Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Is Rick Santorum facing a brewing 'women problem'?

Recent statements about women, and passages from his 2005 book, have put Rick Santorum on the defensive. Even within GOP ranks there are signs of a gender split.

By Staff Writer / February 14, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum poses for a photo with a supporter at a rally, Tuesday, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Enlarge

Does Rick Santorum have a women problem?

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

Or would he have one, in a general election?

Certainly not the way, say, Newt Gingrich might. Mr. Santorum has been married to the same woman for more than 20 years, and regularly talks about his devotion to her.

But increasingly, his statements about women – both in interviews and in his 2005 book, "It Takes a Family" – are raising eyebrows.

Last week, women in combat was the issue. Santorum told CNN's John King that he has "concerns" about women on the front lines, adding that "I think that can be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved."

IN PICTURES: Rick Santorum

Santorum later clarified that he was referring to the emotions of men, who may have emotions "when they see a woman in harm's way."

Among those who have objected to his statements is Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, whose daughter served in Iraq. “I like Rick Santorum a lot. I just disagree with any inference that he might have made that somehow women are not capable of serving in the front lines and serving in combat positions," Governor McDonnell said on CNN on Monday.

And in the past few days, Santorum has been pressed to explain some of the statements in his book – particularly the section where he wrote that, "the radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness."

In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopolous, in which Mr. Stephanopolous asked him about the quote, Santorum defended himself, noting that he grew up with a working mother. He just wants women who work both inside and outside the home to feel "affirmed for the choices they make," he said.

"You say that now," Stephanopolous replied, "but you also wrote in the book that 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. Isn't that something that everyone should value?"

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!