As Ramesh noted, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell spared few words today when attacking Rick Santorum for his comments opposing expanding the role of women in combat. I asked McDonnell’s office to clarify whether that meant that McDonnell himself supported women being allowed to be in all combat roles and on the frontlines, and received this response (which didn’t really answer the question) from McDonnell’s communications director Tucker Martin:
The Governor is a veteran. His daughter, Jeanine, served as an Army platoon leader in Iraq.
As a veteran, and as a father, he took exception to the inference that Jeanine was not up to the job when she was serving our nation overseas. She was. And so are the thousands of American women who serve with distinction in our military every single day, often in very dangerous situations. In fact, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other venues of modern-day warfare, the concept of ‘front lines’ is increasingly obsolete. In this new military landscape most soldiers are in harm’s way, no matter where they are physically deployed and based.
The Governor will never hesitate to speak up for the valor and bravery of our women in uniform. They are patriots. The Governor has not reviewed in-depth Secretary Panetta’s most recent proposal regarding the role of women in combat. As an Army veteran, he believes that specific decisions regarding battlefield operations and policies should be properly left to the Pentagon and our military leadership on the ground.