Rick Santorum

Remembering Rick Santorum for President

With former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum suspending his campaign for president today, we decided to look back at some of our fondest memories of the Santorum campaign and the great material he provided us at Right Wing Watch over the years.

Like candidates before him from Gary Bauer to Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum was a candidate that not only directed his campaign to appeal to the Religious Right but was himself from the movement. But despite strong support from such voters in a divided field it was not enough for him to win.

One of Santorum’s greatest outbursts actually came well-before he entered the presidential race, while addressing students at Florida’s ultraconservative Ave Maria University he claimed that Satan is systematically attacking the U.S. by corrupting the culture, universities and mainline Protestants:

Santorum caused an international stir when he falsely maintained during a campaign event with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson that Dutch senior citizens live in fear of the country’s hospital system and that one in ten people in the Netherlands die as a result of euthanasia. He also spoke winsomely of a time when abortions were performed illegally “in the shadows.”

His opposition to abortion rights was a central part of his campaign, and he found it “almost remarkable for a black man” like President Obama to be pro-choice:

Towards the end of the campaign, Santorum decided to whip up excitement of his Religious Right base by appearing at a Louisiana megachurch, where the pastor, Dennis Terry, welcomed him with a sweltering speech telling non-Christians and liberals to “get out” of America, which Santorum applauded:

While we are sad to see Santorum go, at least Newt Gingrich is still staying in the race.

Romney and Santorum Rally with Corrupt Lobbyist Ralph Reed in Wisconsin

Tomorrow morning in Waukesha, WI, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, among others (Gov. Scott Walker is listed as an invited speaker), will rally with corrupt former lobbyist Ralph Reed and the state chapter of his Faith & Freedom Coalition, which Reed created to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his deep involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Here are the event details:
It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off, sponsored by the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition, to be held at the Country Springs Hotel on Saturday, March 31st in Waukesha, WI.  Come hear from CONFIRMED speakers Governor Mitt Romney, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich.
 
When Romney and Santorum – the standard–bearers of the GOP – appear on stage tomorrow with Reed, they’ll be embracing a corrupt hustler who has survived scandal after scandal by delivering cash and foot soldiers to Republican leaders (and not for the first time).
 
It wasn’t long ago that Ralph Reed was damaged goods in Republican circles, and for good reason. Reed came to national prominence as the first executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, beginning in 1989. However, by 1997 the groups finances were collapsing, the FEC had found that the group violated federal campaign finance laws in 1990, 1992, and 1994, and federal prosecutors were investigating allegations of financial misconduct made by the organization’s CFO. So Reed resigned and moved to Georgia to become a lobbyist.
 
In 1999, Abramoff hired Reed and ultimately paid him $1.3 million to generate opposition to legalizing video poker and a state-sponsored lottery in Alabama. The money came from the Choctaw Tribe, which runs a casino in nearby Mississippi. Reed used his extensive Religious Right contacts and engaged James Dobson and the Alabama Christian Coalition, which had a policy against being the “recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” He funneled $850,000 to the group, but made sure to launder it through his longtime friend Grover Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform.
 
Before the wheels came off Jack Abramoff’s criminal lobbying enterprise, he described Reed to his business partner as “a bad version of us.” Abramoff, explaining the comment after being released from prison, said that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.” And Abramoff knows more than a thing or two about Reed. He gave Reed his first job after college and, along with Norquist, formed what some called the “triumvirate” at the College Republican National Committee.
 
After the Abramoff scandal broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests,” but the Senate Indian Affairs Committee determined that Abramoff told Reed as early as 1999 that he was taking casino money. In an interview last year with Alan Colmes, Abramoff called Reed’s denial ridiculous:
Abramoff: It's ridiculous. I mean, even the tribes that had other business, 99% of their revenue came from gaming. But a lot of those tribes had nothing but gaming.
Colmes: So, in other words, Ralph Reed was saying "hey, I'll work with you but I don't want to be paid with gambling money, I'm too clean for that." But are you saying that conversation never happened?
Abramoff: No. Never happened. Ralph didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money and, frankly, that was his choice and I think it was a big mistake.
Reed went on to become the chair of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001 and ran for lieutenant governor in 2006. However, the Abramoff scandal had broken by then, and Reed “suffered an embarrassing defeat” in the primary. The New York Times described Reed as a “close associate of Jack Abramoff” whose “candidacy was viewed as a test of the effects of the Washington lobbying scandal on core Republican voters.”
 
In 2009, Reed founded the Faith & Freedom Coalition to help resurrect his image and stature in the movement. Faith & Freedom, which Reed described as a “21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids,” is really just a Tea Party-stained version of the original, and much smaller despite the steroids.
 
