Santorum: Huckabee would probably rephrase 'libido' comment

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) said Mike Huckabee (R) would probably phrase his “libido” comment about birth control differently, if he had a do-over. 

However, Santorum on Thursday night defended the former Arkansas governor’s overall message that it is Democrats — and not Republicans — who are waging a “war on women.”

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“I think Gov. Huckabee would probably phrase it differently,” Santorum said on CNN. “Mike speaks off the cuff, as some of us are known to do, and probably would choose different words to communicate that message.”

But he added: “I think what Gov. Huckabee was saying is that we've seen an unprecedented assault by the Democrats against Republicans claiming there was a war on women when, in fact, Republicans have been tremendous in supporting equality of women in the workplace and a whole host of other places.”

Both Santorum and Huckabee are former GOP presidential candidates. 

Santorum, a strong social conservative, said the two parties disagree on reproductive rights and abortion. But there is not a huge disagreement about access to contraception — only whether the government should pay for it, he said.

“That's one of the things that's most frustrating is, there isn't a lot of disagreement on access to contraception,” he said. “Whether the government should pay for it; there is a disagreement.” 


During a Republican National Committee meeting Thursday, Huckabee said the GOP should no longer accept the label that they are waging a “war on women.”

He said it is Republicans who are empowering women, while Democrats are insulting them.

"If Democrats want to insult the women of America by telling them they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government, then so be it," he said. "Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have claimed them to be."

Democrats quickly latched onto the comment as evidence that the GOP is out of touch. 

Santorum had told The Hill earlier in the week there is “no question” Republicans have trouble compassionately communicating their position on abortion.