Santorum defends critique of move to shift women to front lines

Sharon Ellman/AP

Rick Santorum on Friday defended his earlier comments questioning a new Pentagon move to let women fill thousands of frontline jobs, pointing out that the Israeli army also has restrictions on women serving in combat roles.

“When you have men and women together in combat, I think men have emotions when you see a woman in harm's way,” he said on NBC's Today. “I think it's natural. It's very much in our culture to be protective. That was my concern. I think that's a concern with all of the militaries.”

Rick Santorum initially voiced his concerns on CNN on Thursday, saying it could make it difficult for soldiers to carry out orders.

“I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved,” he said. “It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat. And I think that’s not in the best interests of men, women or the mission.”

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