However, Reed is an operator in the truest sense, and knows how to “tap dance” and “constantly ask for money” with the best of them. He has apparently earned, and I do mean earned, his way back into the good graces of Republican leaders. It’s unclear, however, how long Reed can go without another scandal.

Jerry Boykin Explains why he Endorsed Rick Santorum

Back in January,  Rick Santorum received the endorsement from, and shared the stage with, Jerry Boykin, a vicious anti-Islam activist who believes that Muslims do not deserve First Amendment protections and should not be allowed to build mosques in America.  Boykin also a conspiracy theorist who believes that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations intentionally collapsed the US economy in order to help elect President Obama, who is using health care reform legislation to create an army of Brownshirt soldiers loyal only to him.

Speaking earlier this year at The Oak Initiative Summit, Boykin explained that our leaders need to know alot about the Bible and the Constitution and who are willing to defend the idea that "the Bible was the foundation for the writing of the Constitution" ... and that is why he endorsed Santorum: 

Santorum Says He Loses the Catholic Vote Because He Only Does 'Well among People who take their Faith Seriously'

Fox News contributor Sandy Rios yesterday launched her new show, Sandy Rios in the Morning on the American Family Association’s American Family Radio, and had as her first guest Rick Santorum. Rios, who last week railed against secular Jews as among “the worst enemies of the country,” asked Santorum, a Catholic, about his consistent struggle to win over Catholic voters. Santorum claimed that he performs better “with folks who do practice their religion more ardently” and only has problems with voters, Catholic and Protestant alike, who do not “take their faith seriously.”

Rios: You are doing very well among evangelicals, not so well among Catholics. I have my own theory about that, but I want to know what yours is this.

Santorum: I really wish I could tell you. I think the bottom line is that we do well among people who take their faith seriously, and as you know just like some Protestants, some Protestants are not church going, they are folks who identify with a particular religion but don’t necessarily practice that from the standpoint of going to church and the like, and I think, you know, with folks who do practice their religion more ardently I tend to do well.

Rios: I have to interrupt you, I totally agree. I think you take your faith seriously and for the serious believers, you’e the man.

Dennis Terry Responds to Controversy: 'I Love America'

On Sunday evening, Rick Santorum joined Family Research Council President for an event at Perkins' home church, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, in Louisiana where Santorum and Perkins were seated on stage as Pastor Dennis Terry declared that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out!":

I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, there's only one God. There's only one God and his name is Jesus.

I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words. I'm tired of people telling us, as Christians, that we can't voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me, if you don't love America and you don't like the way we do things, I got one thing to say: Get Out!

This outburst has, not surprisingly, generated a good bit of news and forced Santorum to try to distance himself from Terry. 

Yesterday, WBRZ news in Baton Rouge interviewed Terry about the controversy he has created and, of course, he responded by claiming that "people are misquoting" what he said and "twisted and edited" his words because all he meant was that "I love America":  

You will notice that Terry never explains how he had been misquoted or had his words twisted .... and that is probably because the original video of Terry telling liberals and all others who don't share his right-wing views that they should "get out" of the country clearly speaks for itself.

Perkins and Santorum: Star-Crossed Supporters

Last night at his home church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following a scorching speech from pastor Dennis Terry, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins insisted that he will not endorse any candidate for president. Perkins even joked that the FRC didn’t even endorse its own leader, Gary Bauer, when he ran for president 2000.

But while Perkins, who calls Santorum his “good friend,” may not technically have endorsed anyone, he’s done just about everything else to support Santorum’s campaign.

Back in January it was Perkins who announced that Religious Right leaders had decided to coalesce behind Santorum, even as many were still supporting Newt Gingrich, and again earlier this month it was Perkins who hinted that Gingrich should drop out because “If they were to converge together you would have a majority” to defeat Romney. Perkins also participated in the Council for National Policy meeting where conservative leaders pledged financial support for his presidential campaign. Santorum even filled in for Perkins once on the American Family Association’s radio network as a guest host prior to launching his campaign for president.

Last night Perkins asked Santorum questions that surely provided red-meat to the megachurch crowd on issues like abortion, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the debt, and his faith, although at one point he asked the former Senator to explain his support for Arlen Specter’s re-election.

The Associated Press reported that Perkins hosted a private meeting between Santorum and pastors from across the country before last night’s event:

Nearly a hundred pastors from all over Louisiana and from as far away as Texas and Colorado accepted Family Research Council President Tony Perkins' invitation to hear a personal pitch Sunday from the former Pennsylvania senator, who met with them in a private briefing before he addressed the more than 1,400 faithful who crowded into the sanctuary at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church.

