Rick Santorum

While Santorum wins Religious Right Support, No Signs of 'Strong Consensus'

Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values president Gary Bauer and the expected endorsement of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

But have Religious Right leaders really coalesced around Santorum?

Gingrich has locked in the support of prominent social conservative leaders: Concerned Women for America founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye; Council for National Policy founder and author Tim LaHaye; American Family Association founder and chairman Don Wildmon; Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver; California pastor and Proposition 8 organizer Jim Garlow; evangelical pollster George Barna; Restoration Project organizer David Lane and pastor and former congressman J.C. Watts.

Gingrich supporters have even claimed that the third ballot, which showed Santorum winning handling, occurred after many leaders left the meeting and that some Santorum boosters were involved with “ballot-box stuffing.” Bob Vander Plaats, an early Santorum endorser, told Bryan Fischer on Focal Point that the Texas gathering only showed “divided support” between Santorum and Gingrich, and Red State’s Erick Erickson, who attended the meeting, said that “it was divided with many thinking Gingrich is the only one who can win.”

The real loser of the meeting was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who won just three votes in the first ballot. Major Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas last summer where they urged Perry to run for president. Dobson, Perkins, Garlow, Nance and other Religious Right figures all appeared with Perry at his The Response prayer rally and after Perry announced his candidacy, he courted a group of social conservative activists including Perkins, Dobson, Garlow at the Texas ranch of mega-donor James Leininger. John Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council who was a Perry campaign chairman, has now even switched his support from Perry to Santorum.

While it remains to be seen if social conservatives will really “coalesce” behind Santorum, it is clear that the Religious Right leadership that begged Perry to enter the race has now utterly abandoned him.

Bauer Endorses Santorum while other Religious Right Leaders Wait and See

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told the Washington Times that he doubted Religious Right leaders can unite behind a Republican candidate, despite pleas from activists like Bob Vander Plaats for leaders to “cancel” their Texas retreat and “rearrange their plans to get to South Carolina, Florida, wherever they can help Santorum.” In 2008, many Religious Right figures were divided over whom to support and only coalesced behind Mike Huckabee’s candidacy when John McCain’s nomination became inevitable.

Now, it appears that they are likely to repeat that mistake this year:

The goal is to see if what occurred in 2008 can be avoided in 2012. Keep conservatives from being fractured and allowing a non-conservative to capture the nomination only to lose the general election,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian think-tank.

“Will they coalesce around one candidate?” Mr. Perkins said. “It is possible, but not probable.”



“That coalescence is not going to happen before South Carolina, and since these early primaries are not winner-take-all, as in the past, we have time,” Mr. Perkins said.

He said he gleaned from the conference call a sense that clarity on the issue may not come until after the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary or even the Jan. 31 Florida primary.

Some expressed doubts that Mr. Santorum’s post-Iowa caucuses boost has any shelf life of more than a few weeks. And they do not want to go on the record endorsing a falling star.

Gary Bauer, who led the FRC from 1988-1999 before leaving his post to run for President, however, endorsed Santorum in South Carolina. Now as leader of American Values and the Campaign for Working Families, Bauer says only Santorum can end “the nightmare of the Obama era”:

"He's the guy that most reflects the Reagan personification of republicanism, that is lower taxes, smaller government, strong national defense, pro-life, pro-family. but more importantly those values are also whats best for America and ending the nightmare of the Obama era."

Bauer was also courted by the Romney campaign but has had a long relationship with Santorum. Bauer told me that he decided to endorse because there's a real sense of frustration at the grassroots level that evangelical leaders aren't stepping up and speaking up for candidates. Bauer decided to change that.

He endorsed John McCain in 2008 during the South Carolina Primary and there is some statistical analysis that showed his endorsement helped McCain by about five percent in the polls. McCain won South Carolina by three percentage points over Mike Huckabee.

Bauer emailed CWF members today explaining his endorsement:

My intention had been to avoid an endorsement this cycle. But in recent days it has become obvious that conservative voters are deeply divided about who should carry the banner for our values into the 2012 election. I have been receiving an increasing number of questions from our grassroots supporters around the country seeking guidance on which candidate they should support. I feel it is imperative that I take the lead now.

