CBS's Jan Crawford: Mrs. Santorum's 'Frustration' With Media 'Understandable'

March 6th, 2012 4:40 PM

Jan Crawford spotlighted Karen Santorum's "frustrations with the media" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, adding that it was "understandable. They've been mocked by some for how they grieved the loss of their infant son." Crawford also noted how Mrs. Santorum's "life...has been under a microscope. In nearly every story written about her, it's mentioned she lived with a doctor...[who] performed abortions" [audio available here; video below the jump].

The political correspondent landed the first Big Three network interview with the GOP candidate's wife. At the end of the segment, Crawford stated that "voters tell thing they like about [Rick] Santorum- he mean what he says, and he's real. And in that sense, he and his wife are very much alike." Anchor Gayle King later sang the praises of Karen Santorum: "[She] needs to do more interviews...because you come across really liking her."

The CBS journalist began her report by outlining how Mrs. Santorum is "very much her husband's partner and equal. She's a lawyer and a nurse, and she told me how they talk about policy and strategy, and she tells him when he slips our wide-ranging conversation, she was warm, genuine, and she talked openly about their life, their marriage, and the challenges they've endured."

After spending the first part of the interview on her family's home life and the story of how she met her husband, Mrs. Santorum came to his defense against the accusation from the left that the former senator is waging a "war on women":

K. SANTORUM: He's been surrounded by strong women his whole life. He continues to be surrounded by strong women in his daily life, and...some of the best staffers he has ever had, from press secretary to scheduler...have all been women. He completely supports well-educated career women.

Crawford then moved to the sensitive topics of the death of the Santorums' son, Gabriel, and Mrs. Santorum's past life with an abortionist:

CRAWFORD (voice-over): Karen Santorum's frustrations with the media are clear and, in many ways, understandable. They've been mocked by some for how they grieved the loss of their infant son, Gabriel, 16 years ago. Born prematurely, he died shortly after he was born.

K. SANTORUM: We brought Gabriel home from the hospital to have a funeral Mass and to bury him And so, they twist it and they make it sound like it was some crazy thing. We brought him home from the hospital to introduce him to our kids and embrace him. It was for the funeral Mass and for the burial. And what is so sad for me, Jan, is that no one can tell me how to grieve, and I'm not going to tell anyone else how to grieve.

Former Senator Rick Santorum, (R), Presidential Candidate; & Mrs. Karen Santorum; File Photo From 6 March 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgCRAWFORD: Even Karen Santorum's life nearly 30 years ago has been under a microscope. In nearly every story written about her, it's mentioned she lived with a doctor 40 years her senior who, as part of his practice, performed abortions.

K. SANTORUM: I went through a phase- it was a phase- when I was young and made some stupid decisions, and I did some stupid things, and I did go through a phase of life where I wasn't living the way I should have been. And for anyone out there who's listening, who's in the same phase- you know, it's- there is healing; there is change.

For the record, the two most prominent media voices who badmouthed the Santorums' reaction to Gabriel's death were Alan Colmes (who later apologized) and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson.

The full transcript of Jan Crawford's interview of Karen Santorum, which aired at the top of the 8 am Eastern hour of Tuesday's CBS This Morning, is available at