"What we need to do in this country is to rebuild that culture of life and rebuild that culture of marriage and families," Santorum said, standing in a small back room as the invited pastors gathered in an informal circle wearing handwritten name tags. "No one else talks about social issues."

...

Perkins, the head of the socially conservative Family Research Council, can't officially endorse a presidential candidate, but he made his personal feelings clear. "I'll tell you this," he said, "I wouldn't invite just anybody to my church."

Ironically, in 2008 Perkins was criticized for speaking too favorably of Romney and too critically of Mike Huckabee, who was then the preferred candidate of many in the Religious Right.

We have consistently documented Perkins’ extreme record:

  • said Islam is “evil”;
  • denied that there was a correlation between anti-gay bullying and depression and suicide, saying instead that gay and lesbian teens know they are “abnormal” and “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict";

With views like that, it is no wonder that Perkins has become one of Santorum’s (unofficial) cheerleaders.

Pastor Dennis Terry Introduces Rick Santorum, Tells Liberals and Non-Christians to 'Get Out' of America

Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry introduced presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins tonight in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a rousing speech railing against liberals and non-Christians and condemning abortion rights, "sexual perversion," same-sex marriage and secular government. Terry said that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out! We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah!" Terry, who has a long history of attacks against the gay community, went on to criticize marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and said that the economy can only recover when we "put God back" in government.

Watch:

Update: At the end of the event, Terry prayed over Santorum and asked God to "have favor upon Rick Santorum" and to "do a mighty work" in President Obama's life:

Santorum Pledges to Restore Don't Ask Don't Tell

While sitting down with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council at the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, Rick Santorum doubled down on his commitment to bring back the discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Perkins, a staunch opponent of Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal, said the Obama administration "has systematically used this military for social experimentation" by "overturning the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and forcing open homosexuality on the military," asking Santorum if he would "reverse" the repeal. Santorum said the repeal was "not in the best interest of our men and women in uniform" and pledged to restore Don't Ask Don't Tell, but added, "that doesn't mean that people who are gays and lesbians can't serve."

Watch:

Santorum: Obama Allowed Iranian Protesters 'To Be Slaughtered in the Streets'

During his appearance at the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, just outside of in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rick Santorum told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins that "President Obama sided with the theocrats, sided with the radical Islamists" during Iran's Green Revolution. After a discussion of the 2006 Iran Freedom and Support Act, Santorum said that Obama refused to "help and work" with the protest movement and "allowed those pro-democracy people to be slaughtered in the streets and imprisoned and tortured."

Watch:

Santorum: We need to embrace and engage the Persian people and help liberate them from the oppression. And when the opportunity came for this President to do so after we passed that bill, by the way over his opposition originally when he was in the Senate, he didn't fund the opposition, he didn't help and work with them, and when the revolution came in 2009, when they had the ability to topple this regime that was producing a nuclear weapon, President Obama sided with the theocrats, sided with the radical Islamists and allowed those pro-democracy people to be slaughtered in the streets and imprisoned and tortured as they are today.

Santorum: 'The Obama Department of Justice Seems to Favor Pornographers over Children and Families'

Rick Santorum’s campaign repeated the right-wing myth that the Obama administration refuses to prosecute “obscene” pornography. He announced his support of efforts by groups including the Family Research Council, Morality in Media, the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America to increase obscenity prosecutions, and lamented that the Justice Department “refused to enforce obscenity laws.”

For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.

Congress has responded. Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”

The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws. While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration.

I proudly support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that has tirelessly fought to get federal obscenity laws enforced. That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups. Together we will prevail.

However, the Department of Justice just this month prosecuted an obscenity case in Los Angeles. Furthermore, the DOJ continuously prosecutes child pornography and exploitation cases. But for Santorum and his Religious Right allies, the evidence never seems to get in the way of their anti-Obama smears.

Rick Santorum Prayed with Anti-Gay Pastor Implicated in Cover-up of Child Abuse

Before the Tennessee primary, Rick Santorum visited the Bellevue Baptist Church outside of Memphis where he prayed alongside Pastor Steve Gaines. Gaines said that “God doesn’t come to take sides, God comes to take over and I pray that He will takeover in America.” He asked God to forgive America for “the sins of racism, the sins of abortion and the sins of immorality”:

Gaines has a sordid history, and the website Ethics Daily, a project of the Baptist Center for Ethics, reported back in 2006 that Gaines failed to report to the police a minister in his church, Paul Williams, who molested his own:

An assistant prosecutor said Bellevue Baptist Church Pastor Steve Gaines may have committed a crime if he knew the "moral failure" a church staff member confessed to him six months ago involved child molestation.

