Rick Santorum

Dobson Joins Santorum on the Stump

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson appeared with Rick Santorum at a campaign rally in Colorado, which has its caucus on February 7. Dobson joined other Religious Right leaders in endorsing Santorum and hailed him for fighting against same-sex marriage, and reportedly also backed Santorum because he disapproved of Newt Gingrich’s third wife Callista. Dobson said that neither Mitt Romney nor Gingrich are authentic conservatives, lauding Santorum for caring “about the moral integrity of this nation” and his consistent “fight for marriage and fight for the unborn.” While Dobson stressed social issues, the former Pennsylvania senator claimed that his image as a “social conservative” was responsible for his third place defeat in Florida:

After delivering a pointed version of his stump speech before a crowd of more than 1,200 people at Mr. Biggs Family Funhouse here, Santorum introduced Dobson, the head of the conservative group Focus on the Family.

Dobson, who endorsed Santorum in January, made the point that he was at the event “as a private individual,” and this disclaimer may have allowed him to be a bit more candid.

“It would appear to me that Mitt Romney is not a conservative,” Dobson said to much applause. “And Newt Gingrich is not – well I don’t know what he is. You’re the only true conservative in the race.”

The two men then had a conversation that veered more personal than political, with Dobson explaining the rationale behind his decision to support Santorum in the Republican primary.

“I believe you really care about the moral integrity of this nation and I believe you will fight for it,” Dobson said to Santorum. “Fight for marriage and fight for the unborn child and fight for the all the other principles that matters so much to me and so many others.”

During his opening remarks, Santorum suggested that his image as a staunch social conservative potentially damaged his efforts to appeal to the majority of the Republican electorate whose primary concern for 2012 is the flagging economy.

“I had the highest favorability as anybody in Florida,” Santorum said. “But I didn’t win, even though I had the most positive – highest positive, lowest negative. I didn’t win, and you ask the people why, ‘well, we’re not sure you can win. People think you’re a social conservative and we need someone who’s an economic conservative.’”

But looking at the issues, Santorum argued, none of the three other major GOP candidates differ in their stated positions on social issues. “What makes me more socially conservative than they? Some would suggest that I actually believe what I’m saying as opposed to them,” Santorum said.

Santorum Accepts, Romney Declines Invitation to Religious Right Forum Hosted by Gingrich Campaign Co-Chair

To the surprise of nobody, Mitt Romney is ignoring an invitation to participate in the presidential candidate forum at Liberty Counsel’s Florida Awake! conference on Saturday. So far, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted the invitation, while Ron Paul respectfully declined because he will be outside of Florida at the time. Romney has already skipped the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa and two Personhood USA forums, and his decision to skip the Liberty Counsel debate earned him a rebuke from Personhood USA, even though Romney at one point endorsed the group’s extreme anti-choice legislation. The slam from Personhood USA, a cosponsor of the forum, implied that he wouldn’t be a strong opponent of abortion rights:

Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Rick Santorum are confirmed to participate in Florida Awake! Congressman Ron Paul regretfully declined, as he is not scheduled to be campaigning in Florida at that time. The event is already sold out, with over 1800 tickets reserved.

Governor Romney, again expressly invited, has again neglected to notify organizers of his willingness or disinclination to participate.

"Following President Obama's statement celebrating the Roe v. Wade decision -- effectively celebrating the deliberate killing of 54 million innocent American citizens -- Personhood USA recognizes the urgency of ensuring that we know where our candidates stand," stated Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. "We need a president who values life, and will defend the innocent in word and in deed. We certainly don't need a candidate who cares nothing for the Sanctity of Life, nor one who will join President Obama in celebrating the deaths of millions.'

But Romney may have a not terrible reason for skipping the forum led by Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, as Staver is Co-Chair of the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition. Staver endorsed Gingrich earlier this month, calling him the “clear choice for conservatives.”

While Romney’s decision to not participate is nothing new, it is far more bizarre that Santorum would accept the invitation to a forum hosted and moderated by a Gingrich campaign leader.

Santorum Wins Backing of Fringe Religious Right Leaders

One day before the crucial South Carolina primary, Rick Santorum is beginning to win the endorsements of not just Religious Right luminaries but also fringe activists, including some who previously backed the failed presidential campaigns of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Santorum recently won the backing of Religious Right activists such as James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Richard Viguerie, Maggie Gallagher, Penny Nance and most recently, former Perry booster John Stemberger.

Today, Viguerie released the names of additional Religious Right figures that are supporting Santorum, including Paul Pressler, the Southern Baptist leader who hosted the recent Texas meeting of social conservatives.

