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Former 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
Former US Senator from Pennsylvania

Rick Santorum

Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

Santorum on Abortion

Pro-Life

Santorum is possibly the most fervent top-tier anti-abortionist left in the presidential race. He firmly believes in the preservation of life. He has an unblemished 100% voting record for pro-life legislations. During his time as a member of the House of Representative and Senator for Pennsylvania, he voted anti-choice 99 times out of a hundred (House 27/27, Senate 72/73).

“...and I believe that, that any doctor who performs an abortion--that--I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so. I don't--I've never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers, but I do for people who perform them. I believe that life is sacred...”
June 12, 2011, Meet The Press

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“Not only have I been consistently pro-life, but I've taken the -- you know, I've not just taken the pledge, I've taken the bullets to go out there and fight for this and lead on those issues. And I think that's a factor that people should consider when you -- when you look, well, what is this president going to do when he comes to office? A lot of folks run for president as pro-life and then that issue gets shoved to the back burner. I will tell you that the issue of pro-life, the sanctity and dignity of every human life, not just at birth, not just on the issue of abortion, but with respect to the entire life, which I mentioned welfare reform and -- and the dignity of people at the end of life, those issues will be top priority issues for me to make sure that all life is respected and held with dignity.”
June 13, 2011, CNN Republican Presidential Debate, Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire

Federal ban on abortions

Santorum supports federal ban on abortions. In 1995, he authored the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and sponsored the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

Roe v. Wade
Against.

“This weekend’s anniversary of Roe v. Wade reminds us of the very wreckage abortion has caused: over 50 million babies dead, based on a decision that holds that certain human life can be taken for any reason or no reason. In America we require a lengthy and litigious process involving dozens of people to take the life of a criminal who has done great harm to society — and at the same time grant one person the absolute right to determine whether an innocent child should be granted the rights of personhood and therefore life.”
January 24, 2011, Life Is A Civil Right, by Rick Santorum

Parental Notification and Consent

Santorum is in favor of parental notification and consent. He co-sponsored the 2006 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (S.403).

Excerpts from the bill,

“Makes it an affirmative defense to a prosecution or civil action under this Act that a defendant: (1) reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place; or (2) was presented with documentation showing that a court waived parental notification requirements or authorized the minor's abortion.”
Authored by Senator John Ensign on February 16, 2005


Planned Parenthood
Santorum supports defunding Planned Parenthood and believes that Planned Parenthood has a hidden agenda behind their pro-choice stance.

"I can’t imagine any other organization with its roots as poisonous as the roots of Planned Parenthood getting federal funding of any kind. This is an organization that was founded on the eugenics movement, founded on racism… It's origins are horrific. And, you can say well, it's not that anymore. It’s not far from where it was in my opinion in its activities and its motivations."



Embryonic stem cell research

Santorum does not support embryonic stem cell research, citing,

“You must be against destroying human embryos to get embryonic stem cells. One of the things I guess was most disappointing is that we’ve seen over the last six months a whole bunch of scientific theories come forward as to how to actually get embryonic stem cells without destroying a human embryo. And in fact, I’ve been working on a bill with Senator Frist and Senator Enzi and Senator Isakson to try to put forward a funding proposal for the NIH to look at alternative ways to get these pluripotent cells, or these embryonic stem cells, without creating a human embryo and without then killing that embryo to get the cells. So, there are four or five different technologies that are potentially viable to get these cells, and I don’t think we need to go down this path.”
July 31, 2005, Santorum in an interview



Santorum on Afghanistan

The Objectives

Santorum question the motivations behind President Obama’s decision to start the troop withdrawal process

“Every American wants our brave men and women home safely, but we cannot let those who've given the last full measure die in vain by abandoning the gains we've made thus far. We must be squarely focused on succeeding in Afghanistan rather than on politically motivated troop withdrawals.”
22 June 2011, press release


Santorum on Capital Punishment

Santorum has not broached the subject publicly for six years and counting. However, the last time he spoke about capital punishment, we found Santorum uncharacteristically divided on the issue.
“I felt very troubled about cases where someone may have been convicted wrongly. DNA evidence definitely should be used when possible. I agree with the pope that in the civilized world ... the application of the death penalty should be limited. I would definitely agree with that. I would certainly suggest there probably should be some further limits on what we use it for.”
March 22, 2005, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Santorum on China