All 50 states have laws requiring mandatory reporting of suspected child sexual abuse. Tennessee requires any person, including ministers, with reasonable suspicion that abuse of a child has occurred to report it immediately.

Gaines has admitted that Paul Williams, a minister on staff at the Memphis, Tenn., mega-church for 34 years, told him in confidence about inappropriate behavior that occurred 17 years ago.

While Gaines did not disclose details of the confession, a Web site critical of his leadership alleged Williams molested his own son. Church leaders have suspended Williams and launched their own investigation, due to last a month.

"Everyone has a duty to report," Kevin Rardin, chief prosecutor of child sexual abuse cases in the district attorney's office in Shelby County, Tenn., told Memphis station WMC-TV. "There are not exceptions for clergy or anyone else."

In fact, Gaines kept Williams’s admission a secret for six months:

"It is that every person is required to make a report to an agency like Department of Children's Services if they have reason to believe that someone may, a child may have been molested or abused," said Nancy Williams, with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

According to Bellevue Pastor Steve Gaines' own words, he didn't just have reason to believe it, he had a confession from one of his ministers, who admitted to molesting a child.

A report by church leaders found that Gaines allowed the minister to remain on staff even after his admission:

The report states that Williams "engaged in egregious, perverse, sexual activity with his adolescent son over a period of 12 to 18 months."



In May 2006, Williams informed Jamie Fish, the church's minister of biblical guidance, of his past actions. The report said Fish erred by not coming forward with the information, particularly since Williams' job duties included interviewing adult lay ministry volunteers who had indicated they had been sexually abused.

The following month Williams and his wife met to discuss the issue with Dr. Steve Gaines, Bellevue's senior pastor. Williams indicated that he confessed and repented to his family and there had been no further sexual abuse. The meeting was kept confidential and Williams remained on staff.

But in early December, Williams' son met with Gaines "for an explanation, in light of scriptural qualifications for ministers, as to why Paul should be allowed to continue as minister on the church staff."

While Gaines failed to report a case of child molestation and allowed an admitted child predator to remain on the church’s staff, he did ban a softball team from the church’s athletic league because the coach was openly gay. In fact, Gaines consistently rails against gays and lesbians, warning that gay rights and gays in the media jeopardize America’s security and economy:

"As important as these issues are, ... I believe they pale compared to two other issues that I believe will determine the future of America," Gaines warned. "I personally believe with all of my heart that the two issues that will determine what God will do not only with America but to America are abortion and homosexuality. ... America's economy and America's safety are more tied up with what's going on in those courts in Massachusetts than what's going on in Wall Street or over in Iraq." …

"We love [homosexuals] because we know -- as Jesus said from the cross -- 'they know not what they do.' They're in bondage, but aren't you glad today Jesus Christ can set people free from all sorts of bondage, even homosexuality?"



Southern Baptists should oppose "pro-homosexual television programming," such as "Will and Grace," "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and MTV's homosexual channel, Logo, Gaines urged.

"We must help curb the epidemic spread of lesbianism by telling our daughters and our young girls that the passionate kisses shared by Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at MTV's Video Music Awards last August were an abomination to a holy God," Gaines said.

In another sermon, he warned that since “homosexuals and lesbians cannot reproduce biologically so they prey on the children of normal people, seeking to entice them to be trapped in their perverted lifestyle”:

On the home-front, radical homosexuals and lesbians seek to take over our nation. You cannot watch television without being subjected to Gay propaganda. They seek to brain wash our citizens so they can make same-sex marriage the law of the land. Homosexuals and lesbians cannot reproduce biologically so they prey on the children of normal people, seeking to entice them to be trapped in their perverted lifestyle. They want to silence Baptist preachers and others from denouncing their sinful lifestyles by making it an illegal “hate crime” to point out what the Bible says about their wicked practices. Regardless of what anyone says about the goodness of being “Gay,” the Bible still calls it a “degrading, unnatural, indecent, and depraved” (Romans 1:26-28). Homosexual practice always has been, is, and always will be “an abomination” in the sight of Holy God (Leviticus 18:22). By God’s grace, homosexuals can be saved and set free from their sinful lifestyles because the blood of Jesus can cleanse anyone from any sin. But they must first repent of the sin of homosexuality and denounce their ungodly homosexual behavior.



