[Editor's Note: On Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2012 Rick Santorum announced that he was suspending his presidential campaign at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On his campaign website Santorum stated: "Today I announced that I am suspending my campaign for the President of the United States. This has been one of the hardest decisions Karen and I have ever had to face together. And it has been hard in large measure because of you. I know that my candidacy has offered you a way to fight for your convictions, and I do not want to let you down...
Our good friends in Texas have been working non-stop to make sure that they have a say in the choice of our nominee, but without the state changing its delegate allocation to winner-take-all, I do not see a path forward that does not risk our shared objective of defeating Barack Obama in November...
From the start of this race I have offered a unique voice in the debate. One that the party and the country needs to hear. I have been your voice. I have been positive. I have been willing to stand for issues that some believe are controversial and would prefer to sweep under the rug.
We have carried the torch. High. Together we have fought for the principles that this country was founded on; that made this country great. Without fighting for them, this country cannot continue to be great."]
Republican Presidential Candidate
Former US Senator (R-PA)
Now Con: "I am pro-life. Unequivocally. And I don't just check the pro-life boxes, I have stood on the front lines fighting the fight to protect the unborn during my entire career in public service. There are some in our party who simply say that they are pro-life but then quietly shrink away when it comes to really fighting for the unborn. Not me. I led the fight to ban partial birth abortions; I was the author of the Born Alive Infants Protection bill and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. All three of these pieces of legislation ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected. I have been a passionate fighter for the unborn, and I will continue that fight as President of the United States."
"Video: Rick Santorum vs. Barbara Boxer on Life,” ricksantorum.com (accessed Sep. 21, 2011)
[Editors' Note: In response to the question "Do you believe that there should be any legal exceptions for rape or incest when it comes to abortion?," Rick Santorum said in a June 12, 2011 Meet the Press interview, available at YouTube.com: "I believe that life begins at conception and that that life should be guaranteed under the constitution, that is a person... I believe that life is sacred... I believe that that life should be protected at the moment it is a human life - at conception."]
Pro: [Editor's Note: Prior to Rick Santorum's Con position, he held a Pro position as indicated in his 1990 issue statement on abortion below, reprinted in the Feb. 21, 2012 Huffington Post article "Santorum in '95" by Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis.]
"Abortion is such a deeply wrenching issue because it poses a conflict between essential values. The unborn child's very life is at stake; the mother's future often hangs in the balance too, as an unwanted pregnancy can be unspeakably traumatic as well as limiting her educational, personal, and job opportunities...
While having no abortions would be ideal, it is very difficult to criminalize any activity once a large portion of society comes to see it as a 'right.' Tragically, that is what has happened with abortion. For this reason I have placed my emphasis not on advocating a Human Life Amendment, but on measures that would reshape the current social consensus and encourage pregnant women to choose life.
I do share the President's recognition that abortion in the 'hard cases' - rape, incest, and danger to the mother's health - cannot be prohibited by legislation."
[Editor's Note: Rick Santorum also made the following Pro statement in a Dec. 1995 interview with Eric Konigsberg in Philadelphia Magazine titled "Rick Santorum: I Was Basically Pro-Choice All My Life Until I Ran for Congress" (195 KB), available at www.phillymag.com: "I was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress." When asked by Konigsberg "So why did you change?," Santorum responded "I sat down and read the literature. Scientific literature... And religion too. It was both of those, science and religion."
Pro: Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), voted "yea" on S. 403(145 KB), An Act to Amend Title 18, United States Code, to Prohibit Taking Minors Across State Lines in Circumvention of Laws Requiring the Involvement of Parents in Abortion Decisions (short title Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act), on Sep. 29, 2006. The bill stated in part:
"SEC. 3. CHILD INTERSTATE ABORTION NOTIFICATION.
Title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 117A the following:
'(1) GENERALLY- A physician who knowingly performs or induces an abortion on a minor in violation of the requirements of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
'(2) PARENTAL NOTIFICATION- A physician who performs or induces an abortion on a minor who is a resident of a State other than the State in which the abortion is performed must provide, or cause his or her agent to provide, at least 24 hours actual notice to a parent of the minor before performing the abortion. If actual notice to such parent is not possible after a reasonable effort has been made, 24 hours constructive notice must be given to a parent."
