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Karen Santorum, Rick Santorum's Wife, Defends Husband On Women's Issues

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/06/2012 9:35 am Updated: 03/06/2012 9:35 am

Rick Santorum's wife defended her husband's stance on women's issues, stating that it was "unfortunate" that the media has focused on the former Pennsylvania senator's beliefs about contraception.

In an interview that aired Tuesday on "CBS This Morning", Karen Santorum lamented the perception of her husband as a man who is out of touch with modern women.

"They try to corner him and make it look like he doesn't know anything else," she said of the focus on her husband's socially conservative values. "As a wife, mother, an educated woman, it frustrates me that they try to do that."

According to Santorum, the preoccupation with her husband's take on issues like contraception and abortion has detracted from his other platforms.

"My husband is brilliant," she said. "He knows so much about, like I said, national security, jobs, the economy. You know, every aspect of this race, any issue out there, he's brilliant."

Rick Santorum has come under fire in recent weeks for his stance on contraception, which he defended Sunday on Fox News.

"I'm reflecting the views of the church that I believe in," he said in defense of the controversial Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to deny coverage of birth control for moral reasons. "We used to be tolerant of those beliefs. I guess now when you have beliefs that are consistent with the church, somehow, now you're out of the mainstream, and that to me is a pretty sad situation when you can't have personal held beliefs. But that's not the issue -- the issue is whether the government can force you to do things that are against your conscience, and that's what we've been talking about on the road. We haven't been talking about my own personal beliefs."

As CBS points out, polls suggest that his stance on birth control has not sat well with female voters:

In Michigan, Santorum lost among women voters by five points, which helped give Mitt Romney his slim victory there. In Ohio, where Santorum and Romney are running neck-and-neck, polls show women voters are turning away from Santorum: An Ohio Quinnipiac poll released Monday shows that Romney leads Santorum 38 to 29 percent among women -- even though Santorum led among women, 37 percent to 33 percent, in an Ohio Quinnipiac poll released just Friday.

Karen Santorum, recognizing the hazards of focusing on the issue, has warned her husband against talking about contraception.

"My advice to him was stop answering the question," she told Politico earlier this week. "Tell 'em, 'I'm not going to answer this question, let me tell you what I know about national security. I know a lot about national security.'"

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