The Old Testament prophet, Joel, preached to God’s people in Judah just before the Babylonian armies came and destroyed Jerusalem and took God’s people into exile. He cried out for them to repent so that God could spare the land from the coming invasion. His words of warning are very pertinent for us today. I personally believe that if America does not repent, she is headed for national disaster.

The negative publicity around Gaines, however, did not prevent Rick Santorum from actively seeking his support. In fact, Santorum has made frequent appearances with extremists in the Religious Right in his bid to defeat Mitt Romney.

Religious Right Leaders Meet in Texas to Boost Santorum

Religious Right activists met in Houston, Texas over the weekend in an effort to increase fundraising for Rick Santorum and a pro-Santorum Super PAC, both of which are currently being heavily outspent by rival Mitt Romney. The event was hosted by social conservative activists Rebecca Hagelin, Richard Viguerie, Bob Fischer and Tim Lefever, and attended by Focus on the Family founder and Santorum supporter James Dobson and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who claims he has not endorsed the senator. Politico reports that Santorum made an appearance and pledged to stay “in the race for the long haul”:

A group of conservative leaders pledged to raise a combined $1.78 million for Rick Santorum's campaign and SuperPAC after meeting privately in Texas this weekend with the Republican presidential hopeful, POLITICO has learned.

More than 200 conservatives from all over the country convened at the Houston Omni for a Friday fundraising reception for Santorum's campaign. They then met to plot strategy with the former senator Saturday morning, discussing how to overcome Mitt Romney's growing advantage in the GOP primary and fend off Newt Gingrich.

"The message was, 'we're all in,'" said South Dakota businessman and conservative organizer Bob Fischer, one of the event’s co-hosts.



Co-hosts in Houston included Fischer, Rebecca Hagelin, Richard Viguerie and Tim Lefever.

Also present were conservative leaders Tony Perkins and James Dobson.

“It was not a discussion of who to support, it was a consolidation of support,” said Perkins, differentiating the meeting with the January session. “There was a big push to raise funds. There was a sense of, ‘Now is the time to step up.’”

Perkins said Santorum’s comments Friday night at the closed-press reception were little different than what the candidate has been saying publicly.

Paraphrasing, Perkins said Santorum made clear he was in the race for the long haul and said, ‘We have a chance now and I need your help.’

Santorum Appears on Extremist Talk Show – Love Fest Ensues

Rick Santorum has demonstrated, yet again, his willingness to associate with people whose views are repugnant to most Americans. This afternoon he appeared on one of the most extreme Religious Right programs in the country – American Family Radio’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.

Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, has been accused of crossing the line against “decency and civility” and of using “poisonous language” – by none other than Mitt Romney at the Values Voters Summit, who was trying to cautiously distance himself from Fischer’s repeated attacks on his Mormon faith while still courting the Religious Right. Later in January, Fischer claimed that a electing a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the country.
 
But Fischer isn’t only out to get Mormons. He has an extensive history of bigotry against groups like Muslims (who are stupid because of inbreeding), gays and lesbians (who are responsible for Holocaust), Native Americans (who are “morally disqualified” from controlling land) , low-income African Americans (who “rut like rabbits”), and basically anyone who isn’t a “real” Christian. Fischer has also likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler and called him a tyrant who has a “hatred for the United States” and a “hatred for the white man.”
 
That brings us to Rick Santorum, who is hoping today’s appearance on American Family Radio will help him reach right-wing voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas – the next states to vote in the GOP primary. He even gave a shout-out to the Deep South at the top of the interview: “We spent yesterday in Mississippi and Kansas and today we’re in Alabama. I’ll tell ya, there’s just nothing friendlier than the Deep South. We’re just enjoying the heck out of it here.”
 
Santorum knew he would be warmly received, and the interview was nothing short of a lovefest. Fischer gushed that his wife was a Santorum supporter from back when “being a Rick Santorum fan wasn’t cool,” and Santorum responded in kind: “We appreciate all the help and support. We were in your home town there, Tupelo, yesterday, and had a great reception from folks.”
 
Listening to Fischer and Santorum talk, it was clear that both men have very similar world views. For instance, Santorum told Fischer that President Obama ignores the Constitution and “believes he is more of an emperor than a president.”
 
Their conversation reminded me of a compliment Fischer gave Santorum just two weeks ago on his show:
 
This ought to be a tremendous encouragement to all of us that the leading candidate for the GOP nomination sounds like he’s hosting a conservative talk radio program.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you hear anybody on the campaign trail talk like Rick Santorum talks? He sounds much more like he’s hosting a program on AFR Talk.
 