S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Library of Congress THOMAS website, Sep. 29, 2006
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "You know, Mitt [Romney], I don't want to go to a trade war, I want to beat China. I want to go to war with China and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business."
Pro: "[D]o you [Mit Romney] believe, do you believe that felons who have served their time, gone through probation and parole, exhausted their entire sentence, should they be given the right to have a vote?
This is Martin Luther King Day. This is a huge deal in the African- American community, because we have very high rates of incarceration, disproportionately high rates, particularly with drug crimes, in the African-American community.
The bill I voted on was the Martin Luther King Voting Rights bill. And this was a provision that said, particularly targeted African-Americans. And I voted to allow — to allow them to have their voting rights back once they completed their sentence."
Republican presidential candidate debate sponsored by Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the South Carolina Republican Party, Myrtle Beach, SC, www.presidency.ucsb.edu, Jan. 16, 2012
Pro: "I've been 100 percent in support of the Cuban people and their right to have a free Cuba and the United States should stand on the side of the Cuban people against these despots who are not just reigning terror, continuing reign of terror in Cuba. But now have their -- their -- their puppet, Chavez in -- in Venezuela and Noriega and Morales and it keeps -- it keeps like a cancer growing...
We're going to reward this type of thuggery, this type of Marxism in our region. We're going to reward a country [Cuba] that is now working with these other countries to harbor and bring in Iran and the terrorist -- the Jihadist's who want to set up missile sites and to set up training camps. And so we're going to reward this behavior by opening up and liberalizing. This is the exact wrong message at the exact wrong time."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "I felt very troubled about cases where someone may have been convicted wrongly. DNA evidence definitely should be used when possible…I agree with the pope that in the civilized world ... the application of the death penalty should be limited. I would definitely agree with that. I would certainly suggest there probably should be some further limits on what we use it for… I never thought about it that much when I was really a supporter of the death penalty. I still see it as potentially valuable, but I would be one to urge more caution than I would have in the past… I was moved by the call of Pope John Paul II to be unconditionally pro-life."
"Santorum Rethinks Death Penalty Stance," Post-Gazette.com, Mar. 22, 2005
Con: "We're in the 'live free or die' state, and I opposed the single-biggest government intrusion into the private sector, the Wall Street bailout, the TARP program. I opposed it because it violated the principles of our Constitution, the spirit of our Constitution, because the experience I had, that if you open up the door of government involvement in the private sector, some president will, and in fact did, drive a truck through it and explode the size of the federal government and constrict our freedom."
Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College, available at www.washingtonpost.com, Oct. 11, 2011
Pro: "We should have balanced the budget. The balanced budget amendment should have been the focus from the beginning. To suggest that we never need to raise the debt ceiling, that — that is, again, showmanship, not leadership. Of course we have to raise the debt ceiling at some point. We have — we have — we're borrowing 42 cents of every dollar, 42 cents of every dollar. You‘re going to cut 42 cents of every dollar? Just to remind you, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the debt is 60 percent. That means cut everything else and something of those. That's showmanship, not leadership."
Republican presidential debate, Ames, IA, Aug. 11, 2011
Con: "I -- I think the most important area that we have to focus in on when it comes to unions is public employee unions. That's the area of unionization that's growing the fastest and it's costing us the most money. We've seen these battles on the state level, where unions have -- have really bankrupted states from pension plans to here on the federal level, for example, 30 percent to 40 percent union -- union employees make above their private-sector equivalents. I do not believe that -- that state, federal or local workers, unions, should be involved in unions. And I would actually support a bill that says that we should not have public employee unions for the purposes of wages and benefits to be negotiated."
Fox News-Google GOP presidential debate, Orlando, FL, Sep. 22, 2011
Now Pro: Unknown Interviewer: "Can you elaborate more on your statement on NAFTA? You think it’s a good thing?"
