Foster Friess proved to be a real pill on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” today. Mitchell asked the mega-wealthy and conservative bank roller of Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign if he had any concerns about Santorum’s comments on social issues such as contraception and women in combat. Friess’s stupefying, backward and dangerous response had jaws dropping from coast to coast.
People seem to be preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture. We, maybe, need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. This contraceptive thing. My gosh, it’s so inexpensive. Back in my days they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.
So, in a Friess world, women could protect themselves from the amorous (and otherwise) intentions of men as long as the Bayer doesn’t slip from the knees? And I thought Santorum saying that contraception is “a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be” was bad. The Friess remark was so out-there that even my editor asked me, “Are you kidding me???”
Mitchell, who has seen and heard it all in her storied journalism career, was rendered speechless. “I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly. I was pretty stunned,” she told me in an e-mail. “It takes a lot to make me speechless, but on another level, it’s fascinating to see that when it comes to gender politics, the more things change the more they seem to stay the same.” Friess will get another crack at talking about contraception when he submits himself to a grilling by Lawrence O’Donnell tonight at 10 on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.”
I thought presidential elections were supposed to be about looking to the future and brighter days ahead. The view espoused by Friess is dumb and grim. That Santorum is benefiting from Friess’s largesse is troubling. That Friess could be swanning about the West Wing as a result of it is terrifying. I know I’ve put the cart before the horse here, but this entire election season has defied logic. Anything is possible. Think about it, Mitt Romney was supposed to have had this GOP nomination thing sewn up by now.