On that point, I’m in full agreement with Fischer. Santorum does sound like a Religious Right talk show host, and while that may help him in the GOP Primary, it’s also why he’ll never be president of the United States.
 
You can watch the full Santorum interview on Focal Point here:
 

Santorum: Media Attacks Me Because I Have 'Deeply-Held Religious Beliefs'

The majority of Bryan Fischer's interview with Rick Santorum on his radio program today revolved around a discussion of the fact that social issues and "the fact that you have been so unwavering in defending Judeo-Christian values" has been the key to his campaign's success.

Santorum spent most of his time asserting that East Coast liberal media elites "recoil" at anyone like him who not only talks about social issues and faith, but is willing to stand up for them and has "shown where my heart is."  The media, Santorum says, seeks to portray him as someone who intends to impose his "deeply-held religious beliefs" on everyone else, when the reality is that it is "people who had my deeply-held religious beliefs who created the opportunity for freedom": 

Santorum Tells Fischer that Obama Thinks 'He is More of an Emperor than a President'

Bryan Fischer may have spent the last several days defending Rush Limbaugh from the "secular Sharia" that forced him to apologize and attacking Sandra Fluke as slut who has been "sleeping with so many guys she can’t keep track [and] doing it three times a day" but, as we have noted before, Fischer's long record of unmitigated bigotry has never stopped leading Republicans and presidential candidates from joining him on his program for an interview.

Just last month, Fischer was gushing over Rick Santorum and praising him for sounding just like the hosts on American Family Radio ... and so it was no surprise that today Santorum found the time to join Fischer for a discussion of his presidential campaign.

During the interview, Santorum declared that President Obama does not think that he is bound by the Constitution and "believes he is more of an emperor than a president":

Santorum Campaign Hails Support from 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Sponsor

Earlier today we reported that Rick Santorum’s campaign is promoting endorsements from anti-gay radicals like Sally Kern and Bobbi Radeck of Oklahoma and Ohio, respectively, and now the former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign is trumpeting the endorsement of Tennessee state legislator Joey Hensley, the chief House sponsor of the state’s “don’t say gay” bill. “We don’t want students to be exposed to alternate lifestyles,” Hensley said in defense of the legislation, which would prevent any discussion of homosexuality in K-8th grades classes. Hensley also criticized Modern Family because two of the show’s main characters are gay, calling it “inappropriate for children.”

Rick Santorum Promotes Endorsement of Anti-Gay Extremists Sally Kern and Bobbi Radeck

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern garnered national attention, and notoriety, in 2008 for maintaining that homosexuality is “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam,” and last year doubling down on her claim by arguing that while homosexuality is “more dangerous” than terrorism because “it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation” and is something people “have to deal with every day” as “fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day.”

Kern has also warned that greater rights for gays and lesbians will lead to approval of bestiality and pedophilia and is nostalgic for the time when homosexuality was illegal.

With such a severely anti-gay record, it comes as no surprise that she has endorsed Rick Santorum right before the Oklahoma primary, and that the Santorum campaign is promoting her endorsement.

But Kern isn’t Santorum’s only radical backer.

The Santorum campaign is also playing up his support from Bobbi Radeck of Concerned Women for America Ohio, whose claim to fame is working against the “homosexualists” behind the anti-bullying, anti-suicide Day of Silence:

The Day of Silence, which is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is only two days away. GLSEN's Day of Silence, which began on college campuses and has now infiltrated middle schools, exploits anti-bullying sentiment to undermine the belief that homosexual acts are immoral. GLSEN shamelessly exploits teen suicide in order to create a climate of hysteria which they can then exploit to falsely impute culpability for teen suicide to conservative moral beliefs. GLSEN's end game is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and the creation of a social and political climate in which it is impossible to express them. Their cultural vehicle of choice for this radical social experiment is public education. What a strategic coup for homosexualists: use our money to capture the hearts and minds of our children.

And we do virtually nothing. Our complacence makes us complicit in the damage done to our children and our culture. Moreover, we teach our children by example to be cowardly conformists. It's time to resist and there's no easier way to resist than to call your children out of school on the Day of Silence.

Parents and Guardians: Call your children's middle and high schools and ask if students and/or teachers will be permitted to refuse to speak during class on Friday, April 15. If your administration allows students and/or teachers to refuse to speak during class, call your child out of school. Every student absence costs school districts money. When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take action. If they don't, the politicization of the classroom and curricula will increase.



Please call your children out of school if your administration permits students to refuse to speak on the Day of Silence. For further information, including parental instructions and a sample calling out letter, click here.