Rick Santorum: "Yeah I do. I think we should maintain it. I’m not for getting rid of NAFTA. I think the regional trade area is important to our economy and to our country. We need to be competitive in that context."
video interview, www.shark-tank.net, Jan 17, 2012
Not Clearly Pro or Con: [Editor's Note: Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), voted No on Nov. 17, 1993 on the passage of HR 3450(1.2 MB), the North American Free Trade Implementation Act Public Law 103-182. He also made the Not Clearly Pro or Con statement below in the Nov. 11, 1993 Philadelphia Inquirer article “Clinton Needs More Republicans in Battle for Passage of NAFTA.”]
“NAFTA will produce pockets of winners and losers across the country. Our area [Pittsburgh] is unfortunately one of the losers."
"Clinton Needs More Republicans in Battle for Passage of NAFTA," Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 11, 1993
Con: "[I support] an energy policy that everyone on this stage is going to agree with that says, we are going to produce energy in this country.
I'm different than many of them, that I'm going to cut all the subsidies out and let the market work, as opposed to creating incentives for different - different forms of energy that the government supports."
Republican presidential candidate debate in Rochester, MI, hosted by CNBC and Michigan Republican Party, available at www.cnbc.com, Nov. 9, 2011
Con: "One of the reasons manufacturing jobs have gone down is the tremendous innovation in the workplace. Since the days of the large factory are gone, we are now talking about small business and additions to existing plants to create a competitive edge. We need to create an atmosphere where innovation can successfully create jobs by changing the regulatory and litigation environment. This hostile attitude has to change, especially since other countries are friendlier to innovators. Boeing is a very good example since they are trying to bring high-tech manufacturing jobs to South Carolina; yet this president is saying no because South Carolina is not using unionized workers. If we are going to have that kind of heavy government on behalf of organized labor, they will play hardball, and we will lose those jobs. They will go overseas where it is easier."
"An Interview with Former Senator Rick Santorum," available at www.americanthinker.com, Oct. 8, 2011
Pro: Santorum voted "yea" to retain a provision of the Budget Act that funds abstinence education to help reduce teenage pregnancy. He used $75 million of the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program during consideration of S. 1956(2.1 MB), the Personal Responsibility, Work Opportunity and Medicaid Restructuring Act of 1996, which stated in part:
"(5) ABSTINENCE EDUCATION- For purposes of this subsection, the term `abstinence education' means an educational or motivational program which--
'(A) has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
'(B) teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school age children;
'(C) teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems;
'(D) teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity;
'(E) teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects;
'(F) teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child's 'arents, and society;
'(G) teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances; and
'(H) teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.'"
S.1956, Personal Responsibility, Work Opportunity and Medicaid Restructuring Act of 1996, Library of Congress:THOMAS website, July 23, 1996
Now Con: "One of the areas I freely admit a mistake was voting for No Child Left Behind... at the time there was a sirens call to have some sort of national testing so we could have a better evaluation of how we were doing as a country, and I was lured by that... we've seen no discernable improvement in the quality of education, and so, I made a bad deal in signing up on that."
Interview with the Nashua Telegraph, www.nashuatelegraph.com, Nov. 28, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "I voted for No Child Left Behind. The reason I voted for No Child Left Behind, one reason: For years and years and years, we would say our education system isn’t working, its failing. Look at the results. And the teachers unions and others say: Well, it’s not true your looking at this, your looking at this, and you looking at apples and oranges and all this stuff. And the reason that I voted for the No Child Left Behind bill is because for the first time we would actually get a measurement that we could use across the board and we could actually find out whether what we believed was true. Now, there are a lot of other things in that bill that I deplored, but I voted for it because I thought, well, we need to get the facts and we need to have some national system to be able to determine whether we are in fact succeeding or failing. Well, guess what? We are failing...
I have to give No Child Left Behind credit for this: Now everybody has recognized that primary, secondary education is a failure in America, and at the heart of it is the teachers unions, at the heart of it is government-run education. And that’s why the move for charter schools, the move for home schooling, private schools is even taking wing among moderates and on the left. I don’t think that would have happened, frankly, had we not had No Child Left Behind. So while I disagree with a lot of the policy in there, I certainly disagree with a lot of the money that was in there, the fact that we now have formed a consensus because we now know we have failure in that level, is a starting point now for now let’s see if we can do something about the public education system."