But other Santorum endorsers are less well-known:

  • Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, who has dedicated her career to fighting the rights of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, argued that it would lead to a draft along with “forcible sodomy.”  
  • Michael Geer of the Pennsylvania Family Institute who has crusaded against marriage equality, calling it a “tragedy.” 

All in all, about the people you would expect to endorse Rick Santorum.

James Dobson Endorses Santorum, Hopes He Can Stop Same-Sex Marriage

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson endorsed Rick Santorum today, which comes as no surprise as Dobson advocated for Santorum behind closed doors at a meeting with fellow Religious Right leaders in Texas. According to reports, Dobson feared the repercussions of electing Newt Gingrich and having “a woman who was a man’s mistress for eight years” as First Lady.

In his endorsement, Dobson said that “the institution of the family” is “in serious jeopardy,” warning that the “very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.” Dobson has previously compared Santorum to Tim Tebow and saluted him for “standing up for righteousness,” and joins social conservative activists Maggie Gallagher, Penny Nance, Richard Viguerie, John Stemberger and Gary Bauer in endorsing the former Pennsylvania Senator:

Dr. Dobson, well-known radio broadcaster, psychologist and author of 35 best selling books, and consultant to three U.S. Presidents, said today, "The institution of the family is the key issue facing this great nation. It is the foundation, the bedrock, upon which every dimension of Western Civilization rests. If it is undermined or weakened by cultural and governmental forces, the entire superstructure will collapse in short order. And indeed, today it is in serious jeopardy. The very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.

"Of all the Republican candidates who are vying for the presidency, former Sen. Santorum is the one who has spoken passionately in every debate about this concern. He has pleaded with the nation and its leaders to come to the aid of marriages, parents, and their children. What a refreshing message. The Congress voted in 1969 to impose a marriage penalty tax on husbands and wives who were struggling to raise their children. That unfair tax continued for 32 years, until George W. Bush rolled it back. Now, if Democrats and some Republicans have their way, the marriage penalty tax will be re-imposed in 2013. We desperately need a president who will intercede on behalf of those who are caring for the next generation and working to build this nation.

"While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour. His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live. This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign."

UPDATE: Rick Santorum thanked Dobson in a statement and hoped his endorsement would help “build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win”:

I am truly honored to receive Dr. Dobson's endorsement today. Dr. Dobson has been a light for conservative movement, an unwavering leader in the face of forces both within and outside our Party to call a truce on the foundational principles that make our nation the greatest in the history of the world, but he knows that calling a truce is nothing more than surrendering. I commit to never surrender our principles, our foundational values, and the moral enterprise that is America. I am excited to work with Dr. Dobson in the weeks to come as we build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win.

Meanwhile, the Red White and Blue Fund, a pro-Santorum Super PAC, is airing a new ad in South Carolina narrated by Bauer, who helped found the Family Research Council with Dobson, calling Santorum an opponent of “liberal elites and those who seek to undermine the nation’s freedoms and moral fabric”:

Santorum Shares Stage with Jerry Boykin

Earlier this week, we noted that Rick Santoum was campaigning in South Carolina where he attended an event where he was introduced and endorsed by anti-Islam activist/conspiracy theorist Jerry Boykin.

We have been searching around for video of the event but, so far, have been unable to locate any ... but we did manage to find this photo from the event from The Post and Courier showing Santorum speaking with Boykin seated on stage:

So this seems like a good opportunity to again highlight some of Boykin's more bizarre beliefs ... like his assertion that President Obama is a Marxist who is using healthcare reform legislation to create an army of Brownshirts who will be loyal only to him:

GOP Presidentials Line Up to Kiss Ralph Reed's...Ring

Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at least more vocal, backers, than Santorum.

“We are here today because we say unapologetically and unequivocally that there cannot be true freedom without faith in almighty God,” announced the disgraced-and-rebounding Reed, who led the Christian Coalition to prominence in the 1990s and launched the Faith & Freedom coalition in 2009 as a voter turnout machine for conservative evangelicals.  He claims that he is going to register 2 million new voters on his way to compiling a database of 27 million voters who will be contacted over and over up and through Election Day.  “If you thought we turned out in 2010, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he warned Democratic leaders.  Reed said “in 2012 we’re going to stand up and be counted and we’re going to say that people with faith in God aren’t what’s wrong with America, they’re what’s right with America and we need more of them engaged and more of them involved.” 