I don't want to go to a trade war, I want to beat China. I want to go to war with China and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business. And we need to do that with the agenda that I outlined, which, unlike Herman's plan, which could not pass, because no -- how many people here are for a sales tax in New Hampshire? Raise your hand.
October 11th, 2011: Bloomberg/ Washington Post Republican Presidential Debate, Hanover, New Hampshire

Some have suggested we need to go into a trade war with China and have tariffs. That just taxes you. I don't want to tax you. I want to create an atmosphere where businesses and manufacturers can be profitable. We'll lower taxes, repatriating funds, 0 percent tax if you repatriate those funds and invest them in plant and equipment.
November 9, 2011: CNBC "Your Money, Your Vote” Republican Presidential Debate, Oakland University, Rochester



Santorum on Civil Liberties

Santorum is, for all intents and purpose, a staunch conservative on issues relating to civil liberties. He opposes same-sex marriages and unions as he feels their motives are questionable, opining that they crave society’s acceptance of their ‘bad behavior’. He also opposes adoption for gay couples, as the presence of children in a same sex marriage is against ‘the order of nature’.

Nevertheless, his defense and advocacy of the perfect blend of the American nuclear family, imbued with conservative values, high morals and religious upbringing, tempered with the strong hand of the state, appeals to a significant number of middle class Americans.

His support of federal wiretapping legislation, the Patriot Act and other post 9/11 measures however, is viewed negatively by just as many voters.



Santorum on Cuba

Our policy in Central and South America under this administration has been abysmal. The way we have treated, in particular, countries like Honduras, Honduras, which stood up for the rule of law, which threw out a would-be dictator who was using the Chavez playbook from Venezuela in order to try to run for re-election in Honduras, and the United States government, instead of standing behind the -- the people in the parliament, the people in the Supreme Court, who tried to enforce the constitution of Honduras -- instead of siding with them, the Democrats, President Obama sided with two other people in South America -- excuse me -- Central America and South America. Chavez and Castro and Obama sided against the people of Honduras.

This is a consistent policy of siding with the leftists, siding with the Marxists, siding with those who don't support democracy, not standing up for our friends in Colombia, not standing up for our friends who want to engage and support America, who want to be great trading partners and great allies for our country, to be able to form that kind of bond that is so essential in our own hemisphere.

The European Union understood how important it was for diverse people to be able to come together in an economic unit. We only -- not only have to come together as an economic unit, but the threat of terrorism, the threat of Iran now in Venezuela and in other places, and Cuba and in Nicaragua, the threat of radical Islam growing in that region -- is it important for -- it's absolutely important for us to have a president who understands that threat and understands the solution is closer ties. I will visit that area of the world, repeatedly, to solidify those ties when I become president…”
January 28, 2012: CNN FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE


“… I would oppose it. I've been 100 percent in support of the Cuban people and their right to have a free Cuba and the United States should stand on the side of the Cuban people against these despots who are not just reigning terror, continuing reign of terror in Cuba. But now have their -- their -- their puppet, Chavez in -- in Venezuela and Noriega and Morales and it keeps -- it keeps like a cancer growing. So the idea that a president of the United States would take the heart of the cancer that is in Central and South America, and begin to reward behavior that has spread this cancer because of our dilly-dallying and our inattentiveness to the problems in Central and South America.