Interview, "Q&A: Rick Santorum Discusses Controlling the Debt, Entitlement Reform, Education, Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage, the War on Terror and Immigration," www.cnsnews.com, Jan. 24, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: “There were things in there [No Child Left Behind] I did like, which was the educational testing part of it and trying to get some determination about how our schools are performing. I think that was an important thing to do to get some sort of measurement…
Having the testing was very, very important, and in fact, the first part of that when it was implemented, what we did see is a lot of evidence that came out that our schools were failing, and I think that was an important thing to have accomplished…"
Interview on Fox Sunday News, foxnews.com, Mar. 4, 2012
Pro: "Today's decision by the Obama Administration is but another capitulation to the radical environmental fringe - and in turn putting our national security and economy at risk. Our nation needs energy and this pipeline will provide this much needed resource. In rejecting this responsible project that will create thousands of American jobs, we are simply diverting this energy to our international competitors like China. This announcement is utterly irresponsible and one more reason why Barack Obama is not the right man to lead this country. As President, I would approve the Pipeline on day-one."
"Santorum Responds to the Obama Administration's Rejection of the Keystone Pipeline," ricksantorum.com, Jan. 18, 2012
Pro: "I want to open up Alaska for the Alaskan wildlife refuge to create more opportunities for us to extract oil from the north slope of Alaska. It used to produce two million barrels a day. It's now down to a half million and in a few years, it will be down to the point where the pipeline won't work anymore because there's not enough flow to move the oil. So within less than 10 years we will lose five million barrels of oil a day."
"GOP Primary Candidate Rick Santorum's Speech to the Detroit Economic Club," www.freep.com, Feb. 16, 2012
Con: "I believe the earth gets warmer and I also believe the earth gets cooler, and I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man, through the production of CO2 — which is a trace gas in the atmosphere, and the manmade part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas — is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd...
To me this is an opportunity for the left to create — it’s really a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm. It’s been on a warming trend so they said, ‘Oh, let’s take advantage of that and say that we need the government to come in and regulate your life some more because it’s getting warmer.’...
It’s just an excuse for more government control of your life... and I’ve never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative."
"The Rick Santorum Interview," www.rushlimbaugh.com, June 8, 2011
Pro: "I know many of you in this room have engaged and fought on the Second Amendment. Thank you….Now we have to fight on all the amendments. Now we have to fight on all the principles that our founders stood by….The beauty is that you folks here in the NRA have been talking about this for years, somewhat out in the wilderness….But now the values that you’ve been focused for so many years are coming right squarely in the center…In many respects, you folks were the canary in the mineshaft (with) the assault on basic foundational freedoms in our Constitution….Now we’re seeing those assaults growing and growing and growing. But you were out there first, leading the charge, fighting those battles. And now the battlefield has broadened, and we have to fight for our freedom from an oppressive government on a variety of fronts."
"Rick Santorum to NRA: Our Fight Is about More Than Second Amendment," POLITICO website, Apr. 29, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: [Editors Note: Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), completed the Gun Owners of America 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey on Jan. 6, 2012, available at ricksantorum.com. For 19 out of 20 questions, Santorum answered "yes," indicating that he would oppose new regulations on guns and ammunition. However, Santorum also answered "No" to question #9, which asked: “Legislation in Congress seeks to ban private firearm sales at guns shows unless the buyer submits to a federal background check. Would you veto any legislation that would require private buyers and sellers of firearms at a gun show to get the federal government’s approval before completing a transaction?", indicating that Santorum may support at least one new federal regulation on gun purchases.]
Gun Owners of America 2012 Presidential Survey, www.ricksantorum.com, Jan. 6, 2012
Con: "If Obamacare is implemented… you will be the generation that will have handed freedom, opportunity, prosperity (and) the greatness of America… away, and you will have given your children a country that looks more like George III's – King George's – England, than Ronald Reagan's America."
