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Santorum Should Do This Every Time He’s Asked About Birth Control

BuzzFeed posted this audio clip today under the headline “Santorum Loses His Cool During Interview With Cincinnati Radio Station.” I’m not sure what exactly they’re referring to, because honestly Santorum stays pretty even-keeled throughout the interview. He also does what he should be doing every time he’s asked about his views on birth control: call it out as a ridiculous, media-manufactured issue, and pivot back to attacking President Obama’s record.

Santorum: It’s a bogus issue. It’s just absurd. It’s a legal product, it should remain a legal product. It’s up to people to decide what to do. This is what the national media does. They don’t want us to be able to talk about Barack Obama’s pathetic record on the economy and jobs, so they bring up issues…This is my opinion on my personal faith, and they’re all of a sudden saying ‘Well, he must want to do this with everyone else.’ Well that’s just crazy. This is what the media does. They try to change the subject. I’m not going to let them. We’re going to talk about creating jobs, we’re going to talk about reducing energy prices, and we’re going to focus on what’s important to Americans, as opposed to what the media wants to do, which is to play gotcha politics.

Exactly. This is the position Santorum has maintained since the birth control issue was first raised in the race: he’s personally opposed to it, he wouldn’t use it in his own life, but he has no interest in regulating it in the lives of other people and believes birth control should remain a legal product. The media continues to try to divert attention away from economic issues by bringing up the much more sensational contraception debate, and Santorum needs to take a cue from the Newt Gingrich media relations playbook and simply refuse to engage on the subject.

On the other hand, as ridiculous as the media’s obsession with the birth control issue is, it’s hard to have a ton of sympathy for Santorum here. He’s the main reason this has become a campaign issue. If he doesn’t want the government to crack down on birth control use, then the public really never had any need to know his own personal opinions on it. Santorum was the one who shared this part of his private life by writing and speaking about it openly. Notice that Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich aren’t constantly pressed about their own personal views on contraception – that’s not a coincidence. They didn’t bring it up, and Santorum did.


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