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Former 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
Former US Senator from Pennsylvania

Rick Santorum

Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum


Santorum position 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




Introduction to the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates
Mitt Romney on Poverty
Barack Obama on Poverty
All Presidential Candidates on Poverty
Compare Romney and Obama on Poverty





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