"Candidate Santorum Gives Constitution Day Speech in Boiling Springs," goupstate.com website, Sep. 18, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Are we going to be a country that believes, as our founders did, that our rights don't come from the government, they come from a much higher authority. Well there are those in our country, and those in the Oval Office, who believe that that's not the case. They believe that rights do in fact come from the government, and they have gone around convincing the American Public that they can in fact give you rights. The most important one that they have been able to shove down the throats of the American Public was of course the right to health care - the right to health care in Obama care. And we see what happens when government gives you rights, when government gives you rights, government can take away those rights... Once people have that dependency, they are never really free again."
Speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference, YouTube.com, Feb. 10, 2012
Con: "QUESTION: As a naturalized American citizen who came here legally, I would like to know how you, as America -- as president, plan to prevent illegal immigrants from using our health care, educational, or welfare systems?
KING: Senator Santorum, why don't you lead off on that one?
SANTORUM: Well, I'm the son of a legal immigrant in this country and -- and believe in legal immigration. That is a great wellspring of -- of strength for our country.
But we cannot continue to provide -- the federal government should not require states to provide government services. And I have consistently voted against that and believe that we are, unfortunately -- my grandfather came to this country -- I announced in Somerset County. He didn't come here because he was guaranteed a government benefit. He came here because he wanted freedom.
And I think most people who come to this country -- certainly all people who come here legally -- want it because they wanted the opportunities of this country. And that's what we should be offering. We should not be offering to people -- particularly those who broke the law to come here or overstayed their visa -- we should not be offering government benefits."
Republican presidential debate in Manchester, NH, hosted by CNN, transcripts.cnn.com, June 13, 2011
Pro: "I have consistently said throughout this debate that I strongly support the establishment of an Employment Verification System...
We need a strong and workable employer verification system... I appreciate the hard work and honest effort to strengthen these provisions, but cannot support a system that would actually prevent an employer from doing what we must require them to do - verify the legal status of their employees. This is a key element in the debate. We must hold employers accountable, and we must provide an effective and practical way for them to determine the status of their employees."
"Senator Santorum Supports Employment Verification System as Essential Component of Immigration Reform Bill," www.votesmart.org, May 24, 2006
Pro: "I've said this from the very beginning. What - I'm the son of a(n) Italian immigrant. I believe in immigration. I believe that immigration is an important part of the lifeblood of this country. But what we have is a problem of an unsecure border. Unlike Governor Perry, I believe we need to build more fence. I - I believe that we need to secure the border using technology and more personnel. And until we build that border, we should neither have storm troopers come in and throw people out of the country, nor should we provide amnesty."
Republican presidential candidate debate in Tampa, FL hosted by CNN and Tea Party Express, www.cnn.com, Sep. 12, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Well, I'm the son of a legal immigrant in this country and -- and believe in legal immigration. That is a great wellspring of --of strength for our country. But we cannot continue to provide -- the federal government should not require states to provide government services. And I have consistently voted against that and believe that we are, unfortunately -- my grandfather came to this country -- I announced in Somerset County. He didn't come here because he was guaranteed a government benefit. He came here because he wanted freedom. And I think most people who come to this country -- certainly all people who come here legally -- want it because they wanted the opportunities of this country. And that's what we should be offering. We should not be offering to people -- particularly those who broke the law to come here or overstayed their visa -- we should not be offering government benefits."
Republican presidential debate, Manchester, NH, June 13, 2011
Pro: "Iran is not any other country. It is a country that is ruled by the equivalent of al Qaeda on top of this country. They are a radical theocracy. The principle virtue of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to President Ahmadinejad, is not freedom, opportunity, it's martyrdom.
The idea, Ron [Paul], that mutual assured destruction, like the policy during the Cold War with the Soviet Union would work on Iran when their principle virtue is martyrdom, is - mutual assured destruction with respect to Iran would not be any kind of, you know, idea of preventing a war. It would be an inducement to a war.
This is what their objective is. Their objective is to in fact create a calamity. This is what their theology teaches. They believe that it is their mission to take on the West. They don't hate us because of what we do or the policies we have. They hate us because of who we are and what we believe in.
And we need to make sure that they do not have a nuclear weapon. And we should be working with the state of Israel right now. We should use covert activity. And we should be planning a strike against their facilities and say, if you do not open up those facilities and not close them down, we will close them down for you."