Santorum Embraces the Religious Right's Latest Lie

We are getting really, really tired of hearing this now standard allegation from the Religious Right that President Obama is intentionally undermining religious freedom by refusing to use the phrase "freedom of religion" and replacing it with the phrase "freedom of worship."

As we have pointed out time and time again, this complaint it totally bogus, but that is obviously not going to stop the Religious Right from repeating it.

And it is certainly not going to stop Rick Santorum from adopting it and starting to work it into his presidential campaign:

Rick Santorum continued to talk about the separation of church and state one day before Michigan voters go to the polls on Tuesday, but insisted that this was not a distraction from discussing the economy and jobs but rather a core part of the argument he is making about economic and religious freedom.

Santorum also came close to calling Secretary of State HiIlary Clinton the "first lady," and then said that she and President Barack Obama are not for religious freedom but rather talk about "freedom of worship." Santorum said this term is an indication that Obama and Clinton want to tell churches and people of faith how they can live their lives when they are not in their place of worship.

Can we point out that just last week, both the State Department and the White House issued public statements roundly condemning Iran for handing down a death sentence for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, declared "freedom of religion" to be a fundamental human right (emphasis added):

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities’ reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith. This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values. The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution—a fundamental and universal human right. The trial and sentencing process for Pastor Nadarkhani demonstrates the Iranian government’s total disregard for religious freedom, and further demonstrates Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. The United States calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately lift the sentence, release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion. The United States renews its calls for people of conscience and governments around the world to reach out to Iranian authorities and demand Pastor Nadarkhani's immediate release.

Santorum Knocks Public Schools, But Sticks Taxpayers for Bill for Homeschooling

Rick Santorum raised eyebrows last week for making claims that he has been making for years, including his criticism of public schools. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Santorum called public schools “anachronistic” and compared them to factories:

In his remarks to the Ohio Christian Alliance, however, Santorum went further, seeming to attack the very idea of public education.

In the nation’s past, he said, “Most presidents homeschooled their children in the White House.…

Parents educated their children because it was their responsibility.”

“Yes, the government can help,” he continued, “but the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic.”

He said it is an artifact of the Industrial Revolution, “when people came off the farms where they did homeschool or had a little neighborhood school, and into these big factories … called public schools.”

While industry has evolved, public schools remain stuck in the factory era, he said, “back in the age of Henry Ford. You get what we give you. One color, two models. It wouldn’t work for Henry Ford today, and it won’t work for America today.

Santorum has long opposed public education and in his 2005 book It Takes a Family marveled how “so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools.” In fact, public schools are consistently in the crosshairs of Religious Right activists, as seen in this anti-public education film made by Truth in Action Ministries:

While Santorum is an unapologetic opponent of public schools, or as he calls them, “government-run schools,” he has no problem making taxpayers cover the tab for his homeschooling. While a U.S. Senator, Santorum moved his family to Virginia but still stuck Pennsylvania taxpayers with the bill for his decision to have his children attend a cyber-school:

The Republican senator owns a home in Penn Hills, but lives in Leesburg, Va.

Penn Hills School District is paying $38,000 this year for five Santorum children to attend Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School based in Midland, Beaver County. The district has paid an additional $62,000 for his children to attend the school since 2001.



Penn Hills School District, which is required by state law to pay cyber charter tuition costs for students living in the district, is investigating whether Santorum is actually a resident.

A statement issued by Santorum's press office on Tuesday (yesterday) stated he had been in contact with the school district officials and is awaiting questions from them that he will answer to clarify his residency and the education of his children.



Santorum and his wife, Karen Garver Santorum, have owned the house at 111 Stephens Lane since 1997. They pay about $2,000 annually in property taxes to the district.

But records at the Allegheny County Election Office also show that the couple are not the only people claiming the home as their residence.

Bart and Alyssa DeLuca, both 25, are registered voters listed for the same address. They are not related to Penn Hills Mayor Anthony DeLuca or his father, state Rep. Tony DeLuca.

Alyssa, Karen Garver Santorum's niece, registered as a voter living at the Santorum house in September 2000. Then Bart registered with the election office in June 2001 by using the same address.

Santorum: 'You’re a Liberal Something, but You’re not a Christian'

Over the weekend, Rick Santorum made news when he attacked President Obama's "phony theology." Santorum clarified that he was talking about the president's environmental record and not his faith, insisting that he was not claiming that Obama was not a Christian.

But back in 2008, Santorum had a slightly different view, which he related during remarks he delivered at an Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life event on "The Press & People of Faith in Politics." 

