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Politics

6:00pm January 30, 2012

The Santorum Model: Keep Bigots Happy, Win Votes

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Rick Santorum digs his bigoted town hall fans and groupies

by Jonathan Hicks, Amsterdam News

It’s always intriguing to watch presidential candidates at campaign events when they take questions from ordinary voters. Appearances in front of average Americans can provide a rich opportunity to gain insight into the candidates, often revealing their default positions and offering an unscripted glimpse into their true character.

That was certainly the case when former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) campaigned at an American Legion Hall in Lady Lake, Fla. He was confronted by a questioner who had some strong words for the president of the United States.

“I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not,” one woman said, speaking to Santorum. “He constantly says that our Constitution is passé, and he ignores it, as you know, and does what he darn well pleases. He is an avowed Muslim and my question is, why isn’t something being done to get him out of government? He has no legal right to be calling himself president.”

Santorum, who smiled throughout the woman’s outrageous statement, responded. “Well, look, I’m doing my best to get him out of the government right now,” he said. “And you’re right about how he uniformly ignores the Constitution. He did this with these appointments over the recess that was not a recess, and if I was in the United States Senate, I would be drawing the line.”

It was an extraordinary moment that not only revealed the intolerance of the questioner but showcased the atrocious insensitivity of a candidate who would have the nation believe that he is a principled values candidate steeped in Christian ethics.

What kind of values is Santorum championing when he smiles and refuses to refute someone who insists that the first African American president is holding office illegally? Why would it not be an act of principle and integrity to simply state what Santorum surely knows, that Barack Obama is a Christian? What would prevent an American candidate of integrity from simply pointing out that, in a country that was founded on the principles of religious freedom, a Muslim would have as much right to be president as, say, a Catholic or a Mormon.

Instead, when pressed about his irresponsible response, Santorum said that he felt no obligation whatsoever to correct the questioner.

“It’s not my responsibility as a candidate to correct everybody who makes a statement that I disagree with,” Santorum said. “There are lots of people who get up and say stuff in town hall meetings and say things that I don’t agree with, but I don’t think it’s my obligation, nor should it be your feeling that it’s my obligation, to correct somebody who says something that I don’t agree with.”

Contrast that with the position taken four years ago by Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who was famously asked a question at a town hall meeting in Minnesota by a woman who called Obama an “Arab.” Immediately, McCain rejected the assertion.

“No ma’am,” McCain shot back. “He’s a decent family man, [a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Americans should be entitled to candidates who, no matter their party or political philosophy, at least demonstrate integrity and decency-campaigners who seek to unite. But Santorum and other Republican presidential aspirants are united by their blind rage and divisive tones, usually based on race. And Santorum, who wears his Christian badge on his sleeve, is clearly only too happy to tolerate any sort of bigotry, so long as it aids his efforts to win votes.

Special from The Amsterdam News



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2 Comments


  1. Santorum, who like Gingrich and Romney, is willing to say anything to get elected. We need a candidate who can't be bought, who isn't willing to tell you what you want to hear in order to get your vote. Ron Paul has been telling it like it is for the last 20 years; people are just now waking up and listening to him.

    Santorum is a bigot. Gingrich is a hypocrite. Romney is a flip-flopper. And not one of them stands for limited government and personal freedoms. None of them deserve your support as the GOP nominee. Only one man represents true conservative values and has a plan to take back this country. Ron Paul 2012.


  2. libsonparade

    Imagine….. being called a bigot by a bigoted anti-Christian so-called journalist. Eighth world wonder…… I think not.



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