Republican presidential candidate debate hosted by Fox News and the Republican Party of Iowa, Sioux City, IA, www.presidency.ucsb.edu, Dec. 15, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "We need to have any -- I'm hearing numbers of 20-30,000 troops potentially to remain in Iraq, not indefinitely. But to continue to make sure this is a stable transition. This is the difference between Congressman Paul, Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry and myself when it comes to issue. I say when we engage in Iraq and Afghanistan, we engage because we want to be successful. We want victory. We want to have accomplished a national security objective for this country. To make sure that we are safer. We are not on a political agenda to withdraw troops. First thing to make sure we secure success.”
Pro: "There is no question Iraq was a state sponsor of terror, and we went after them. We had legitimate reason. The United Nations said that they weren’t complying. We thought at the time that they had weapons programs. We had bad intelligence. But you know what? I’m not—I don’t play Monday morning quarterback. That’s not, that’s not what you do here in Washington, D.C. You take all the information you have, you make the best decision you possibly can. And based on the information we had, there is no question that Iraq should, that the Iraq war should’ve commenced."
Interview on Meet the Press, www.msnbc.com, Sep. 3, 2006
[Editor's Note: Santorum voted Aye on HJ RES. 114(125 KB), Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, legislation authorizing "the President to use the US armed forces to defend US national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."]
Pro: Rick Santorum cosponsored S. 2370(135 KB), Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006. The bill stated in part:
"It shall be the policy of the United States -
(1) to support a peaceful, two-state solution to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (commonly referred to as the 'Roadmap')."
S. 2370, Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, Library of Congress THOMAS website, June 23, 2006
Con: "You want to have a successful economy, the single thing you can do is to nurture and support the institution of marriage and fathers taking responsibility for their children, building that solid foundation upon which society rests.
And that means standing up and defending the institution of marriage as between one man and one woman – not backing away from it, standing up for it. And there's one candidate in this race who has gone to state after state and helped fight those battles not just for the federal marriage amendment, but understanding that the – the – what the left is trying to accomplish in marriage is what they did with abortion: pick off a few states, get the courts to say, ah, we can't have different laws on the issue such – fundamental as marriage, and then have the courts decide it.
We must fight in every state to make sure that marriage remains between one man and one woman. And as president, I will do that."
Speech at the Value Voters Summit, www.time.com, Oct. 8, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Look, I think people should be able to articulate the positions they feel are best for society and with the understanding that we all fall short of what we think is the best sometimes. I don't want people who because they've felt they had a fault in their life feel you can't stand up and say, this is what's optimal, this is what’s best.
...I think it’s important that we all understand that just because you fall short of the mark doesn't mean you shouldn't stand and say 'This is what's best. And even though I may not have lived up to it, this is what's best, this is what's good for society,' and I think that's the case on a lot of fronts."
Interview at Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event, ThinkProgress.com, Mar. 7, 2011
None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Santorum campaign for his position to this question on Oct. 26, 2011, and on Jan. 31, 2012. We have not yet received a reply with Santorum's position as of Feb. 13, 2012.
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "It's certainly Gov. Perry['s] right to believe marriage can be redefined at the state level, that marijuana can be legalized and that tax dollars should be used to give illegal aliens special college tuition rates, but that’s completely out of touch with what most Americans believe."
"Santorum Attacks Perry on Medical Marijuana," StoptheDrugWar.org, Sep. 28, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "I would say that the Occupy Wall Street movement has a legitimate claim that people who did things that they should not have done have not been held accountable and have been bailed out by Democrats and Republicans alike, that is a legitimate claim...
[Y]ou create a moral hazard in the future when you allow people who did things that were clearly illegal and immoral to get away with it and be compensated richly for it. So I understand the motivation behind it, I think the answers they have with respect to how you solve that problem - I would go in a different direction...
There is one thing to have a common concern about how the government functioned with respect to bailing out Wall Street, and the solutions to the problem. I think the solution that the Occupy Wall Street folks would have, which is much more intrusive government involvement in that area, where I think the Tea Party would say... the problem was intrusiveness and the fact that government did not regulate in a proper way..."
