Santorum on Women in Combat: Let Me Clarify
It's men's emotions that concern him
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2012 7:31 AM CST
Updated Feb 10, 2012 9:23 AM CST
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(Newser) – Rick Santorum isn't on board with the Pentagon's decision to formally open up some combat roles to women, he told CNN's John King last night—but it's not because he thinks women are too emotional, as it originally seemed. Putting women in the front lines "could be a very compromising situation, 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," Santorum said in his original comments last night. "It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat."

But he clarified this morning, when asked about the statement on Today, explaining that his actual concern has nothing to do with women's emotions. Rather, "I think men have the emotions when you see a woman in harm’s way," he said, and that "natural inclination to not focus on the mission but to try to be in a position where you might want to protect someone" could compromise the mission. Writing for the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin called yesterday's quote Santorum's first gaffe of the campaign. (Of course, it hasn't been all smooth sailing; yesterday Politico laid out the candidate's 10 biggest problems.)

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Showing 3 of 96 comments
winterfairy
Feb 11, 2012 8:04 AM CST
My concern about a woman in combat would be her upper body strength. Some of those kits can weigh 80 pounds and there is not always a ride. Also, if a buddy gets hit, can she drag him out of harms way and keep her head enough to tend to his wounds. Not all men can do those things so saying all women could is just absurd. But then again, get a platoon of women all on PMS at the same time and send them at the Taliban. The rag heads would not soon forget that "mother of all battles".
793tango
Feb 10, 2012 7:37 PM CST
Is this really any surprise? The guy is a conservative christian. He thinks all women should be kept in the home bearefoot and pregnant and worshiping the Man of the HOUSE. He (and his kind) need to join the 21st century.
coldwontrise
Feb 10, 2012 6:53 PM CST
I'm confused why it's sexist to acknowledge what's been bred in males for thousands of generations - a natural instinct to protect women.