It seems ABC's This Week is continuing their goal of becoming Fox-lite with the inclusion of Lou Dobbs on the panel this Sunday. Can't we get Paul Krugman back to refute some of George Will's hackery instead of being treated to guests like Dobbs, and Laura Ingraham and Dana Loesch? Dobbs did his best to play the "blame the media" game here by claiming that it's the press that drummed up the outrage over Santorum Super-funder Foster Friess' remarks that women could "put an aspirin between their legs" as a means of contraception.
Sorry Lou, but it's not just the media trumping up whether his remarks were truly offensive. They were offensive to anyone that heard the remarks because women don't want to be made ashamed for having sex and told to keep their legs shut in the year 2012. They also don't want someone lying about the cost of contraception and the availability to women of all income levels.
Both Dee Dee Myers and Clarence Page did a good job here of explaining exactly why Friess' remarks don't reflect well on the Santorum campaign, not that he seems to be needing much help these days with all of the other offensive remarks he's already made on the topic of women's reproductive rights and health.
Transcript below the fold.
TAPPER: And one of the -- one of the things that goes on in campaigns, of course, is you have supporters, you have surrogates, and sometimes they go a little bit off message. Rick Santorum has a support named Foster Friess. He went on Andrea Mitchell's show the other day. Here is Foster Friess and Rick Santorum being asked to account for his comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRIESS: And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it's such inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly.
SANTORUM: This is the same "gotcha" politics that you get from the media. And I'm just not going to play that game. I'm not responsible for any comment that anybody who supports me make, and my record stands for itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Here we are, days later, weeks later after this contraception thing, and they're still -- it's still being discussed. Now, maybe it's the media that's discussing it, but you think this a winning issue for Democrats?
MYERS: I do think it's a winning issue for Democrats. I mean...
KARL: Who knew? Contraception is the central issue of the Democratic campaign.
MYERS: Exactly. And it's not just contraception. It's somehow the Republicans being on the "Mad Men" side of the argument, I mean, taking it back, you know, 50 years to a time when that wasn't necessarily the case. And I think that, if you doubt that, if you look at what happened over the last week, where there's been a lot of energy around this issue, and on Thursday we saw the House Oversight Committee, with a panel of all men, talking about contraception and what its role should be. And there was a -- you know, a furious reaction by women. All the women's groups are raising a ton of money on this. And now groups like Emily's List are actually on the air with an ad, reminding people that this is the perspective of a lot of people in the GOP and it is not going to work well for them.
TAPPER: Lou, you disagree?
DOBBS: I do disagree. First of all, I hadn't heard that -- that -- if you want to call it a joke, since I was in junior high school. It hasn't improved with age.
The fact is, would this render a movie? Would it give that an R rating if that joke were included in it? Is there anything that was said by Foster Friess that is worse than anything that our children will see in primetime television in this country? Why are -- where have we -- I mean, we're sort of an orthodoxy...
MYERS: Lou, it's not -- it's not -- it's not the language. It's the...
DOBBS: ... that is seeking purity by identifying the vulgarity of others.
MYERS: It's not about the vulgarity. It's about the mindset.
MYERS: It's about a mindset that suggests that somehow that's an acceptable point of view. And the reason it's damaging to Santorum is not because he's accountable or responsible for everything one of his supporters says, but because it gets a little too close to what people think he actually believes.
PAGE: It's also about being out of touch. You know, Lou, you're right. If we told that joke, it wouldn't matter, because we're not running for office, but Foster Friess is in the middle of the Santorum campaign right now, and we are in a political campaign. And if he -- if he has observed any campaign for the last 30 years, he knows that this kind of a comment by a supporter can get the candidate into trouble. And I'm sure that was not his intent, but he walked right into it, like Reverend Wright.
DOBBS: Don't you think it takes a lot of hard work on the part of all of us in the national media to make that into what it has become? I mean...
PAGE: Like it or hate it, Democrat or Republican, this kind of comment reflects badly on the candidate in a campaign...