Interview with the Huffington Post at the Values Voter Summit, "Rick Santorum Addresses Occupy Wall Street," www.5min.com, Oct. 7, 2011
Pro: "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,' that there may be some things that are unexplainable by nature where there may be, where it's actually better explained by a Creator, and of course we can't have that discussion.
It's very interesting that you have a situation where 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, then 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."
Interview with the Nashua Telegraph, www.nashuatelegraph.com, Nov. 28, 2011
Pro: "I have for a long time advocated reforming Social Security to keep the current system’s strong safety net protections in place while at the same time allowing workers to put some of their payroll taxes into real savings – into a personal retirement account (PRA)….So how do PRAs work?....Every worker currently pays a 12.4 percent payroll tax. About one third of that – four percentage points – would instead go into an account that is owned by the worker. (These accounts would be structured so that lower-income workers have a higher percentage of their Social Security taxes going to their PRAs than higher-income earners, but the average would be 4 percent.) The money would be invested in a way similar to the Federal Thrift Savings Plan. That plan includes five different mutual funds in which to invest one’s money – three stock funds, one corporate bond fund, and one government bond fund. There would be no investing outside of the system, no purchase of individual stocks or bonds, and no expensive fees. (The cost of managing the plan would be very low – only about $20 per $10,000 invested per year). Each worker participating in this plan, then, would have an investment that, based on the historic return on stocks, could deliver roughly 7 percent a year, compared to the measly 3 percent that Social Security returns."
It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, 2005
Con: "On the important bioethics issues facing the nation, he [Santorum] stood firm on his principles of prohibiting federal funding from being used for the exploitation and destruction of human embryos for scientific purposes while he sought to advance adult and other non-controversial stem cell research to aid in the fight against disease."
"Santorum Record on Defending the Dignity of Every Human Life," ricksantorum.com (accessed Feb. 13, 2012)
Pro: "What the American people want is a policy that's going to get people the opportunity to rise in society, to fill that -- that great middle of America, and that is manufacturing jobs. That's why my plan takes the corporate tax, which is 35 percent, cuts it to 0, and says if you manufacture in America, you aren't going to pay any taxes. We want you to come back here. We want you to have 'Made in America' stamped on your plant."
CNN-Tea Party Republican presidential debate, Tampa, FL, Sep. 12, 2011
Con: "The problem is that we have spending that has exploded. Government has averaged 18 percent of GDP as — as a percentage of the overall economy that government eats up. And we‘re now at almost 25 percent. Revenues are down about 2 or 3 percent. So if you look at where the problem is, the president is in spending, not taxes. And we‘ll get those taxes up if we grow the economy. I put forward the plan to grow the economy and I‘ve provided leadership in the past to get bipartisan things done. You know, I — I sympathize with Michele Bachmann, who stands up and says, I‘m going to stand firm on these things. You need to stand firm on these things. But you can‘t stand and say you give me everything I want or I‘ll vote no. You have to find the principles, like I did on welfare reform. I said three things — to cut a federal entitlement, to end it, the three things we wanted to accomplish, end a federal entitlement, which we did. We wanted to require work, which we did. And we wanted to put a time limit on welfare. We did those three things. We compromised on everything else. I didn‘t get everything I wanted, but I got the core of what I wanted and we transformed welfare. You need leaders, you need people who are good at leadership, not showmanship.
[Byron] YORK: But just confirming, Senator, you would not negotiate on raising taxes?
SANTORUM: Absolutely not, because it‘s not the problem. And the Democrats know it‘s not the problem. This is where leadership comes in. You go to the American public and you lay out the facts. I‘ve been traveling around Iowa and I lay out the facts to people and they nod their heads, and they say, yes, this makes sense.We need to get the economy growing. That doesn‘t mean taking more money out of it, that means — making — that means creating energy jobs, creating manufacturing jobs. And my plan will do that."
Republican presidential debate, Ames, IA, Aug. 11, 2011
Con: "Rick Santorum is committed to reviving our economy, restoring economic growth, and creating jobs in America again by unleashing innovation and entrepreneurship through lower and simpler taxes for American businesses, workers, and families...
