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Dem lawmakers rip Santorum backer over ‘aspirin’ birth-control joke

Foster Friess, a top financial supporter of Rick Santorum, generated a storm by using an old joke suggesting women control pregnancies by keeping their knees together.

Democratic lawmakers ripped Friess on Friday for his remarks on contraception, calling his aspirin comment, shocking, out of touch and moronic. 

Its an affirmation of the fact that intelligence is not uniform across the board,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said on MSNBCJansing & Co.

Mr. Friess is obviously very good at some things that have made him very rich, but he also appears to have moronic tendencies.

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Friess, referencing an old joke about closed knees when discussing the controversy over mandatory access to contraception, told MSNBCs Andrea Mitchell on Thursday, Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception ... The gals put it between their knees, and it wasnt that costly. 

Although it sounds funny, it is very, very, very insulting to women, said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), also appearing on MSNBC. 

The conservative donor asked for forgiveness Friday in a statement that read, I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable. To all those who took my joke as [a] modern-day approach, I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness.

Cummings added: “Im glad he at least apologized. 

Santorum responded to the controversy Friday, telling CBS News that his supporters remark was not reflective of me or my record on this issue. 

He accused the media of a “double standard” for creating a furor over Friesss comments and ignoring controversies surrounding President Obama.

Friess is the top financial contributor to a super-PAC supporting the former Pennsylvania senator and presidential hopeful. 

Ire toward Friess made its way onto the Senate floor Friday during testimony where mostly female Democratic senators blasted their GOP colleagues for what they called a war on women. 

It seems that yesterday on national television one of the chief financial backers for Rick Santorum, the Republican candidate thats now surging towards the nomination, suggested that contraception was once as simple as a woman putting aspirin between her knees. Really? Shocking, appalling, an insult, said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). 

A House hearing Thursday that featured a panel consisting entirely of male religious figures opposed to Obamas contraception policy also sparked outrage and gave Democrats a political talking point this week. 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing was held to examine whether the administrations birth-control mandate intrudes on religious freedom. 

Murray told MSNBC that the combination of the all-male House panel and Friesss remarks made her feel like she was waking up on the set of Mad Men, an AMC television show about advertising executives in the early 1960s. 

Going back centuries here. Its astonishing, she added.