Wolf Blitzer Pulls Quote From Liberal Political Activist to Grill Santorum

Pressing Rick Santorum on his opposition to women serving in combat, CNN's Wolf Blitzer quoted a liberal veteran who harshly criticized Santorum's policy. Blitzer did not identify the veteran or his group as "liberal," thus failing to address the critic's possible political motives against the conservative candidate.

"A very angry response from one veteran," Blitzer noted, before quoting the co-founder of VoteVets.org. The group identifies itself as the "largest progressive organization of veterans in America."

As a political action committee, VoteVets.org has contributed overwhelmingly to Democratic political candidates in the last three election cycles. And their political leanings are no secret to the liberal media.

The group was listed by the Washington Post as one of multiple "liberal advocacy groups" attacking Republican presidential candidates, in 2008. The New York Times said in 2007 that VoteVets was "closely aligned with Congressional Democrats."

Santorum's statement in question involved the issue of female soldiers serving close to the front lines in combat. He said their "emotions" may compromise the fulfilling of their combat duty, and that "that's probably not in the best interests of men, women, or the mission."

Blitzer was quite dire in his assessment of the remark, saying Santorum "potentially could be hurting his chances with a broader group of voters."

The response to Santorum by the veteran, Jon Soltz, is as follows: "It's impossible to put into words how infuriating that is to me, as someone who has served twice in Iraq with women who were already serving ably in combat, even thought the Pentagon didn't officially recognize that up until now."

A brief transcript of the segment, which aired on February 10 at 5:02 p.m. EST, is as follows:

[5:01]

WOLF BLITZER: On a day when a Republican presidential candidates are appealing to conservative activists, Rick Santorum potentially could be hurting his chances with a broader group of voters. He's under greater scrutiny right now after his three contest sweep on Tuesday. And a remark he made right here on CNN about women serving in the U.S. military in combat roles has stirred up controversy. Stand by for my interview with Rick Santorum but first, listen to what he told CNN's John King last night about the prospect of female troops serving closer to the front lines.

(Video Clip)

RICK SANTORUM, Republican presidential candidate: 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. And I think that's probably – it already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat. But it's – I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat and that's probably not in the best interests of men, women, or the mission.

(End Video Clip)

BLITZER: And joining us now, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. Lots of reaction, Senator Santorum, to what you told our own John King on your opposition to women serving in combat units in the U.S. military. A very angry response from one veteran, who writes this, co-founder of VoteVets.org, an Iraq War veteran:

"It's impossible to put into words how infuriating that is to me, as someone who has served twice in Iraq with women who were already serving ably in combat, even thought the Pentagon didn't officially recognize that up until now."

What's wrong with women serving in combat?

(...)

BLITZER: A lot of women are irritated, though. Because under your line of thinking, they say, women shouldn't serve as firefighters or police officers, because those are jobs that require them to be on the front lines and could be endangered – their lives could be on the line as well.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014