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Foster Friess is perhaps best known as the very wealthy benefactor behind Rick Santorum’s super PAC. As of this morning, he’ll probably be known for something else.

During an interview with msnbc’s Andrea Mitchell, Friess tried to make the case that the presidential campaign should focus on substantive issues, but in the process, he made some jaw-dropping comments about contraception. Here’s the clip, by way of Zeke Miller:

For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the full quote:

“I get such a chuckle when these things come out. Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed, we have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think that says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such inexpensive. Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

For her part, Mitchell seemed rather stunned, which is the only appropriate reaction. This is, after all, the 21st century. Friess’ comments aren’t just offensive – did he really have to say “gals” while arguing against birth control? – they’re hopelessly ridiculous. That he seemed pleased with himself for saying this on national television only added insult to injury.

Friess is not an official in the Santorum campaign, but given his role as the super PAC financier, it seems likely the former senator will be pressed for a reaction to the aspirin-as-contraception comments, as he should. Given Santorum’s anti-contraception agenda, his response should prove interesting.

That the comments coincided with the House hearing on contraception access – featuring a male-only panel of conservative critics – only makes the larger Republican war on contraception that much more obvious.

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