As you know, I believe virtually all of these candidates are men who would be fantastic presidents. My endorsement of Rick Santorum is in no way meant to be critical of the others. But I believe Santorum can best articulate the Reagan conservatism that has defined my political life and holds the best hope for the future our children and grandchildren will inherit. Rick Santorum is unambiguously pro-life and pro-family.

The election of our next president in 2012 will be the most important election of my generation. Campaign for Working Families will continue to build a war chest to ensure our values prevail in November. I believe the candidate best able to do that is Rick Santorum. But let me assure you that we will deploy our resources for whoever is selected as the nominee.

Maggie Gallagher and Penny Nance Gush Over Rick Santorum

Religious Right activists are positively giddy over the new momentum behind Rick Santorum’s candidacy for president, and Maggie Gallagher today praised the former Pennsylvania senator as “a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic photo finish.” Gallagher said that the left wants “to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race,” writing that progressives “hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.”

On Tuesday night in Iowa, he stood before the cheering throngs like a Republican Rocky, or better yet, a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic storybook finish. On Tuesday night, for the first time, Rick Santorum was a contender. And a contender like nobody has yet seen in this race.



I have not yet endorsed anyone in this presidential race. And unlike some values voters, I am not anti-Mitt Romney. Romney is a fundamentally decent, extremely capable man, who fought hard for marriage in Massachussetts [sic]. If he is the GOP nominee, I can vote for him with great good will and a clean conscience.

But when the guy who has taken more hits than any other for standing up for life and marriage fights his way with nobody's help from nowhere to, well, Tuesday night -- you have to cheer.

The left, which thought it had buried Santorum years ago, is going to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race. They hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.

They will go after him not just to defeat him, but to smear his good name, to associate it with their own muck, to take a decent and honorable man and try literally to make his name mean mud. They will not succeed.



I am not anti-Romney. But after Tuesday night's victory, count me as pro-Rick.

Meanwhile, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance penned a column lauding Santorum and couldn’t help herself from taking digs at Romney’s Mormon faith:

Santorum’s appeal to women and evangelicals centers on a desire for authenticity. Rick’s been consistent in behavior and record. His stance on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage gained the voters’ attention.



Many of my Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) members respect Mitt’s savvy business skills, but they are having a hard time wrapping their minds around him as a whole package.

They can’t ignore that it was the former Massachusetts governor who championed health care reform that cost the state $4.3 billion and 18,000 jobs. Nor can they ignore his past support for so-called “domestic partnerships” or the fact that after the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s paper tiger ruling on “gay marriage,” he ordered Justices of the Peace in the state to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples or be fired.

With evangelical Christians being one of the largest voting blocs in America, “the Mormon thing” may be an issue, but I am not convinced this is what has held him back. However, some of my CWALAC ladies would love to understand the whole “eternal pregnancy in heaven thing,” which, admittedly, to me sounds more like damnation than heaven.

Remembering Rick Santorum's Ties to Ron Luce of Cult-Like Group 'Teen Mania'

With Rick Santorum emerging as a leader in the Republican race for president, his bona fides as a Religious Right leader are unquestionable (save for some members of the Ron Paul campaign). But Rick Santorum isn’t just close to traditional Religious Right organizations and activists: the former Pennsylvania senator also has ties to even the most fringe parts of the movement.

Santorum, for example, is a supporter of Ron Luce’s Teen Mania. Santorum even penned an endorsement for Luce’s book, Battle Cry for a Generation:

As a parent of six children, I am very cognizant of the impact of media and entertainment on our kids. In Battle Cry for a Generation, Ron Luce takes the first important step: educating and equipping parents like me. It’s our job to take the next step, parenting our children and helping them navigate the culturally hostile world that they and their peers live in twenty-four hours a day.

