. When he got to questions about Santorums position, he struggled a fair bit and hedged a fair bit as well. More than anything he came off as a Santorum backer who doesn’t really know Santorum that well. Good liars don’t do that – they go big, confident in the lie. You know, like Romney.

  53. 53
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as long as Darrell Issa wants to seek the spotlight, we might as well do all we can to flog this article from last year. Fucker’s lucky to be part of the government and not it’s guest, as they used to say on The Sopranos.

  54. 54
    cmorenc says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I love to tell kids that in my day, we had to get off the couch, walk across the room, and turn a dial between the two TV channels available to us. Oh, and there was no programming before 7AM on a Saturday morning, when the first cartoons came on.

    I’m old enough to remember when WRAL-TV in Raleigh signed off each night at 1am by playing a slow-tempo nostalgic version of “Dixie” (and not the Star-Spangled Banner).

    And yes, if we were still up at that hour, we had to get up off the couch and turn off the TV manually by turning the “volume” button all the way down until it clicked into the “off” position. You want to tune into another station that stayed on a bit later? You had to get up and turn the antanne direction control on top of the TV (turning the antanna on top of your chimney). Yes, every household had a TV antanna mounted to the rooftop back in those days, until cable first came in offering a whopping 13 reasonably clear channels instead of four sometimes static-y ones.

  55. 55
    scav says:

    @Anne Laurie: She could possibly milk some more media attention as a potential high-heeled religiously-safe savioress (saviorette? save your breath!) of the GOP if they hemorrhage more women’s votes in polls with the men’s antics.

  56. 56
    some guy says:

    Snowmobile Snookie will make the big bucks as a commentator at a “brokered” Tampa shindig. by the time it rolls around all the shit will have shaken out, the horserace will be over, and she’ll be there to offer color commentary for either Fox or NBC.

    Sarah the Grifter will be desperate to extend her brand, don’t expect much beyond that. word salads are hard, rubes are easy.

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    @El Cid:

    I’ve been watching this shit today, and I find myself wondering, unexpectedly, are they trying to lose?

    Good question. I’ve been asking the same question almost daily.

    I think Santorum may manage this nomination. He’s gotten surprisingly far with no money whatsoever, to everyone’s amazement. That’s not a testament to his strength as a candidate or a suggestion that money in politics is overrated, rather that sometimes that old piece of moldy cheese in the bottom bin of the refrigerator really is the most appealing thing you have to eat.

    If he can get this far, I don’t see why he can’t walk out of Super Tuesday on top. The money will continue to come his way, and I don’t see any evidence that Mitt is winning anyone over. He’s just flailing. The least he could do is promise us a moon base on his way out.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    hitchhiker says:

    @cmorenc:

    I’m old enough to remember when WRAL-TV in Raleigh signed off each night at 1am by playing a slow-tempo nostalgic version of “Dixie” (and not the Star-Spangled Banner).

    For some reason that is just smacking my gob all over the living room right now. The divide between my young upper Michigan self, surrounded by people who still spoke Finn and fired up their saunas at bath time, and you in the south seems unimaginable.

    The education you get at the juice, jeez.

  60. 60
    Bago says:

    @cmorenc: Sweet Jesus, what a waste of bandwidth.

    Seriously, look at these specs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.....on_systems

    No compression, separation of luminosity from color. No buffering. Synchronous transmission. Yeeech.

  61. 61
    stibbert says:

    Mr. google-fuss is wrong again – Foster Friess is a really good joke!

  62. 62
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    How fucking predictable. The “ha ha only serious” response.

    I’d have told the producer to have a finger on the bleeper button, brought the fucker on the air, said “Mr Friess? Fuck off back to the 1950s. Good night.” and cut to break.

  63. 63

    @hitchhiker:
    and roll in the damned snow, yup Keewenaw Penninsula…
    MTU

  64. 64
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    this is really the only thing we learned here today. young master friess was so inept with the ladies, when he was around, all of the women seemed like they had aspirin between their knees.

    he totally douthatted it.

