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McDonnell the Converted Feminist

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.(Chet Susslin)

February 13, 2012

As one father to another, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has some advice for Rick Santorum: Drop the naysaying about women in combat roles, because if the voters don't tell you that you're out of step with the times, your daughter just might.

McDonnell, an up-and-comer in the GOP, told CNN this morning that Santorum was off base when he said recently that women may fail in their missions in combat because of the "emotions that are involved."  The first-term governor has a daughter who was a platoon leader in Iraq, with 25 men serving under her command. When daughter Jeanine McDonnell would call home and relay some of her harrowing experiences in a war zone, he said, "I did get a little bit emotional. But she didn't. She got the job done."

Reiterating comments he made at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee meeting over the weekend, McDonnell said, "She did a great job. She was in some very risky situations. And yet she endured and led and I'm proud of her."

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