Santorum: Women In Combat Could Hinder Missions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Santorum: Women In Combat Could Hinder Missions

MSNBC.COM - The U.S. military wants to open thousands of jobs that could put more women on the front lines of combat, a move Rick Santorum believes could compromise missions.

"When you have men and women together in combat, I think men have emotions when you see a woman in harm's way,'' Santorum told TODAY's Ann Curry Friday. "I think it's something that's natural that's very much in our culture to be protective. That was my concern, and I think that's a concern with all the military.''

The orders from the Pentagon issued Thursday — ending restrictions that prevent women from taking certain military positions once considered dangerous —will take effect in 30 works days if Congress offers no opposition.

Santorum cited the Israeli army's policy of not allowing women on the front lines of combat to support his stance. On CNN Thursday, he said that having women serve in combat was "not in the best interests of men, women or the mission."

"(It's) because of that reason of a sort of natural inclination to not focus on the mission because of the natural inclination to want to protect someone because it's natural within our culture,'' he told Curry.

Curry asked the former Pennsylvania senator whether he believes women are not capable of fighting alongside men in the fiercest parts of the battle.

"No, that's not the issue,'' he said. "I've never raised that as a concern. The issue…is how men would react to seeing women in harm's way or potentially being injured or in a vulnerable position and not being concerned about accomplishing the mission.''

Santorum's comments come as his campaign surges: One Gallup poll shows him tied for second place nationwide with Newt Gingrich, just behind Mitt Romney. Wins in three straight primaries in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri have garnered him an influx of campaign donations.  click here to read more

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