  65. 65
    harlana says:

    psst, future candidates, do not let your billionaire speak on the teevee. at least the Koch brothers have sense enough not to do that. just saying.

  66. 66
    mothra says:

    It’s true, this was a common joke once. Here’s another knee slapper-“If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” :(
    Yeah, Foster, let’s bring that back with Rick Santorum!!!!!

  67. 67
    Paul in KY says:

    @MikeJ: Obama taking Washington state?! Wow! Maybe he could take Mass. as well.

  68. 68
    Paul in KY says:

    @hitchhiker: Surrounded by the descendents of patriots who fought in Michigan’s regiments to ensure ‘Dixie’ died as a national anthem. I can imagine you being gob-smacked.

  69. 69
    Samara Morgan says:

    Now Kain has FOUR posts on Andrew Sullivans front page.
    2 from forbes, and two from his new craptastic rebranding blog.

    nice work Cole.

  70. 70
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Martin: Are you angling for a gig on Slate or have pervert old men named you as their counsel. Why are you making excuses for odious old men. First you were making excuses for E J Dionne, on his awful op-ed giving Catholic Bishops cover and now this abominable Friess guy. If it was a joke it was not funny. It was off-putting and tone deaf, in addition to being insulting to women.

  71. 71
    MarkJ says:

    Boy I wonder how long it will be before someone asks Santorum about is unsavory relationship with pedophiles. He’s closer to Jerry Sandusky than Obama ever was to Ayers – in fact he nominated Sandusky for a Congressional award. Plus he’s an uber-Catholic, and the Catholic church is an organization known to harbor pedophiles. Is it irresponsible to speculate that Santorum is a pedophile? It would be irresponsible not to.

  72. 72
    Samara Morgan says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: why are you commenting on Kains posts?
    hes just a click whore.
    he will say anything to anybody, and flip as soon as he gets what he wants, like he did on teachers unions.

  73. 73
    Samara Morgan says:

    Lets make a deal juicers.
    I cant get Cole to kick Kain off the frontpage, i admit that.
    i have no power.
    But if you all boycott commenting on Kains posts, i will go away and stay away.
    i’ll bribe you with my absence.
    ;)

  74. 74
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Martin:

    I saw the interview, and he comes off like too much of a bumbler to have lied about the joke.

    What? That’s complete nonsense. You know why he’s not good at lying about this? Because he’s never had to. He’s a rich old white man, and he tells these jokes all the time, and all his rich old white cronies laugh along with him, and everyone else is too dependent on his money to point out to him what an asshole he is.

    And yeah, the pill was approved by the FDA in 1961, but it was illegal in many states. Remember Griswold, 1965? And even then it was only available to married women in many states. That didn’t change until the early 70s. Honestly, I think the suggestion that birth control pills were widely available in 1961 is akin to suggesting that abortions are readily available anywhere in the US. That’s clearly not true.

    Oh, c’mon. Stop making excuses. Why are you stopping the count at 1961? The fact is that for all of his adult sexual life, while he was in his twenties, thirties, and forties, the Pill was there. Even in the early 70s Friess was only in his early thirties, certainly young enough to still count as “back in his day”.

    So, I think it was an innocent joke that came off poorly.

    Yes, an innocent joke about how the sluts should just keep their legs together so men can’t get at their dirtywhore ladyparts. Totally innocent! Well-meaning! What’s the big deal?

  75. 75
    scav says:

    loko, you’re not important enough for your absence from the planet to make a difference to anyone’s actions. Don’t kid yourself.

  76. 76
    Elizabeth says:

    I wonder if a Bayer aspirin placed between the legs of all of the young slaves girls raped would have worked in this country? I wonder if a Bayer aspirin placed between the legs of all of the black women raped trying to hold down the “HELP” jobs would have worked? I wonder if a Bayer aspirin held between the legs of women raped by bosses in offices would work, or girls raped in the military or young girls raped by dad, uncle, etc. Would an aspirin work, NO! That is why we need women’s healthcare to help these women.

Comments are closed.