On Women in Combat, Rick Santorum Meant to Say ‘Men’s Emotional Issues’

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum raised some eyebrows by saying women should not be in combat because of the “the types of emotions involved.” Now, Santorum says, he is also concerned about “physical strength and capability” of women in combat situations.

First, on those “emotions,” Santorum says he was not talking about the emotions of women.

“I was talking about men’s emotional issues; not women,” Santorum told ABC News. “I mean, there’s a lot of issues. That’s just one of them.”

What emotional issues? Santorum says he believes that the men serving with women would put the protection of women in their unit above the overall the mission.

“So my concern is being in combat in that situation instead of being focused on the mission, they may be more concerned with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position,” Santorum said.

But Santorum says he is concerned about more than just the “emotional issues.”

“You throw on top of that just simply physical strength and capability and you may be out there on a mission where it’s you and a woman and if you’re injured, the ability to transport that person back. And you know, there’s just, there are physical limitations,” Santorum said.

Santorum acknowledged that women already serve in harm’s way.

“Women have served and do serve and do wonderful things within the military and … they do have opportunities to serve in very dangerous positions,” Santorum said. “I mean they serve in very dangerous positions. And I certainly understand that and respect that and admire women for doing so, but I think on the front line of combat is not the best place and its not maximizing what they can bring to the table.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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