The audience may not have been united on a candidate, but the candidates were unanimous in their avowed devotion to the Religious Right’s anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda, and their promises to fight “secularism” and the Obama administration’s alleged love affair with European-style “socialism” and its supposed “war on religion.” Also on the list: promises to repeal “Obamacare,” appoint right-wing justices to the Supreme Court, and shrink government.  Reed promised that a Republican Congress and president would “dramatically slash” the corporate tax rate and take the capital gains tax to zero.

Rick Perry, whose once-mighty support has virtually evaporated in recent months, promised to set the audience on fire.  His rambling remarks – punctuated with fist-pumping exclamations like “God and country!” – were well received, but South Carolina doesn’t seem likely to resurrect his candidacy.

The Supreme Court

Several candidates and their backers talked about the importance of the next president’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices.  Jay Sekulow, head of the Religious Right legal group American Center for Law & Justice, is one of Romney’s most prominent Religious Right backers.  Sekulow talked about counting to five when he prepares Supreme Court cases, and said he was confident that with a President Romney making appointments in the mold of Justices Roberts and Alito, “I’m not going to have to worry about my math skills.” Reed, who introduced Gingrich, cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito as the kind of justices he was looking forward to – and not someone like Sotomayor.  The Obama administration’s Justice Department also came in for sharp criticism, with Reed saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to “go back to where he came from.”

Pursuit of Happiness: The Gay Exception

One candidate after another cited the Declaration of Independence’s reference to the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”  -- and then went on to call for a constitutional amendment that would prevent any state from allowing same-sex couples to get married.  Romney said he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and called for a constitutional amendment on marriage.  Santorum said government based on the principles of strong faith and strong families was needed to constrain bad behavior and immoral activity.  Perry dropped his voice to a dramatic whisper to assure gay people that “I love you regardless of what you’ve done. I hate your sin, but I love you.”

Threats to “Religious Liberty”

Many speakers argued that Christians in America are besieged by rampaging secularists.  Romney said President Obama had put America on a path to being “more and more of a secular nation.” Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) asserted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians – no doubt about it.” Rick Perry decried liberals in Congress and on the courts who he said wanted to “whitewash the public square of all spiritual references” and “sanitize from our history books our Judeo-Christian roots.”  “If I am president of the United States, I will not allow them to do it! I will welcome people of faith to the public arena!” said Perry.  “This is our country, ladies and gentlemen. This is our time. And it is time for people of faith to take this country back!”  Romney and Reed promised that 2012 would bring more than political victory; it will bring spiritual awakening and renewal to America.

Ron Paul’s Biblical Economics

Journalist Adele Stan has reported on Ron Paul’s ties to Christian Reconstructionists and their religious view of limited government. Paul cited the Bible to support his monetary policies, saying “The Bible says we’re supposed to have honest currency and we’re not supposed to print the money.”  He also cited Biblical stories from Isaiah and Elijah about the importance of the “remnant” – the small number of people who could be counted on to hear the word of God.  The portrayal of conservative Christians as the righteous remnant is a popular theme at Religious Right gatherings.

Romney v (Gingrich v Santorum)

The current story of the GOP primary seems to be whether Santorum or Gingrich can rally enough conservatives who distrust Romney to wrest the nomination away from him.  On one South Carolina radio station, Gingrich and Santorum ads ran back to back on Monday, each making the “electability” case.  Santorum and Gingrich both attacked Romney’s ability to challenge “Obamacare,” and each used their remarks to argue that they could best carry the banner of unapologetic conservatism.   Santorum bragged that he opposed the Wall Street bailouts while Romney, Gingrich, and Perry supported them.  He claimed that he was the only one whose economic plan was grounded in building strong families.  Gingrich pledged that he would challenge Obama to seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, even offering to let Obama use a teleprompter (those jokes never go out of style at GOP gatherings), saying, “I think I can tell the truth without notes better than he can lie with a teleprompter.”  Gingrich’s brashness was mirrored in the comments of Rep. Trent Franks, who once called President Obama an “enemy of humanity,” told the Faith & Freedom crowd that in a debate with President Obama, Gingrich “will eat Mr. Obama’s cookies and all accoutrements thereto.”

Appropriating a Sanitized MLK

Several speakers noted that the Faith & Freedom rally and GOP debate were taking place on Martin Luther King Day.  Romney expressed admiration for King, who he referred to as “a great man.”  But King’s Poor People’s Campaign and demand for government help in finding people jobs would not have won any praise from Romney or others at this event.  Neither would Jesus’ teaching that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.  Building on the backlash against Gingrich and Perry’s criticism of Romney’s record as a “vulture capitalist,” Romney denounced “class warfare” and charged that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.”  Obama, he said, wants to replace ambition with envy, and “poison the American spirit by replacing a sense of unity with a sense of class warfare.”  According to Romney, believing “one nation under God” means not noticing economic inequality. Others took the same line. Santorum, who says it’s un-American to even talk about a “middle class,” said Obama “wants to rule us” and thinks he can win by “dividing America up.”  He said that Obama is destroying the incentive to create wealth.