Luce focuses on challenging a youth-culture which he claims promotes sexual promiscuity, secularism and homosexuality, listing in his book: “Morally corrupt films and television programs; An increasingly perverted music industry; The pornographic invasion of the internet; Civil initiatives promoting gay marriage; Battles to remove the Ten Commandments from public buildings, and fights to take ‘under God’ out of the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Luce’s organization Teen Mania, which hosts teen-orientated prayer rallies, was recently featured in an MSNBC documentary Mind Over Mania where former interns at his organization shared their experience and described Teen Mania’s cult-like practices. Teenagers who went to Teen Mania’s Honor Academy work as telemarketers for Luce, crawl through mud as part of the academy’s extreme boot camp projects, undergo sleep deprivation, endure verbal abuse, are refused medical treatment in favor of ‘faith healings,’ and participate in exercises such as eating “vomit-inducing foods before repeatedly rolling down the hill” on the campus, and being driven away from campus and told to walk back to campus while carrying a large cross. Many people who left Honor Academy now share their stories on the blog Recovering Alumni to discuss the physical and emotional abuse and severe anxieties that resulted from Luce’s group.

Mostly concentrating on recruiting young people to work for his Honor Academy, Luce also is involved in anti-gay activism, including speaking at a rally to promote Proposition 8 in California. While Rick Santorum’s close ties to the traditional Religious Right are well-established, his support for fringe and cult-like groups such as Teen Mania should continue to surface as his presidential campaign gains even more traction.

Bachmann to Personhood USA: Ending Abortion 'Is What I Would Literally Die For'

It is remarkable to realize how, in just a few years and despite repeated losses, the "personhood" movement has gone from a fringe effort that had no support to a central part of the Republican presidential primary.

When the first personhood effort in Colorado got trounced at the polls in 2008, anti-choice groups ranging from National Right to Life and Americans United for Life to the Eagle Forum all refused to support these sorts of amendments.

But this year nearly the entire Religious Right movement got behind the personhood effort in Mississippi ... which likewise failed miserably.  Nonetheless, the movement vows to press forward and has even managed to get nearly all of the leading Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge promising to support both state and federal personhood amendments.

Last night, Personhood USA and a gaggle of Religious Right anti-choice groups hosted a "Pro-life Tele-Town Hall and Radio Simulcast" that featured Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry being interviewed by Iowa radio show host Steve Deace and Personhood USA's Keith Mason.

Each candidate received roughly ten minutes to proclaim their anti-choice bona fides and assure those listening that, if elected, they would do everything in their power to outlaw abortion. Rick Santorum even went so far as to declare that presidential candidates should not even be saying they "believe" life begins at conception because it is not a belief, it is a scientific fact:

I want to make sure that everybody understands that when politicians say "I believe life begins at conception," that is conceding ground. And the ground that we concede is by using the term "believe." Life beginning at conception is not a belief, it is not an article of faith, it is an article of fact. It's a biological fact that life, in fact, begins as conception and we need to begin to understand that we have to use language that is consistent with what the truth is. 

While each of the candidates used the call as an opportunity to highlight their anti-abortion views and agenda, none of the candidates could hold a candle to Michele Bachmann, who made it quite clear that outlawing abortion has been her life's work ... one she is willing to die to see happen:

I want everyone to know that I recognize and respect the dignity of every human life from conception until natural death. This is not a check the box thing for me; this is the core of my conviction, this is what I would literally die for. We have a moral obligation to defend other people and the reason for that is because each human being is made in the image of likeness of a holy God.

Some of the most elegant words about life came to us from the Declaration of Independence and ti says that God has given us our right to life, and we know that President Obama has a war on the family.

What we need to do to end Roe v. Wade and end that horrible holocaust in the United States of life is to pass the Personhood Amendment. I am the first person to sign Personhood USA's pledge, and I am proud to say that, to define life from the moment of conception. We don't have to wait for the Supreme Court; we can be involved in this ourselves and I am thrilled to have signed the Personhood Amendment.

As President of the United States, I won't just talk this talk, I won't relegate pro-lifers to the corner and pat them on the head, I will actually do something about it and I will veto any congressional attempt to provide federal funding of abortion. That's why I led 40,000 Americans to the United States capitol to block Obamacare.

I'm 55, since I've been 19 I've been very active in the pro-life movement. I get it. This isn't a check the box issue for me; this is life itself. The one thing we can't get wrong in this election is the life issue. Too many times we have been relegated to the corner - I will not, as president I will actively pursue the personhood legislation.

