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The Monitor Breakfast

The Foster Friess soundtrack: top quips from the GOP megadonor

Always colorful, Foster Friess, who helped finance Republican Rick Santorum's presidential bid, expounded on gay rights, taxing the rich, and the alleged GOP 'war on women' at a Monitor breakfast.

By Staff writer / January 25, 2013

GOP megadonor Foster Friess speaks at a Monitor breakfast with reporters in Washingon, D.C., Friday.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor

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Foster Friess made his fortune in the mutual fund industry, but he burst onto the political scene last year as a GOP megadonor to Rick Santorum’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination. At a Monitor-sponsored breakfast with reporters Friday, the Wyoming-based Mr. Friess discussed the 2012 presidential campaign, gay marriage, his charity work, and a host of other issues.

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But the man who once joked that “you know, back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly” has a unique way of getting his point across. Friday's event bore that out. Here are four top Friess-isms from his hour-long chat with the press. 

The 2012 Republican primary – “For Democrats, this is a blood sport. For Republicans, this is a hobby, and that’s why the Democrats run the government and the Republicans run the museums.” 

Friess added that he was in “awe, absolute awe, of the Democrats’ ability to campaign and organize” during the 2012 campaign. This dawned on him when phone-banking in Nevada for Mitt Romney, when he was “dialing up a fellow, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to pronounce his name right. And suddenly it dawns on me, ‘Who am I, a white guy from Wyoming, trying to convince this fellow to vote for Romney when Obama has had people in his neighborhood having dinners and barbecues and telling him [to vote for the president] for the last four years?’ ”

Homosexuality – “We have to protect the gay community from sharia law.”

Asked about the Republican Party’s relationship to gay marriage, Friess cited his love for his gay brother-in-law and the man’s partner, saying discriminating against them would be tantamount to limiting his own rights because “I happen to be 30 pounds overweight.

But his No. 1 fear for the gay community? That Islamic law would become an institution in the United States, a bugaboo of cultural conservatives that has shown little evidence of making inroads at the state or federal level.

Friess said the GOP should be more open to people with differing views on homosexuality. “I believe the Republican Party should allow each candidate to say what he wants to say.... But what is somewhat distressing, we are moving our country toward a state religion which says anybody who says homosexuality is biblically untrue is some kind of pariah and a fallback to the Neanderthal days.

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