Now, we're going to reward the secret police. We're going to (inaudible) president of Venezuela as they are in Cuba. We're going to reward this type of thuggery, this type of Marxism in our region. We're going to reward a country that is now working with these other countries to harbor and bring in Iran and the terrorist -- the Jihadist's who want to set up missile sites and to set up training camps. And so we're going to reward this behavior by opening up and liberalizing. This is the exact wrong message at the exact wrong time.”
January 28, 2012: CNN FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE



Santorum on Education

Despite the 2004 controversy surrounding his children and the Penn Hills School District, Santorum is perhaps better known in the education sector for his effort at including the ‘Santorum Amendment’ into the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It was an attempt at including the theory of intelligent design, alongside the theory of evolution, into the public school science syllabus. The attempt proved to be unsuccessful, but it has been largely credited as the catalyst for the decade-long battle between the Creationist and the scientific community. However, Santorum now explains that he decision to vote for the No Child Left Behind Act was something that was against his principle, and was made for the good of the 'team'.
“… Look, I think we've all had votes that I look back on I -- I wish I wouldn't have voted -- No Child Left Behind, you're right, it lead to education spending. That's why I've said that we need to cut and eliminate No Child Left Behind and -- and education funding from the federal government, move it back to the local level where it belongs where parents and local communities can deal with that…

… I supported No Child Left Behind. I supported it. It was the principal priority of President Bush to try to take on a failing education system and try to impose some sort of testing regime that would be able to quantify how well we're doing with respect to education. I have to admit, I voted for that. It was against the principles I believed in, but, you know, when you're part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake.

You know, politics is a team sport, folks. And sometimes you've got to rally together and do something. And in this case, you know, I thought testing was -- and finding out how bad the problem was wasn't a bad idea. What was a bad idea was all the money that was put out there, and that, in fact, was a huge problem. I admit the mistake and I will not make that mistake again. You have someone who is committed. Look, I'm a home schooling father of seven. I know the importance of customized education for our children. I know the importance of parental control of education.

I know the importance of local control of education. And having gone through that experience of the federal government involvement, not only do I believe the federal government should get out of the education business, I think the state government should start to get out of the education business and put it back to the state -- to the local and into the community…
February 22, 2012: CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate
For the first 150 years, most presidents home-schooled their children at the White House… Where did they come up that public education and bigger education bureaucracies was the rule in America? Parents educated their children, because it's their responsibility to educate their children."
"Yes the government can help, but the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic. It goes back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home-school or have the little neighborhood school, and into these big factories, so we built equal factories called public schools. And while those factories as we all know in Ohio and Pennsylvania have fundamentally changed, the factory school has not.”
February 18, 2012: Santorum speaking at a rally in Columbus, Ohio
“Ladies and gentlemen, we know, we know, how to help the poor. We need to have stabile families, we need to have an education system that focuses on the need of every child in America, not the education system, but every child in America. As I was saying earlier today, the President of the United States came out and said, ‘under my administration every child should go to college,”. What elitist snobbery out of this man.

We have seven children. I would be honored if my son wanted to go and be the best darn auto mechanic in this country. It’s fine with me. And that’s great, work is good. Work is good no matter what the work is if you do it as well as you can. And (unclear) rewarded for that work. That’s what we’re talking about here. Not this elitist view of what Barack Obama thinks is best for all of us. Promote work. Promote families and marriages. And of course, make sure that we have this system that takes care of every child.”
January 7, 2012: Santorum responding to a question during a campaign rally in New Hampshire.


“But the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly, much less that the state government should be running schools is anachronistic. It goes back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home school or have the little neighborhood school and into these big factories. So we built equal factories called public schools.

… that local communities and, and parents should be the ones who are in control of public education, not the, certainly not the federal government and to as I said before, as I said in that clip I think the state governments have not done a particularly good job in public education. I think public education should be a dynamic process that's locally run, that works with parents to provide the optimal opportunity for each child in America to get the education that they need, not what the federal government or the state government says that you should have. That's why I refer to it as, you know, going back to the industrialization of America when we had a, we had a system in, in this country with industrialization where, you know, you had one car produced. And, you know, you maybe got it in two colors. And, and we haven't changed public education significantly since then. Every single car on a Detroit line is custom ordered. Why? Because it's designed to meet the needs of the customer. The education system, federally run, state run, is not designed to meet the, meet the needs of the customer. It's designed for the purposes of the school not the children and the parents who are the customers of that system. And I think we need a dramatic change in that system.

