Rick Santorum: Will Presidential Candidate's Faith-Led Policies Survive Scrutiny?

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  • Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum
    (Photo: REUTERS/Molly Riley)
    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington December 7, 2011.
By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
January 8, 2012|10:21 pm

In light of Rick Santorum's recent rise, many are wondering whether he could ever be president of the United States.

Following his thrusting towards the front of the GOP presidential candidate race in Iowa, Santorum’s comments, past and present, are coming under increasing scrutiny. Voters are now questioning whether some comments that have been highlighted by his rivals and media, have affected his bid for presidency.

The Christian conservative, who prides himself on being anti-abortion, has been forced to defend his comments about birth control in an interview he gave last year.

"Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be," Santorum said.

Critics argued that Santorum's views were infringing upon women's rights, although supporters of Santorum argued that he was simply adhering to his religious values.

Santorum, who is married with seven children (one of whom is deceased), was accused of promoting sexism in his 2005 book, "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good."

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In his book the former U.S. senator thanked "the influence of radical feminism" for fewer mothers staying home with their children today, which critics argue promoted female oppression.

In 2007, Santorum accused Mormonism of being a "dangerous cult" in a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the same column the following year, Santorum revealed his clear conservative values when he spoke out against homosexuality.

"Is anyone saying same-sex couples can't love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?" Santorum wrote.

However, in an interview with the Associated Press, he went further and associated gay marriage to "man on dog" sex in 2003, which unsurprisingly caused gay activists to label him a homophobic.

More recently, Santorum has been forced to defend critical comments he allegedly made about blacks, although he denies ever making the comments critics accuse him of.

While campaigning in Iowa Santorum was reported as saying, "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."

Appearing on Fox News' The O'Reily Factor, he denied using the word “black” and insisted he had actually said "blah."

While critics argue that Santorm's comments have likely damaged his ability to win the Republican nomination, others are convinced that he's still a leading contender.

There has recently been speculation that Santorum actually won the Iowa Caucuses instead of Mitt Romney. In one of the closest votes in U.S. caucus history, Romney beat Santorum by just eight votes.

Edward True who was working as a vote counter in Appanoose County insists that there was a count recording mistake, which ultimately cost Santorum the victory over Romney. He also alleges that GOP County Chairman Lyle Brinegar advised him to forget about it.

 

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