Santorum Warns of 'Dire Consequences to our Society' if America Strays from God's 'Principles'

On the second segment of Rick Santorum’s appearance on Family Talk with James Dobson, the presidential candidate said that one of the reasons he entered the race is because of the “degrading of our respect for human life” he sees upheld by President Obama and other pro-choice politicians. A staunch opponent of reproductive freedom, earlier this year Santorum said he found it “almost remarkable” that a “black man” like Obama could support abortion rights. On an earlier episode of Dobson’s show, he linked Planned Parenthood with Nazism.

Santorum maintained that while the election may be focused on issues like “economics and jobs,” the country is on the verge of walking away from God’s “teachings,” which will bring about “dire consequences to our society”:

Santorum: This is the kind of just unsettling, degrading of our respect for human life that we see in the political arena, and it was one of the reasons that I felt compelled to get out there because everything is so focused on economics and jobs, which are of course important, but this country is a great country because we were blessed by God and that we are a country that lived according to His principles and His teachings. If we walk away from that, there are dire consequences to our society.

The former Pennsylvania senator also claimed that the reason he has faced attacks on the campaign trail is because he is “standing up for the Son of Man” and is committed to “speak the truth.” Dobson compared Santorum to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who he said is being “reviled” for his public displays of faith, and Santorum lamented that it “is sort of sad that we have a society that wants our heroes to be broken”:

Dobson: I can ask you how you feel about the exhaustion and the constant pressure and the media in your face and all that it means to pay the price for the responsibility you’re reaching for.

Santorum: Well I just feel blessed to have the opportunity to be able to go out and speak the truth, and to do so as someone who is not the favorite, not expected to win, but went out there to witness. I really believe that we need folks who are willing to stand up and just speak the truth and take the consequences. I have several favorite Bible passages that talk about that ‘they will hate you’ and ‘they will call your name evil’ because of standing up for the Son of Man, this is a great comfort to me that this is part of standing up for Him and doing the part as being a Christian.

Dobson: You know I think of what Tim Tebow must be going through now, if you dare utter the name of Christ, you can talk about God every now and then, but if you dare to mention the name of Jesus Christ you are going to be reviled and rejected and mocked and made fun of. Would they rather Tim would be buying drugs on a street corner? Would they rather he would have eight women in a course of a year, or in a course of a month? I mean those things go on in professional athletics. You’ve got this man kneeling and saying, ‘thank you Lord,’ and when they ask him how he is doing or how he felt about winning a game, he deflects it, he talks about his teammates and his coaches, and they hate him for it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you haven’t had a little bit of that.

Santorum: Well, certainly not on the scale that in the last week or so that Tim Tebow has, but he is a great inspiration to me and I think to many, many others. It is sort of sad that we have a society that wants our heroes to be broken.

Bachmann, Gingrich and Santorum to Participate in Forum hosted by Radical Anti-Choice Activists

Republican presidential candidiates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have signed on for a “Presidential Pro-Life Forum” hosted by Personhood USA and moderated by Iowa conservative radio personality Steve Deace. The three candidates along with Rick Perry have already announced their support for personhood laws.

Personhood USA wants abortion and even common forms of birth control banned without exception, and personhood laws may even outlaw in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies. The group launched unsuccessful referendums in Colorado and Mississippi, and has characterized President Obama as the “Angel of Death” and likened opponents to Nazis.

The other organizations listed as hosts of the forum are just as radical, if not more so.

The Call is led by Lou Engle, who has claimed that legal abortion may lead to civil war and is responsible for the Joplin tornado. Engle has also used his The Call prayer rally to bolster Ugandan legislation that would criminalize and in some cases give the death penalty for homosexuals. Moreover, Engle has compared gay rights to Nazism, advocated for Seven Mountains dominionism, and said that both gays and Muslims are demonic.

Another organization hosting the forum is the Oak Initiative, a project of South Carolina pastor Rick Joyner, who has argued that God will imminently destroy California, Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment for homosexuality, “extremist Islam” is God’s judgment for “perversions” and “abortions,” and that very soon “God’s judgment is going to come upon Hollywood.” Joyner also believes that President Obama may be a Muslim and that Muslims are trying to take control of Michigan, school textbooks and Christianity. Like Engle, Joyner is a proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism.