During the Q&A following his speech, Santorum was repeatedly asked about Barack Obama's Christian faith, which he asserted was simply "an avenue for power" for Obama while claiming there was a "conscious disconnection" between Obama's proclamations of faith and his stances on public policy issues.

In fact, said Santorum, there really is no such thing as a "liberal Christian" at all and anyone who doesn't share his right-wing views doesn't really have any right to claim to be a Christian:

[I]s there such thing as a sincere liberal Christian, which says that we basically take this document and re-write it ourselves? Is that really Christian? That’s a bigger question for me. And the answer is, no, it’s not. I don’t think there is such a thing. To take what is plainly written and say that I don’t agree with that, therefore, I don’t have to pay attention to it, means you’re not what you say you are. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian. That’s sort of how I look at it.

When you go so far afield of that and take what is a salvation story and turn it into a liberation theology story, which is done in the Catholic world as well as in the evangelical world, you have abandoned Christendom, in my opinion. And you don’t have a right to claim it.

During the same Q&A, Santorum also complained about his treatment at the hands of the press when he was in office, claiming that he was constantly referred to as an "extremist" or "fundamentalist" or "zealot" simply because he stood in opposition to "sexual freedom":

And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.

It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.

...

Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.

All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.

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Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/18/2014, 4:31pm
The next release from EchoLight Studios under CEO Rick Santorum is a TV movie called "The Redemption of Henry Myers" that will air on the Hallmark Channel. Frank Gaffney offers a hearty "thank you" to Jerry Boykin because he deserves gratitude, "not cheap shots from critics far more deserving of the public revulsion they’re trying to foment against him." Gary Bauer is mad at Guinness, Heineken and Sam Adams: "Far too many corporations are becoming active combatants in the culture war, fighting against the Judeo- Christian values... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/07/2014, 3:05pm
Billionaire Foster Friess, the conservative mega-donor who propped up Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign and suggested that women put aspirin between their knees as a form of contraception, introduced Rick Santorum at CPAC today, where he said that the former Pennsylvania senator was the most persecuted man there: “If any of us in this room has received more persecution than Rick Santorum, I don’t know who you are. This guy just knows what he believes, knows his heart and is willing to take the grief that people throw at him.” MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/04/2014, 5:30pm
For just $25, Rick Santorum will "add your name to the copy of the U.S. Constitution that we’ll send President Obama." Dennis Prager says "Leftism is a religion. It even has a Bible - the editorial page of your newspaper (The New York Times)." On his radio show today, Glenn Beck spent an hour talking with Ted Cruz as well as another segment interviewing Greg Abbot. Janet Parshall says the recent Grammy awards proves that America has embraced the morals of ancient Rome. Bryan Fischer is a conservative because "liberalism kills... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/30/2014, 11:20am
Rick Santorum called into Steve Malzberg's radio program yesterday to discuss his reaction to President Obama State of the Union address and, like Glenn Beck, he saw in it the hallmarks of Obama becoming a tyrannical dictator. Malzberg was particularly disturbed by Obama's declarations that "climate change is a fact" and that Obamacare is the law of the land, seeing in those statements a complete dismissal of the Republican point of view. And that takeaway was shared by Santorum, who heard echoes of the recent statement made by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in Obama's... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/14/2014, 5:32pm
When you think "Blue Collar Conservative," only one name comes to mind: Rick Santorum. Gordon Klingenschmitt interviews Bob Adelmann, who thinks that opposition to fracking is part of an effort to create a One World Government. Good point, Allen West: "This is my clear and succinct message to white Americans. How long will it be before “you people” realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you — not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists — not you.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/09/2014, 12:08pm
The first film released under Rick Santorum's leadership at EchoLight Studios was "The Christmas Candle," which didn't even manage to earn back a third of its $7 million budget. But Santorum maintains a grand vision for the future, telling Matthew Hagee, who is apparently a talk show host now, that he intends to turn EchoLight into "the Pixar of faith movies": MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 12/16/2013, 5:34pm
Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Rick Santorum Drops Strange, Death-Filled Description Of Nationalized Health Care. Joe.My.God: Pope Francis Vs Rush Limbaugh. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 12/06/2013, 5:29pm
Rick Santorum is the gift that keeps on giving, as he's now comparing the fight against Obamacare to Nelson Mandela's fight against apartheid. Is Sarah Palin really penning Christmas messages for the radicals over at The Oak Initiative? Peter LaBarbera is upset "to see House Speaker Boehner and other prominent Republicans backing openly homosexual candidates because these candidates are not going to serve the interest of the Republican Party if the party still claims to be pro-family." Robert Knight says Republicans have to learn to fight back in the "war... MORE >