Well, there's one thing the state, there's one thing for states to, to help fund public education. It's another thing to dictate and micromanage and, and create a "one size fits all education" system in states and certainly in the federal government what President Obama is trying to do. What we need is to have the same kind of change and dynamic change in the public school system as we've seen in the economy of this country. Customized. Everybody gets what they need. I have seven children. I can tell you each one of them learn differently. All of them can excel in different settings. And that goes with every, every American child. And we can do better than a system that one in three children drop out of school. If that is the hallmark, Bob, that you talk about as a, as a great society, when one of three children drop out of school and a lot of the folks who don't drop out of school still can't read at grade level, that to me is a failure and defending that failure is not something I'm planning on doing which is what the President does…”
February 19, 2012: Santorum speaking to Bob Schieffer on NBC’s Face The Nation




Santorum on Energy

America’s energy policy is critical to our national security and economic growth. Dependence upon foreign sources of oil limits our national security options, undermines our interests, and raises the cost of doing business in America. Unfortunately, President’s Obama’s approach has facilitated foreign dependence by restricting oil and gas drilling, making it more difficult to get nuclear permits, and picking winners and losers through failed pet energy projects. We must employ a policy that makes energy more affordable, makes our nation more secure by lessening dependence on unreliable or adversarial foreign sources, and increases conservation through efficient use and diverse energy sources. An effective energy policy will expand economic development and create high-quality jobs, resulting in a strong economy for America’s families and workers. It is time to get serious about unleashing America’s domestic energy sources.
Source: Unleashing America’s Domestic Energy
“I think this is one of the most important discussions we have to have this election. It is vitality important for our economic prosperity and it is vitally important from the standpoint of our national security. Let me just address both, as briefly as I can.

We’re seeing obviously the effects of high gasoline prices on the economy right now and obviously on all of lives as we drive – when we have seven kids, I assure you I drive a lot. And we use a lot of gasoline. Not big cars, not because I like big cars, because I can’t put my family in anything other than a big car.

So, having a policy that reduces the price of oil in particular, is essential. What has been the policy of this administration? To shut up, to not drill in ANWR to not drill in deep water, to not drill offshore, to not drill on oil sands – to make it expensive to drill where we do drill and deny permits where we can drill. That’s the policy of this administration.”
July 22, 2011: Santorum speaking at the Iowa Energy Forum





Santorum on Foreign Affairs

Santorum contends that President Obama’s apology for decisions made under former President Bush weakens the country’s position in the world. He also criticized the administrations ‘ill-defined’ foreign policy, citing as an example, the three different approaches taken in responding to protestors in Iran, Egypt and Libya.

Santorum also questions the administration’s grasp on the minutiae of the fundamentalist sharia movement, likening it to ideological threats from our past such as Marxism. He argues further that American intervention in any foreign conflict should be solely limited to matters which have a direct impact to the country.



Santorum on Guantanamo

General Policy On Guantanamo

While Santorum has never made a public pronouncement on Guantanamo per se, he has alluded several times now his support of keeping Guantanamo open. One such occasion was in a commentary he wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer shortly before the inauguration of President Obama while addressing rumors of Senator John McCain being offered a position in the Obama administration.
“Remember, it was this onetime prisoner of war (McCain) who led the charge to open diplomatic relations with Vietnam. If that past is prologue, and McCain's legislative record is any guide, he will not just join with Obama but lead the charge in Congress on global warming, immigration "reform," the closing of Guantanamo, federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research, and importation of prescription drugs.
Jan 15, 2009; The Elephant in the Room: McCain may be Obama's secret weapon, by Rick Santorum, The Philadelphia Inquirer

On Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

Supports
Hugh Hewitt: Now did the bin Laden killing cause you to hope that the enhanced interrogation debate returns center stage about whether or not, and when such techniques ought to be used?

Rick Santorum: Well, not only that, but the first thing that should happen, Hugh, was that the President of the United States should have stepped forward and said we are going to stop this, well, potential prosecution of those within the intelligence community who were involved in the enhanced interrogation program. That should have been step one, going to Eric Holder and saying enough is enough, we’re not doing this anymore. We need to give these guys medals, not prosecute them. Number two, he should have stepped forward and said look, I was wrong, the enhanced interrogation program did work, it did produce my greatest foreign policy success. And I’m going to admit when I was wrong, and we’re going to look at how we’re going to redeploy this under obviously different rules and regulations, since of course the Obama administration told the enemy what we were doing in the previous enhanced interrogation programs.

