Richard John "Rick" Santorum (Winchester, Virginia, May 10, 1958) is an American conservative lawyer and politician. He was a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, and previously served as United States Senator for Pennsylvania from January 1995 to January 2007. During that time, Santorum was known for his conservative political views and his tendency to campaign for liberal Republicans, and was elected to the position of Senate Republican Conference Chairman in 2000.
After garnering the support of conservatives nationwide for his presidential bid, Santorum then reverted to his prior habit of endorsing liberal Republicans. He double-crossed conservative leaders by endorsing the RINO, pro-Planned Parenthood Jon Bruning for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Nebraska in 2012. Leading conservatives, including Rand Paul, Jim DeMint and Club for Growth, have instead unanimously endorsed pro-life Don Stenberg in that race. Santorum's candidate, Jon Bruning, then lost in a stinging upset defeat to a third candidate in the race.
Endorsed by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony organization, Santorum was a strong candidate in the 2012 Republican Primary. After winning Louisiana on March 25, 2012 - his 11th victory in the primary race - the New York Times noted that "not since Ronald Reagan in 1976 has a conservative candidate won as many states as Santorum has." He suspended his campaign on April 10, 2012, citing personal reasons.
Santorum was an author and floor manager of the landmark "Welfare Reform Act" which passed in 1996 that has empowered millions of Americans to leave the welfare rolls and enter the workforce. Senator Santorum wrote and championed legislation that outlawed the heinous procedure known as "Partial Birth Abortion" as well as the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act", the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act", and the "Combating Autism Act" because he believes each and every individual has value and the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected. Senator Santorum fought to maintain fiscal sanity in Washington before it was in fashion, fighting for a balanced budget and a line item veto.
A movement among liberals, and particularly homosexual activists, vilified Santorum for his clear and forthright statements regarding traditional marriage and condemnation of homosexuality. In the Senate, Santorum stood for traditional values and fought for traditional marriage. His "Santorum Amendment" to the 'No Child Left Behind' Act sought unsuccessfully to stop public schools from presenting the theory of evolution in a dogmatic way and, instead, to present the alternative theory of intelligent design.
In 2006 Bob Casey, Jr., the liberal son of a popular former Pennsylvania governor who had been pro-life, defeated Santorum as part of a Democratic sweep in that election. Casey subsequently endorsed pro-abortion Barack Obama for president in 2008, and supported Obamacare with the excuse that less poverty would reduce the demand for abortions.
2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul has accused Santorum of being a "counterfeit conservative" due to his quick willingness to compromise (such as supporting George W. Bush's Medicare Part D, refusing to aggressively stand up against funding Planned Parenthood, and support for increasing the Department of Education). Santorum also endorsed RINO-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter. Candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have also criticized Santorum's record.
Liberal Obsession with Santorum
Liberals have become obsessed with Santorum, particularly after he stood up for traditional marriage and drew an analogy between support for homosexual marriage and other illegal forms of marriage and conduct. Rather than dispute the analogy, liberals were quick to feign offense. They argue that because the other kinds of conduct are so universally repulsive, pointing out the parallels with homosexual acts and homosexual marriage unduly disparages homosexuals. But they know the ugly truth—that homosexuality is just one step away on the slippery slope towards many other disgustingly immoral proclivities. They can only resort to liberal namecalling and personal attacks; it's gotten so pathetic that now they're dedicated to slandering his name by equating it with fecal matter, knowing full well they can't refute any of his arguments.
Texas Sodomy Case, Dan Savage, & Lower-Case "santorum" Campaign
After the "Texas sodomy case" (Lawrence v. Texas), Rick Santorum remarked that if homosexuality was acceptable in America, incest and bestiality would also be acceptable. This was taken completely out of context - Santorum was referring to the actual decision of the Supreme Court, which declared all consensual sexual activity between adults, not merely homosexuality, to be a private matter which could not be regulated.
Homosexual advice columnist Dan Savage instigated a campaign on Google to associate Santorum's name with vile slang, creating the lower-case term "santorum" to refer to something vulgar associated with gay sex. By enlisting the help of readers of his column, mostly college students experimenting with sexual deviancy, he redirected legitimate searches for Santorum's name to a slanderous website he created, urging people to spread the term "santorum" as a vile Internet meme.