The Santorum Solution...
Cut and simplify personal income taxes by cutting the number of tax rates to just two - 10% and 28% and return to Reagan era pro-growth tax rate...
Simplify the tax code and reduce middle income taxes by eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)...
Lower the Capital Gains and Dividend tax rates to 12% to spur economic growth and investment..."
"Defender of the Tax Payer," www.ricksantorum.com (accessed Jan. 20, 2012)
[Editor's Note: According to a Jan. 6, 2012 analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ): "Former Senator Rick Santorum’s $9.4 trillion tax plan would give the richest one percent of Americans an average tax cut of $217,500." Rick Santorum's tax plan would lower the top tax bracket, currently at 35%, down to 28%. In addition he wants lower taxes on capital gains and dividend income which are significant forms of income for the wealthiest Americans. For these resons we have labeled him Con to our question.]
Pro: "I think the Tea Party is a great backstop for America. I love it when people hold up this Constitution and say we have to live by what our founders laid out for this country. It is absolutely essential that we have that backbone to the Republican Party going into this election."
CNN Republican presidential debate, CNN.com, June 13, 2011
Pro: "Are you a George W. Bush Republican, meaning a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, or a Dick Cheney who, like I believe, the congresswoman just said, this should be made -- this decision, samesex marriage, should be a state's decision?Constitutional amendment. Look, the constitutional amendment includes the states. Three-quarters of the states have to – have to ratify it. So the states will be involved in this process. We should have one law in the country with respect to marriage. There needs to be consistency on something as foundational as what marriage is."
Republican presidential debate, Manchester, NH, June 13, 2011
Pro: "WALLACE: Well let me ask you all directly, this is going to be another raising of your hands and you didn’t have answer this specifically Congressman Paul, raise your hand if you would support a resumption of water boarding under any circumstances.
SANTORUM: Under certain circumstances or any circumstances?
WALLACE: Under certain circumstances.
SANTORUM: Certain or any?
WALLACE: Under any circumstances that you could imagine, not all.
WALLACE: So just to declare the three of you under individual case by case basis would support water boarding, Congressman Paul you would not?
PAUL: No, I would not. Because you don’t achieve anything.
SANTORUM: Well it’s just simply not true Ron, I mean the fact is that what we found is that some of this information that we find out that led to Osama Bin Laden actually came from these enhanced interrogation techniques.
PAUL: Not true.
SANTORUM: And by the way we wouldn’t have been able to launch a raid into Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden if we weren’t in Afghanistan."
Republican presidential debate, Greenville, NC, May 5, 2011
Con: "[President Obama] is ignoring the will of the American public….The [Muslim] community center would desecrate the ground of those who were murdered by people who practice the faith, or at least an element of the faith, that is being represented by that mosque….Islam is not just a religion, it is also a political doctrine."
"9/11 Families Blast Obama’s Speech Supporting Ground Zero Mosque," Newsmax.com, Aug. 14, 2010
Rick Santorum's Biography
Former US Senator (R-PA)
Former US Representative (R-PA)
Full Name: Richard John "Rick" Santorum
Marital Status: Married
Birthdate: May 10, 1958
Birthplace: Winchester, VA
Religion: Roman Catholic
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Jan. 2007-present
Contributor, FOX News, 2007-Mar. 2, 2011
Chair, Senate Republican Conference, 2001-2007
US Senator (R-PA), Jan. 3, 1995-Jan. 3, 2007
Former member, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Senate Armed Services, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Senate Finance, Senate Special Committee on Aging, Joint Economic, and Senate Rules and Administration Committees
US Representative, 18th Congressional District (R-PA), Jan. 3, 1991-Jan. 3, 1995
Former member, House Budget, House Veterans' Affairs, House Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and House Ways and Means Committees
Director, Pennsylvania State Senate Transportation Committee 1984-1986
Administrative assistant, Pennsylvania State Senator J. Doyle Corman, 1981-1986
Director, Pennsylvania State senate local government committee, 1981-1984
JD, Dickinson School of Law, 1986
MBA, University of Pittsburgh, 1981
BA, Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, 1980