Hewitt: Now your former colleague, John McCain, said look, there’s no record, there’s no evidence here that these methods actually led to the capture or the killing of bin Laden. Do you disagree with that? Or do you think he’s got an argument?

Santorum: I don’t, everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation. And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative. And that’s when we got this information. And one thing led to another, and led to another, and that’s how we ended up with bin Laden. That seems to be clear from all the information I read. Maybe McCain has better information than I do, but from what I’ve seen, it seems pretty clear that but for these cooperative witnesses who were cooperative as a result of enhanced interrogations, we would not have gotten bin Laden.
17 May, 2011; Rick Santorum speaking on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show


Santorum on Gun Control

Santorum is a firm advocate of a citizen’s right to bear arms. He is also a staunch defender of gun manufacturers, and voted in favor of the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (Bill S 397), which among others, prevents civil suits from being brought against gun manufacturers for criminal acts perpetrated using their weapons.


Santorum on Immigration

Santorum views the influx of foreign workers as damaging to the nation, both on the economic and social front. He was a strong advocate in former President Bush’s US-Mexico border fence initiative. He has voiced support for the contentious Guest Worker program, with strict limitations on any participation in Social Security as well as fast tracking of citizenship applications.


Santorum on Iran

“We need to say very clearly that we will be conducting covert activity to do everything we can to stop their nuclear program. And that means using covert activity like may have occurred at the missile site just recently in Iran. I would like to think the United States was involved in that, I’d like to think we had something to do with that. But given the president’s record, on, with Osama bin Laden, and not being able to keep a secret of anything good that he did for even more than 24 hours, I suspect we’d already know if we had something to do with that explosion.

So secondly, with respect to covert activity, we need to be very clear: Any foreign scientists working in Iran on this nuclear program will be termed an enemy combatant and will be subject − like any other enemy combatant, like Osama bin Laden − to being taken out by the United States government as a threat to this country,”

Dec 7, 2011, Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum


Santorum on Iraq

In one of the most unique positions ever demonstrated by a candidate, Santorum drew a parallel between the war in Iraq and J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel, Lord of The Rings.

“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”



Santorum on North Korea

The issue of North Korea is of great concern to Santorum, but he is against the idea of initiating direct talks with them, citing the failures of the Clinton administration in using the approach. He believes strong leadership and a unified front from the United States and its allies is crucial in handling North Korea’s continued research into nuclear technology, as well as the threat of technology transfers to other countries.

Santorum also advocates the use of selective assassination as a tool to contain the threat of nuclear from rogue nations like North Korea.

"And now they are in the process of developing nuclear weapons and it appears obvious to me that the administration is doing little to none. Now I’m hopeful that some of the things we’re seeing with respect to the nuclear program that the United States is involved with, which is, on occasion, scientist working on the nuclear program in Iran turned up dead. I think that’s a wonderful thing.

I think we should send a very clear message that if you are a scientist from Russia, or from North Korea or from Iran, and you’re gonna work on a nuclear program to develop a nuclear bomb for Iran, you are not safe.

And if people say, well you can’t go out and assassinate people, well tell that to al-Awlaki. Okay, we’ve done it. We’ve done it for American citizens. We can certainly do it for someone whose producing a nuclear bomb that can be dropped in the state of Israel or provides a nuclear shield for country that will spread terrorism with impunity and change the face of the world.”

October 25, 2011: Santorum speaking in Downtown Greenville






Santorum on Poverty

If you looked at my record, I’ve probably been (unclear) than anybody else when I was in the Senate in dealing with poverty issues. I mentioned I was the author of welfare reform. I worked on all sorts of economic proposals to try and incentivize work in poor areas of the country, along with guys like Jack Kemp, (unclear) we worked under Ronald Reagan.