Both Engle and Joyner are closely affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes that God is raising up modern day apostles and prophets, and another cosponsor, the Freedom Federation, includes the NAR groups Generals International, led by the self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, and Harvest International Ministries of self-proclaimed apostle Che Ahn.

Three Republican candidates for the nation’s high office including Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich have confirmed their participation in the Presidential Pro-Life Forum on Tuesday, December 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 pm CST. The national tele-town hall and radio simulcast will be hosted by Personhood USA and their partner organizations: National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition, Liberty Counsel, Bott Radio Network, Freedom Federation, Frederick Douglass Foundation, Champion the Vote, Oak Initiative, The Call, Georgia Right to Life, Rock for Life, and Iowa Right to Life. An invitation has been extended to the remaining GOP presidential candidates.

The 90-minute pro-life tele-town hall will feature the candidates discussing their views on the rights of the preborn and other issues of great importance to pro-life voters. Pro-life groups around the nation are inviting their members to attend. Callers will have an opportunity to ask questions via email and give instant feedback to thoughts and ideas shared.

Nationally-syndicated radio host Steve Deace, whose influence in the Iowa Caucuses has been highlighted by numerous national media outlets, will broadcast the event live on his Salem Network program. Last week, four candidates, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, and Gov. Rick Perry, signed Personhood USA’s Personhood Republican Candidate Pledge, declaring their intentions to stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.”

“We’re pleased to see the candidates standing for the rights of every person to live, love, and be loved. The time has come to end the 40-year reign of the abortion industry, once and for all,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “This is an opportunity for everyone who understands that ‘all men are created equal’ to hear from the candidates their plans to recognize the most fundamental rights of every human being, no matter their age. Come, take advantage of this interactive and important event, and be a voice for the voiceless.”

Dobson Salutes Santorum for 'Standing up for Righteousness'

On December 16, Rick Santorum and his wife Karen joined James Dobson on his radio show Family Talk in a program, broadcasted today, where the Focus on the Family founder gushed that Santorum and his wife “epitomize what a Christian family is all about.” Today’s show comes a day after Santorum received the endorsement of leading Iowa Religious Right figures, and weeks following Michele Bachmann’s appearance on Family Talk, where Dobson hailed her and her husband as “role models.”

The conversation stayed clear of over political rhetoric and mostly focused on their family life, but the Focus on the Family founder lauded Santorum has the “guts” for “not being afraid” to speak “about the family, about marriage about childrearing, about the principles that we find in Scripture”:

Dobson: LuAnne, I’m looking forward to this program too because we’re honored to have the former US Senator Rick Santorum with us in the studio and also with us by phone is his lovely wife Karen, I have worked with both of these folks before and I love them like members of my own family and it’s just great to have them with us. These folks have been good friends for many years and they epitomize what a Christian family is all about.



Let me just express appreciation to you for standing up for righteousness, not being afraid to do so, speaking often about the family, about marriage about childrearing, about the principles that we find in Scripture. You have had the guts to do that, and with Karen more than that, to live it out, and that is very, very impressive to all of us.

Bob Vander Plaats Endorses Rick Santorum, 'The Huckabee in this Race'

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, who led Mike Huckabee’s victorious Iowa campaign in 2008, endorsed Rick Santorum for president today. Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center also endorsed Santorum. Speaking as an individual and not on behalf of his organization, Vander Plaats lauded Santorum as the “Huckabee in this race” and a “champion of the family.” Echoing Huckabee, who frequently reminded Religious Right voters, “I come from you,” Vander Plaats concluded, “I believe Rick Santorum comes from us, he’s not to us, he comes from us, he’s one of us.”

Watch:

Gingrich, Santorum, and Bachmann All Sign Radical Personhood USA Pledge

Last month, the radical "personhood" amendment in Mississippi was trounced in the polls, with 58% of voters rejecting the Religious Right's effort to implement draconian anti-choice restrictions in the state.

But that has not stopped supporters of this "personhood" movement from moving ahead with plans to try and pass similar amendments in states across the nation. 

And now Personhood USA has announced that Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all signed the organization's pledge to support and promote both state and federal "personhood" laws:

Personhood USA has unveiled a detailed and unique pledge declaring a commitment to advance the personhood rights of every human being, born and preborn. Ahead of the nation’s first presidential caucus in Iowa, Personhood USA is asking the Republican candidates to sign the pledge and declaration.

