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Santorum ‘Completely Misunderstands’ Modern Warfare, Gingrich Says

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(TULARE, Calif.) -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that Rick Santorum has a “complete misunderstanding” of modern warfare.

Gingrich was responding to comments Santorum made Thursday on CNN when Santorum was asked about the Pentagon’s plan to allow more women to fill combat roles in the military.

While Santorum said he did want women to be able to serve, he said he did “have concerns about women in front-line combat.

“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. I think that probably -- 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,” Santorum said.

Santorum later told ABC News he was talking about the emotions of men, but also added women had “physical limitations.”

Gingrich said Tuesday that people in uniform in Iraq or Afghanistan were in combat, no matter the official assignment.

“Whether you’re a truck driver or you’re working with logistics, or you’re a military person, you’re in combat. And I think that we have to understand that from Day One,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich, who often mentions on the trail that he is an "Army brat," spent his childhood traveling around the country and overseas with his “career infantryman” father. Gingrich did not serve in the military.

“We should be very proud of the men and women who put on the American uniform and risk their lives in order to protect this country. And I just think that Rick completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare by his comments,” Gingrich said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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