That children are often the first to absorb new Internet content was apparently of no concern to the gay rights activist, who also encouraged writers to his newspaper column to address him as "Dear Faggot."
2012 Presidential Race
In the Iowa caucuses, January 3, 2012, Santorum and Mitt Romney Fight to a Draw. In the first Republican contest of the season, the two candidates were separated by only a sliver of votes, offering Rick Santorum a chance to emerge as the alternative to Mitt Romney.
Despite doing well, getting approximately half the delegates of Romney, Rick Santorum surprisingly announced on April 10, 2012 that he was ending his campaign.
Rick Santorum and his wife Karen are the parents of seven children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella. Isabella was born in 2008 with a rare genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18. Most children born with this disorder die in infancy, and only about 10 percent survive to their first birthday.
In keeping with his conservative, pro-life stance, Santorum counts as his eighth child Gabriel, who sadly lost his life in 1996 due to an infection contracted in the womb. The baby was born five months prematurely, and died two hours later in the hospital. According to an article in the National Catholic Register, the Santorums "took their child home briefly so that their other children could meet their brother." Santorum stated, "We wanted them to know that there was a baby and that his life was precious and that baby in the womb was real,"
The Santorum family's struggle with the sadness of the loss of their son, and their decision to mourn the baby as a human being, served as an inspiration to other families struggling with the pain of losing a child. On the other hand, the criticism Santorum received from pro abortion journalists, such as liberal "gotcha reporter" Alan Colmes, who accused Santorum of "playing" with his dead child's body, has been fierce. Public sentiment, however, is firmly in Santorum's column.
Santorum is a practicing Catholic.
Rick Santorum is emphatically pro-life and pro-family as described above, opposing abortion, gay marriage, and the spread of pornography. He does not believe that humans are causing global warming, calling it "junk science." He favors increased production of fossil fuels in the U.S. Broadly, Santorum is in favor of reducing the size of government and reducing taxes. Some of the major economic and fiscal policy measures that he supports are:
- A balanced budget amendment
- Cutting the corporate tax rate in half
- Cutting the tax rate for manufacturers to zero
- Simplifying the tax code for all
- Repealing Obamacare
- Repealing the Dodd-Frank Act
- Eliminating the focus on green energy
Santorum has opposed giving assistance to illegal immigrants, supported the Iraq War, opposed universal health care, and supported the death penalty (although in recent years he has said the death penalty should be more limited). These four views are in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
- Why Rick?
- "Rick Santorum’s greatest sin: Endorsing Arlen Specter" Washington Post
- Romney Wins Iowa Caucus by 8 Vote
- Presidential Hopefuls: Rick Santorum, Catholic Former Senator Lives Out His Devotion to the Sanctity of Life Hayes, Charlotte, National Catholic Register, January 9, 2012, retrieved January 15, 2012
- Sokolove, Michael. "The Believer." May 22, 2005. The New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/magazine/22SANTORUM.html
- "Where I Stand." Rick Santorum Presidential campaign website. http://www.ricksantorum.com/issues
- Johnson, Brad and Somanader, Tanya. "Santorum: 'There's no such thing as global warming.'" June 24, 2011. Think Progress. http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/06/24/253389/santorum-theres-no-such-thing-as-global-warming/
- "Rick Santorum - The Economy." The Political Guide. http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/Senate/Pennsylvania/Rick_Santorum/Views/The_Economy/
- "Immigration Reform: Securing and Strengthening America." Rick Santorum Presidential campaign website. http://www.ricksantorum.com/immigration-reform-securing-and-strengthening-america
- "Rick Santorum - The Iraq War." The Political Guide. http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/Senate/Pennsylvania/Rick_Santorum/Views/The_War_in_Iraq/
- "Rick Santorum: Healthcare." Electful. http://electful.com/candidate/rick-santorum/issues/healthcare
- "Santorum Rethinks Death Penalty Support." March 23, 2005. Associated Press / Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,151241,00.html
- Lindsay Downey. "Santorum delivers warning about radical Islam during Naples appearance", March 23, 2013.