In his eagerness to rally the Founding Fathers to his side, Romney mangled history in a way that called attention to the importance of MLK Day being more about learning and less about empty platitudes.  According to Romney, the Founders’ choice of words about the unalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence indicated that they meant to create an opportunity society.  “This would be a nation where people would pursue happiness according to their dreams,” said Romney. “We would not be limited by the circumstances of our birth, we would not be limited by our race or gender…”   Well, Mr. Romney, we’re closer to that ideal, thanks to the work of Martin Luther King and countless others, but the founders were quite willing to limit people’s opportunities based on race and gender.  And they weren’t the last.

Jerry Boykin Endorses Rick Santoum

Rick Santorum is campaigning in South Carolina today where, among his various events, was a "Faith, Family and Freedom" town hall where he appeared with Jerry Boykin and received his endorsement:

Santorum was introduced by South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms, who announced he was shifting his support from Rick Perry to Santorum. Grooms said he has received seven robocalls from Romney in the past few days, including one that said Santorum was endorsing Romney. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin (retired), a former U.S. undersecretary of defense for intelligence, also endorsed Santorum at the town hall-style meeting that followed.

As we have explained numerous times before, Boykin is 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. He also says that not only can there be no interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims, but that Christians must go on the offensive against Islam.

He also believes that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations intentionally collapsed the US economy in order to help elect President Obama, who is now using health care reform legislation to create an army of Brownshirt soldiers loyal only to him:

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.
Syndicate content

Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/10/2013, 5:32pm
Rick Santorum will be joining Mat Staver, Rick Scarborough and others at a "Pastors for Virginia" luncheon next week. Gary Bauer can't quite figure out how to attack President Obama over Syria, complaining that he's seeking Congressional authorization only so he can blame Congress if anything goes wrong. Glenn Beck declares "write it down in your calendars, because this is the week that America lost its superpower status." Russell Moore bemoans the dangers of pornography and fornication. Finally, every were Cindy Jacobs goes, miraculous events... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/19/2013, 5:30pm
Liberty Counsel announces that it will file suit to block New Jersey's new law banning the use of "ex-gay" therapy on minors. A "photoshop expert" called into Bryan Fischer's radio program today to support his theory, so that proves that! Scott Brown for president? Matt Barber will not be bullied! "Look, you have every right to dress up in two wedding gowns or two tuxedos, get pretend 'married' and play house to your hearts’ content. You do not have the right, however, to force others to abandon their sincerely held religious... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/12/2013, 1:00pm
Rick Santorum says the term “middle class” is “Marxism talk” since America doesn’t have any classes. “Since when in America do we have classes?” Santorum asked a Republican gathering in Lyon County, Iowa, “There’s no class in America.” He added that the GOP, unlike Democrats,“values the dignity of every human life,” and therefore shouldn’t use the term—which he has actually used repeatedly. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/07/2013, 5:29pm
Oddly, Rep. Ted Yoho's office doesn't seems to want to talk about his "Obamacare is racist" comments. It is good to see that Todd Starnes is addressing the important issues. We are generally not ones who will defend Rick Santorum, but it seems that some people are mocking him without understanding the reference he was making. If Glenn Beck had the money, he'd love to hire Jay Leno away from NBC. Finally, Ken Hutcherson explains what he would do if he was president.  Why? We have no idea. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/06/2013, 4:25pm
Rick Santorum won Students for Life’s 2013 William Wilberforce Award, and spent part of his speech lamenting the gains made by the left in the US. The likely presidential candidate said progressives focus on politics “in everything they do and in every aspect of their life…. They live it, they are passionate, they are willing to do and say uncomfortable things in mixed company, they are willing to make the sacrifice with their business because they care enough.” He even likened liberals to the Continental Army of the American Revolution: “We won the American... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/06/2013, 2:00pm
Year after year we keep hearing about the supposed decline of the Religious Right and the GOP’s shift away from the fringes. Despite all of that talk and speculation, this weekend will see this year’s second Religious Right gathering for potential presidential candidates, almost three years before the Iowa caucus. For anyone who anticipates that Republican presidential candidates will move towards the center in 2016, this weekend’s festivities are a very loud wakeup call. The upcoming Family Leadership Summit comes on the heels of last month’s Iowa Pastors and... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 07/17/2013, 11:02am
Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He... MORE >
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 >