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Rachel Maddow, Nancy Pelosi Discuss Contraception And Rick Santorum (VIDEO)

Posted: 02/23/12 09:39 AM ET  |  Updated: 02/23/12 11:26 AM ET

Rachel Maddow

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat down with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview that was aired Wednesday night. Maddow asked Pelosi about a range of topics including the Republican Party's recent hearing on contraception and GOP candidate Rick Santorum.

Maddow replayed a clip of what she called Pelosi famously using the word, "duh," in response to the Republican hearing on contraception including an all-male panel. "Imagine they're having a panel on women's health and they don't have any women on the panel — duh," Pelosi said.

Maddow asked, "Obviously there's a political difference of opinion about what policy ought to be on this subject, but do you actually think there is a difference in understanding? What would you explain to them if they would listen?"

"First of all," Pelosi said, "the idea that they would be taking about contraception in this way is a real breakthrough for those of us — I've been in Congress...for 25 years I've been saying to people, 'This isn't about abortion. They like to say it is, but this is about contraception.'"

Pelosi added, "Contraception is something that is universally practiced. The size and timing of families is a family's important decision to make together with their doctor, with their God. It's not about some five men sitting around the table in Washington D.C...At last the country knows that all this talk about reproductive freedom really extends to something as personal as family planning and birth control, and depriving women of access to contraction."

Maddow then asked Pelosi if she thought GOP candidate Rick Santorum, who has experienced a recent surge in the polls, could possibly become the Republican Party's presidential nominee. When GOP candidate Newt Gingrich surged in the polls and was the Republican Party's frontrunner, Pelosi weighed in and said she knew that he would not be the Republican nominee for president.

As for Santorum, Pelosi did not offer such an opinion. "I'd like to leave the Republican selection of their nominee up to them. I just knew that Newt Gingirch was completely unacceptable," she said.

After the interview, Maddow told viewers that she has noticed a trend in responses to that particular question about Santorum. "I'm not saying this what is motivating Speaker Pelosi in taking that position, but you kind of hear that a lot from Liberals across the country right now about Rick Santorum," Maddow said. She added in a celebratory voice,"Shh, don't interrupt the Republicans, don't make a sound — they're about to nominate Rick Santorum! Don't move a muscle!"

The candidates' views on women's health:
Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.)
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Romney's position on abortion and other women's health issues switched from pro-choice to anti-choice during his term as governor from 2003 to 2007, and his record on choice-related issues is mixed. He vetoed a measure that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a prescription to rape victims, but he signed into law a measure to expand family planning services for low-income women and families in Massachusetts.

Romney was also one of the few GOP candidates who refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's pro-life pledge, because his camp said it could have some "potentially unforeseen consequences." But he believes abortion should only be legal in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, and he said if he were president he would support the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

"This is not the time for the Republican Party to put up a candidate who is weak on the pro-life issue or has a history of flip-flopping over it," Bachmann said of Romney at a National Right to Life convention in June.

Romney said as president he would defund Planned Parenthood, and then took it even further saying he'd "get rid of that" altogether.

Filed by Rebecca Shapiro  |