“I ____________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life,” it reads.

So far, candidates who have returned the pledge with their signatures include Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The "Personhood Republican Persidential Candidate Pledge" reads as follows:  

I __________________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.

I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,” and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

I believe that in order to properly protect the right to life of the vulnerable among us, every human being at every stage of development must be recognized as a person possessing the right to life in federal and state laws without exception and without compromise. I recognize that in cases where a mother’s life is at risk, every effort should be made to save the baby’s life as well; leaving the death of an innocent child as an unintended tragedy rather than an intentional killing.

I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings.

I pledge to the American people that I will defend all innocent human life. Abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited.

If elected President, I will work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development, and to the best of my knowledge, I will only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human being at every stage of development are person with the unalienable right to life.

GOP Candidates Line Up to Attend Huckabee's Anti-Choice Premier

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist":

Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:

Four of the Republican presidential candidates have committed to be at a pro-life forum in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by Mike Huckabee on December 14 to join more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will come together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” will make its debut that night. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Three other GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman, have also been invited to the event and they, along with the attending candidates, have been invited to address the audience on pro-life issues before the screening.

Also taking part will be Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson, said Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Citizens United. The event takes place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

Santorum: Single Moms Not Marrying Their Boyfriends so They Can Collect Welfare

Dear Single Moms on Welfare: Watch out! Rick Santorum is on to your trickery. 

At Saturday’s GOP presidential forum hosted by Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum sounded off the many ways that the federal government supposedly opposes marriage. In particular, he highlighted the supposedly common phenomenon of single welfare mothers who aren't marrying their live-in boyfriends so they can get extra goodies from the government:

I’m sure everybody, a lot of folks listening here tonight, are gonna know people who are, who father and mother are living together, but they’re not married, for the reason they’re not married is so they, mother, can receive welfare benefits to help support that child, those children.

Yes Rick, I’m sure everybody watching knows a family just like that. Living in sin, but also in style, thanks to those ever-so-generous welfare checks.
 

Santorum Calls For Public Schools To Undermine The Teaching Of Evolution

During a meeting with the editorial board of the Nashua Telegraph, Rick Santorum urged public schools to begin teaching claims that undermine evolution, no matter their scientific veracity. He blamed “the left and the scientific community, so to speak,” for the inability of schools to teach about the role of God or a Creator, and said that “maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things.”

Such attacks on the teaching of evolution are nothing new from Santorum, who attached language in the Conference Report of the No Child Left Behind Act that says a “quality science education” include topics that challenge biological evolution as part of his “teaching the controversy” campaign. He also endorsed the Dover, Pennsylvania school district’s requirement that teachers offer textbooks on “Intelligent Design,” which was developed by proponents of Creationism, and the teaching of “Intelligent Design” was declared unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover. In fact, the “teach the controversy” approach originates from the anti-evolution Discovery Institute, and the National Center for Science Education points out that evolution “is not scientifically controversial, nor are resources for each side of comparable quality – evidence for evolution comes from peer-reviewed literature whereas evidence against evolution is built on flawed assumptions and popularized misconceptions.”

Watch:

Santorum: There are many on the left and in the scientific community, so to speak, who are afraid of that discussion because oh my goodness you might mention the word, God-forbid, “God” in the classroom, or “Creator,” or that there may be some things that are inexplainable by nature where there may be, where it’s better explained by a Creator, of course we can’t have that discussion. It’s very interesting that you have a situation that science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-Creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific. Well maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things. And if it does point to that, why don’t you pursue that? But you can’t because it’s not science, but if science is pointing you there how can you say it’s not science? It’s worth the debate.

Santorum: God's Law And Civil Law Must Be The Same

During The Family Leader's Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa on Saturday, forum moderator Frank Luntz's first question to Rick Santorum was "what's the number one value that America has lost and how would you get it back?"

Santorum's response was that America has lost the recognition that this nation was founded on the principle that our rights come from God and that, as such, we are also required to abide by God's laws ... which, he explained, was totally unlike Sharia:

Now, unlike Islam where the higher law and civil law are the same, in our case, we have civil laws but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.

