Rick Santorum revisited

For those of you left itching for more after Jon Stewart's much-disparaged interview with Senator Rick Santorum last week, George Stephanopoulos may be your salve. Yesterday on ABC's "This Week," he took Santorum to task on a number of issues: abortion, stem-cell research, his reported aspirations for the presidency, and my favorite back-and-forth, radical feminists. As one viewer put it, "George sure made it clear to viewers that Santorum had no clue what he is talking about."




STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, "Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders' war on the traditional family and radical feminism's mysogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect."

Let's get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have -- you go back to, what's her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I'm trying to remember -- I can't remember the woman's name. It's terrible. Anyway ...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it's kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.

SANTORUM: There's lots of -- no, there's lot's of -- well, Gloria Steinem. There's one. I mean, there's lots of writings out there ...

STEPHANOPOULOS: She's been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?

SANTORUM: There's lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.

SANTORUM: And if you don't believe that, get a panel of stay-at-home moms here on your show, and you ask them whether they feel affirmed by society, whether they feel affirmed by the culture.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Listen, I can go home. My wife Wendy both works and stays at home at various times. And sometimes, when she's not working, you know, she gets upset, but it's not some message that's being driven by ...

SANTORUM: Isn't it?

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... specific people.

SANTORUM: Isn't it a message for us? I mean, where does this come from? Does this come from the ether?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I'm asking you. Where are these radical feminists?

SANTORUM: It comes from an elite culture, dictated, again, from academia, dictated, again, from the Hollywood culture and the news media, that says, the only thing that's affirming, the only thing that really counts is what you do at work.

And that goes for men and women. And it's wrong. It's wrong to tell that to fathers. It's wrong to tell that to mothers. And we need to value mothers and fathers spending time with their children much more than we do in America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary Clinton wrote much the same in her book, It Takes a Village. Do you believe she's a radical feminist?

SANTORUM: Yes, I do. I mean, read her work and what she's done on children's rights. I mean, that's radical. I mean, you're talking about giving children the same -- that children have rights equal to adults. I mean, that is not a nurturing atmosphere of mothers and fathers taking responsibility for shaping the moral vision of their children. She doesn't agree with that, at least if you look at her earlier writings.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you talked to her about your book?

SANTORUM: We've had conversations in passing about it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tell us about them.

SANTORUM: Oh, just, you know, pass in the hallway, you know, she made a comment to me about that it takes a village, and I responded, no, it really does take a family.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no serious debate?

SANTORUM: No serious debate. I'd love to have a serious debate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You may have drawn her out now, calling her a radical feminist.

Check out the whole interview here.

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