Santorum’s quotes on the role of women

February 10, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is under fire for saying he has “concerns” about women in combat.

“I think that could be a very compromising situation,” Santorum said in an interview with CNN’s John King, “where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

This isn’t the first time he has sparked controversy with comments about the role of women in society. Here is a sampling of some of his recent remarks concerning women and combat, women and rape, working mothers, stay-at-home mothers and equal opportunity for women.

Clarifying his comments on women and combat

“I was talking about men’s emotional issues; not women. I mean, there’s a lot of issues. That’s just one of them. So my concern is being in combat in that situation instead of being focused on the mission, they may be more concerned with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position.”

“You throw on top of that just simply physical strength and capability and you may be out there on a mission where it’s you and a woman and if you’re injured, the ability to transport that person back. And you know, there’s just, there are physical limitations,” Santorum said.

“Women have served and do serve and do wonderful things within the military and . . . they do have opportunities to serve in very dangerous positions. I mean, they serve in very dangerous positions. And I certainly understand that and respect that and admire women for doing so, but I think on the front line of combat is not the best place and it’s not maximizing what they can bring to the table.”

— ABC News interview Friday morning.

On rape

PIERS MORGAN: But do you really — do you really — let me ask you this. Do you really believe, in every case, it should be totally wrong, in the sense that — I know that you believe, even in cases of rape and incest — and you’ve got two daughters. You know, if you have a daughter that came to you who had been raped.

SANTORUM: Yes.

MORGAN: And was pregnant and was begging you to let her have an abortion, would you really be able to look her in the eye and say, no, as her father?

SANTORUM: I would do what every father must do, which is to try to counsel your daughter to do the right thing.

MORGAN: It’s an almost impossibly hypothetical thing to ask you, but there will be people in that position, and they will share your religious values.

SANTORUM: It’s not a matter of religious values.

MORGAN: And they are looking at their daughter, saying, how can I deal with this, because if I make her have this baby, isn’t it going to just ruin her life?

SANTORUM: Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice, I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.

As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

— Jan. 20, 2012 interview with Piers Morgan on CNN.

On unmarried mothers

“The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong.”

— From Santorum’s book, “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good.”

On working mothers

“Many women have told me, and surveys have shown, that they find it easier, more ‘professionally’ gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children.”

— From “It Takes a Family”

On stay-at-home mothers

“Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders’ war on the traditional family and radical feminism’s misogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.’’

— From “It Takes a Family”

On equal opportunity

“Radical feminists have been making the pitch that justice demands that men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace.”

— From “It Takes a Family”

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