I believe that the federal government can play a role, but it is historically since the New Deal, since the Great Society, played a destructive role, as well as a constructive role. The destructive role is the destruction that the government dependency programs have on the most important thing, to help people in poverty. What’s the most important thing if you look at, look at the important things that are necessary to make sure that people are not poverty (sic) and what the government does, to, with respect to all of those three things. There’s three thing, according to a Brookings Institute study done in 2009, and they said that if you do these three things, you’re almost guaranteed to never be in poverty.

Three things. One of the three things. Number one… work, work, someone up here. Number two, number two, graduate from high school. Not get a college degree, graduate from high school. Number three, if you’re a man get married, if you’re a woman get married before you have children. And if you do those three things, right…

Let me tell you what the numbers are ‘cause they’re stunning. If you do those three things, the chance of you being in poverty at some time in your life is 2%. The chance that you would earn above the median income in America, 77%. If you don’t do just one of those three things, the chance of being above the median income in America, 4%. The chance of being in poverty at some time in your life, 74%.

Ladies and gentlemen, we know, we know, how to help the poor. We need to have stabile families, we need to have an education system that focuses on the need of every child in America, not the education system, but every child in America.

As I was saying earlier today, the President of the United States came out and said, ‘under my administration every child should go to college,”. What elitist snobbery out of this man.

We have seven children. I would be honored if my son wanted to go and be the best darn auto mechanic in this country. It’s fine with me. And that’s great, work is good. Work is good no matter what the work is if you do it as well as you can. And (unclear) rewarded for that work. That’s what we’re talking about here. Not this elitist view of what Barack Obama thinks is best for all of us.

Promote work. Promote families and marriages. And of course, make sure that we have this system that takes care of every child.

One final point of promoting marriage in this administration. I was on a radio show just a week or so ago with Bill Bennet – Bill Bennet The Book of Virtues, former Secretary of Education. And his wife is named Elaine Bennet. And she runs a program called Best Friends. Best Friends is a program that helps at risk teens to avoid getting pregnant, obviously (unclear), to avoid getting pregnant. The Obama, the government, since I put in place a program that allows programs like that to get federal dollars, the Obama administration has said, two things to them, is to how to run their program now.

Number one, you can’t teach abstinence as a preferable way of avoiding pregnancy. You can talk about it, but you can’t prefer it, you can’t emphasize it. It has to be neutral. Number two, you can’t advocate for marriage. You have to treat marriage as one of many different lifestyles that is equally valid. You have a President of the United States that is going out and telling organizations to do things that they know, that we know, is wrong. That we know will result in more at risk behavior, and more at risk economic consequences. And yet, they are the one, who accuse many of us, that we’re imposing our morality on them. What’s that? Is that not imposing their morality on them? Right?
January 7, 2012: Santorum responding to a question during a campaign rally in New Hampshire.


“I was in Enola several months ago and I was talking to someone who works in the Department of Public Welfare here, and she told me that the state of Iowa is gonna get fined if they don’t sign up more people on, for the Medicaid program. They’re just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That’s what the bottom line is. I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families. And the best way to do that is to get the manufacturing sector of the economy rolling again.”
January 1, 2012: Santorum speaking at a campaign rally in Sioux City, Iowa





Santorum on Same Sex Issues

Santorum On LGBT

Santorum accepts the premise of homosexuality, but is strongly against the notion of people acting outside of the norms of a traditional heterosexual relationship, as it undermines ‘the basic tenets of our society and the family’. He explained his stance on the matter in detail in an interview with The Associated Press in 2003. The interview caused an uproar among the LGBT community, eventually resulting in the Dan Savage-led campaign for an alternate definition of ‘Santorum’. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
Santorum: I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual. I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who's homosexual. If that's their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations. The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it's not the person, it's the person's actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions.

Associated Press: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?

Santorum: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society?

I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality…

Associated Press: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

Santorum: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.

Associated Press: Sorry, I just never expected to talk about that when I came over here to interview you. Would a President Santorum eliminate a right to privacy — you don't agree with it?

Santorum: I've been very clear about that. The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don't agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.
April 23, 2003: Interview with the Associated Press

Santorum on Marriage and Civil Unions

Santorum opposes marriage for non-traditional couples.
Jeffrey: Two men or two women marrying each other – is that a violation of the natural law?

Santorum: I believe it is.

