Rick Santorum Explains His Low Rate of Charitable Giving

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  • Rick Santorum
    (Photo: Reuters/Tami Chappell)
    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks at Peachtree-Dekalb Airport at campaign rally in Atlanta, Georgia, March 1, 2012.
By Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter
March 4, 2012|5:43 pm

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum was confronted about his low rate of charitable giving, less than two percent in 2010, on "Fox News Sunday." He said that he should do better, but he has been giving less in order to care for Bella, his daughter who suffers from Trisomy 18.

In 2010, President Obama gave 14.2 percent and presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave 13.8 percent of their income to charity. Santorum gave only 1.76 percent, or $16,289, of his $923,411 income to charity. Newt Gingrich gave 2.6 percent of his $3.1 million income to charity and Ron Paul has refused to release his tax returns.

"We always need to do better," Santorum said. "I was in a situation where we have seven children and one disabled child who we take care of. She's very, very expensive. We love her and we cherish the opportunity to take care of her, but it's an additional expense. We need round-the-clock care for her and our insurance company doesn't cover it so I have to cover it.

"That's one of the things that you have to balance – the needs of your immediate family. If you look back in the previous years, we did donate more. It's an area that I need to do better and will do better."

Trisomy 18 is a genetic disorder that causes developmental problems. Half of children born with trisomy 18 do not survive their first week of life, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Bella is three years old, but host Chris Wallace said that Fox News had researched Santorum's tax returns going back to 2007 and found that he was giving around two percent back then as well.

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"No, we were giving around three to four percent," Santorum replied. "I'm not making excuses, except for the fact, every family goes through periods of time where they have to dedicate resources to problems they have in their own family and taking care of people. That's what we did."

Santorum earned $659,000 in 2007, $952,000 in 2008, $1.1 million in 2009 and $923,000 in 2010.

Ten states will hold contests this "Super Tuesday." Among those states, Santorum has his best chance to win in Tennessee and Ohio. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Santorum is up four percentage points (34 to 30 percent) over Romney in Tennessee. A NBC News/Marist poll shows Santorum up only two percentage points (34 to 32 percent) over Romney in Ohio. In both of those polls, the candidates are in a statistical tie due to the margin of error.

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
 

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