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Joe Scarborough, Rick Santorum Argue About Media, Contraception On 'Morning Joe' (VIDEO)

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Rick Santorum got into a testy conversation with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski during an appearance on Monday's "Morning Joe."

The frostiness began when Brzezinski asked Santorum if he had gotten sidetracked over the issue of contraception, which has become an improbably large focus of the GOP race. Santorum forcefully defended his campaign, saying that the real issue was government-mandated health insurance and its relationship with religious institutions.

Scarborough then asked Santorum about an interview he'd done in the fall of 2011, saying that he was not going to shy away from talking about contraception.

"Do you regret saying that?" he asked. Santorum started to laugh. "I know you laugh about it, but I could give you chapter and verse," Scarborough said.

"This is you guys playing sort of gotcha politics," Santorum said. "No," Scarborough replied. "Um..." Brzezinski chimed in.

"I wasn't talking about access to contraception," Santorum said. "That wasn't the issue."

"Just so you know, we have been critical, I have been critical of the focus on this issue of contraception," Scarborough said. "I brought it up with you today because we've talked about it a lot ... and we want you to respond to it."

He started to move on, but Santorum would not let him go.

"Joe and Mika, hold on one second," he said. "...Let's just deal with reality instead of what the media tries to do, which is to pigeonhole you and tell a narrative."

"You've known me for a long time," Scarborough shot back. "Do you think I'm trying to pigeonhole you and stereotype you?"

"Well, from the fact that you continue to bring it up, yeah, sure!" Santorum said. "Why would I?" Scarborough asked. "I think my record on this in Congress was the same as yours ... I was ready to move on and then you keep talking about it."

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