Jeffrey: Should the state sanction that?

Santorum: Well, no.

strong>Jeffrey: If the state takes a child and sticks it into a same-sex couple and allows that same-sex couple to adopt that child, is the state violating the rights of that child?

Santorum: I would say that the state is doing a disservice to that child, and violating the rights, in the sense, I guess, it depends, if there’s no mother and father, there’s no natural mother and father, you can’t be violating the right. 

But what I can say is that the state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. Mothers, men are different than women, mothers are different than fathers. I have, I’m raising seven children… Fathers bring something different to their daughters than mothers do. I mean, we are just not genetically different – we are different beings. Men are different than women; think different than women, act different than women, as a general rule. And they bring different things.

Both. This is common sense. This is nature. And what we’re trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be, want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit of society or to the child.

Jeffrey: Same sex marriage should be prohibited?

Santorum: Yeah (unintelligible)
January 18, 2011: Santorum speaking to CNS News editor-in-chief Terence P. Jeffrey



“The family is the foundation of society. You can’t have different definitions of what is foundation. Marriage between a man and a woman is the glue that holds the family together. It’s essential for a strong and stable society.”
July 26, 2011: Santorum speaking to supporters at a coffee shop in Ankeny, Iowa



Santorum on Same-Sex Adoption

Santorum is against the idea, as he believes that a child, and the family, achieves superior psychological and economic results in a traditional marriage.
“Can you have good stock, solid family with a single parent? Yes you can…

Wayne (unintelligible) used to run the, one of the departments, in the Department of Health and Human Services, used to say, used to give this example when talking about marriage. (unintelligible) … used to be talking about single parenthood versus two parent families.  

f you were getting on an airplane and you had a choice between two of them and one airplane would get you there 95 percent of the time and the other plane would get you there 85 percent of the time. What plane would you take?

Well, sure, single parent will get you there most of the time- lots of single parents make great sacrifices and do wonderful things to raise their children, but it, it just isn’t as good. It just isn’t, as good, as having a mom and a dad.

And so, what should society be for? What should society nurture? What should society encourage? We should encourage marriage between a man and a woman and raise their children in a stable environment. That’s what’s best for society.

People have come up to me many times and in fact just as I was in an NRA convention, a lesbian woman walked up to me and said, ‘why are you denying me my right?’ I said, ‘well, because it’s not a right.’ It’s a privilege that society recognizes because society sees an intrinsic value to that relationship over any other relationship - a relationship between an aunt and a niece, a relationship between two good friends, a relationship between a father and a child. It’s, they’re all very important relationships, very key relationship - certainly my relationship with my daughter was a vitally important relationship. But it’s not to a degree that we’re gonna create special privileges and rights in society to encourage that relationship.

And we do (unintelligible) marriage because it has intrinsic value to the society. That’s why it needs to be maintained, that’s why it’s essential for the health of the society and for the economy. Look at the best economists, look for children who do the best, look for families who do the best. What type of household?"
May 2, 2011: Speaking at a Family Leader event, University of Iowa



Santorum on DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell)

Santorum favors the reinstatement of DADT
Santorum: I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. The fact they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to, and removing Don't Ask, Don’t Tell. I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing: and that is to defend our country. We need to give the military, which is all volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient and protecting our men and women in a uniform. I believe this undermines that ability...

Megyn Kelly: So what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean, now he is out, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted this video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he’s out. So what would you do as president?

Santorum: What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That’s tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was president. Period. That policy would be re-instituted as far as people in, I would not throw them out because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past. Which was- sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual. January 23, 2012: Fox News Florida Debate



Santorum on ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

Santorum issued a statement in response to Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that the Obama Administration will stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against legal actions.
 “When the definition of marriage has been put before the people, they have time and time again – from Maine to California – stood up in defense of the traditional family.  President Obama’s refusal to defend a law that was overwhelmingly supported on both sides of the aisle and signed into law by a president of his own party is an affront to the will of the people.  This is yet another example of our president’s effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth, and it begs the question what language changed in the constitution since 2008 to reverse his position.”

February 24, 2012: The Iowa Republican


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