Our civil laws have to ... and that's why, with the issue of abortion, as long as abortion is "legal" - at least according to the Supreme Court, "legal" in this country - we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God's law which says that all life has value, all life is created by [God,] I knew you in the womb.

And as long as there is a discordance between the two, there will be agitation.

So, to clarify: In Islam, God's laws and the civil laws are one-and-the-same and that is theocracy and that is bad ... whereas here in the United States, our civil laws merely must be in accordance with God's law, and that is not theocracy and that is good. 

And until that happens, Santorum says, this country will never have rest. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain on the issue of abortion and using quotes from various Religious Right leaders to drive home the point.
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  • The Rick Perry campaign has hit upon a novel possible solution to addressing the candidate's poor debate performances: skipping future debates.
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  • Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones is running for president.
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  • FRC's latest prayer target: "Pray that DOMA will be preserved! May the people elect a President and Congress next November who will pass, and may the states ratify a Federal Marriage Amendment that will protect the definition of natural marriage as found in the Bible."
  •  

  • Bryan Fischer says "the left is profoundly anti-science," which is why they refuse to admit that gays can choose to become straight.
  •  

  • Finally, Concerned Women for America has released talking points [PDF] opposing the Respect for Marriage Act.  Point one: "Despite its deliberately deceptive name, the 'Respect for Marriage Act' insidiously seeks to destroy the historical, traditional definition of marriage."

Right Wing Round-Up

Religious Right Erupts Following Herman Cain's Incoherent Position On Abortion

Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least.

Rick Perry’s campaign suggested that Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has “flip flopped” on the issue and Rick Santorum went so far as to call him “pro-choice.” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance said that Cain “needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative”:

Last week Herman Cain said he didn’t support a federal marriage amendment, this week he has backed away from his earlier position on the sanctity of human life. Herman Cain needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative. The issue of life is like the issue of slavery, it is an inalienable right. The life issue is a dividing line proving whether or not a leader’s moral compass is intact. This is not a point on which social conservative women will negotiate. Cain needs to figure out what he believes.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association argued that Cain’s remarks “could have come right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook” and wrote a column taking Cain to task:

Herman seems to be saying that he is pro-life with no exceptions for rape and incest — unless the family wants an exception, and then it’s none of his business.

Ouch.

In other words, Herman’s position on conceived-in-rape is virtually indistinguishable from the typical liberal position: personally pro-life, politically pro-abortion.

Although the rape and incest issue is obviously controversial, and a subset of the larger pro-life debate, this will create real problems for Herman in the campaign. It will be difficult for him to walk this one back.

Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd, like everyone it seems besides Cain, was utterly befuddled, saying that “his answer sounds awfully pro-choice,” charging, “that’s how the pro-abortion side talks!”

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber later called into Mefferd’s show and urged Cain to clarify:

Guy Benson of Townhall also writes that after watching Cain’s interviews with Piers Morgan and with John Stossel, where Cain said that “abortion should not be legal” but an abortion “is her choice, that is not government’s choice,” it seems that Cain’s position, on the face of it, is pro-choice:

I'm a bit mystified that I'm even asking this question, frankly, because I simply assumed Cain was rock solid on the life issue -- but after a puzzling interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, I'm not sure what to think any more.



He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate. If you didn't know the following quote came out of Herman Cain's mouth, I wouldn't blame you for presuming its source was a Democrat.

Right Wing Round-Up

Santorum: Curtail Single Motherhood To Reduce The Democratic Advantage

While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Today’s Issues, Rick Santorum argued that single mothers were the “political base” of the Democratic Party, and that Republicans should work to lessen single motherhood in order to score political points against their Democratic rivals. The Democratic Party, Santorum said, relies on “single mothers who run a household” and have a “desire for government” as their voter base, and concluded that building “two parent families” is necessary “to reduce the Democratic advantage.”

Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: it is single mothers who run a household. Why? Because it’s so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they’re going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government.

Santorum: Curtail Single Motherhood 'To Reduce The Democratic Advantage'

While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Today’s Issues, Rick Santorum argued that single mothers were the “political base” of the Democratic Party, and that Republicans should work to lessen single motherhood in order to score political points against their Democratic rivals. The Democratic Party, Santorum said, relies on “single mothers who run a household” and have a “desire for government” as their voter base, and concluded that building “two parent families” is necessary “to reduce the Democratic advantage.”

Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: it is single mothers who run a household. Why? Because it’s so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they’re going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government.
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Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 07/15/2013, 3:25pm
Joe Pags did his best to fill in for Glenn Beck today on The Blaze, and while interviewing Rick Santorum he referred to abortion rights supporters as “nutcases” who have quite the agenda: “They’ve got a vast communist, socialist agenda; they’ve got a vast anti-freedom, anti-American agenda; they’ve got a vast anti-Christian, anti-Constitutional agenda.” Santorum agreed that media outlets have “ignored” their nefarious agendas and crooked methods. “This is what community organizers do,” Santrum said, “these are actually... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/28/2013, 10:55am
Rick Santorum told NewsmaxTV yesterday that the gay rights victories at the Supreme Court are paving the way for the “death knell” of marriage. The former senator and presidential candidate, who on Wednesday claimed that the Supreme Court’s marriage rulings represent the loss of freedom, maintained that the DOMA decision will allow the Supreme Court “to establish some sort of constitutional right or find that marriage is unconstitutional in its current form. That to me will put the death knell in it.” But Santorum was optimistic that opposition to marriage... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/27/2013, 9:58am
Rick Santorum told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg yesterday that the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act “demeans democracy” and threatens freedom. The former senator and movie producer said that the DOMA decision, along with President Obama’s “authoritarian” speech on climate change, represent “craziness.” “You are losing freedom in this country,” Santorum warned. “Hopefully Americans are going to wake up and see that this concentration of power in Washington is damaging to them and their freedom... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/24/2013, 5:30pm
"Coach" Dave Daubenmire is quite proud of being a "right-wing wacko" and being featured on this blog. This is the spectacle with which Glenn Beck is going to forever change the Fourth of July? Of course, Muslim terrorists were responsible for the Colorado wildfires. Rick Santorum is now the head of a Christian movie studio. Seriously. On tomorrow's radio program, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly will interview U2's Bono. Finally, Steve Deace says "We don't need an Islamist invasion. Our elites are doing a great job of... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/20/2013, 2:48pm
Here’s a question for Ralph Reed and the ‘Teavangelical’ wing of the conservative movement: how can you portray yourselves as serious about governing when the keynote speakers at last week’s “Road to Majority” conference were Donald Trump and Sarah Palin? Palin’s conference-closing remarks on Saturday featured a breathtakingly offensive joke about the Syrian civil war, which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. She said we should just “let Allah sort it out.” Palin also had choice words for the bipartisan immigration reform bill moving... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 06/11/2013, 5:31pm
Today, Randall Terry and crew went to the US Capitol to "flog Rep. Peter King in effigy" in order to "to show support for whistleblower Edward Snowden." Even without speaking, Glenn Beck can still wind up in tears. Rick Santorum will receive the Vision America "Nation Hero of Faith Award" at a ceremony in September. If E.W. Jackson becomes Lt. Governor, maybe he can hire a copy editor. Finally, Bryan Fischer stretches to explain how the 4th Amendment is rooted in the Bible. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/28/2013, 6:15pm
Shockingly, Republican politicians are far more likely to make false statements than Democrats. Speaking of fallacious claims, did you know that President Obama was using cocaine and having sex with another man during the Benghazi attack? Bob Vander Plaats is giddy about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s potential run for president. Rick Santorum endorsed American Spectator editor Quin Hillyer’s campaign for Congress.  The Creation Museum is introducing an exhibit on how stories about dragons prove that humans lived with dinosaurs.  Jim Bob... MORE >
Layne, Wednesday 05/22/2013, 2:12pm
As the Boy Scouts of America consider lifting a ban on openly gay scouts, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent claims from the Religious Right on what might happen if that shift were to occur.  Relying on outlandish predictions and harmful lies, right-wing personalities are linking gays in the Boy Scouts to everything from sexual abuse to North Korean nuclear threats. Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s recent reporting on right-wing opposition to lifting the ban on gay members in the Boy Scouts: 5. Swanson: Allowing Gays in Boy Scouts Like... MORE >