Foster Friess, a wealthy donor for the super PAC that is backing Rick Santorum, stunned MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Thursday with an off-colored joke regarding the heated debate of contraception. In the interview, Friess said, “Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” The joke implies that women would hold the pill between their legs so that they wouldn’t be able to open them; a dry joke about abstinence. The Huffington Post reported Mitchell’s response, “’Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that, Mr. Freiss, frankly,’ she said incredulously.”
Foster Friess wrote a statement on his website, according to CBS, that said, “The joke bombed…many didn’t recognize it as a joke but thought it was my prescription for today’s birth control practices.” Those who didn’t “recognize” the joke include women’s groups who were outraged by the joke.
Rick Santorum is being targeted for his donor’s remarks, but instead of caving into apologizing for his supporter, has accused the media of a double-standard. In a response to CBS host Charlie Rose, Santorum said, “In fact, with President Obama, what you did was you went out and defended him against someone who sat in a church for 20 years, and defended him, that he can’t possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. That’s a double-standard, this is what you’re pulling off, and I’m going to call you on it,” WVGazette.com reports.
“I’m not responsible for any comment that anybody who supports me makes and my record stands for itself,” Santorum said. Foster Friess also wrote on his website that Rick Santorum, “publicly stated he would not bad contraception; he has said if he were a member of a state legislature which introduced such a bill, he would vote against it; and he has incurred the wrath of his more conservative friends for voting to fund contraception to fight AIDS in Africa.”
Foster Friess concluded the apology on his website, “To those who applauded my comments and remembered the joke, thanks for you encouragement. To those who thought I was callously encouraging that as a prescription for today, I kindly ask your forgiveness.”