Rick Santorum Attacks Media for Asking About Social Issues

Rick Santorum Attacks Media for Asking About Social Issues

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has bragged many times during the campaign about his credentials on social issues. But when asked Friday about adoption by gay people, he sniped at a reporter for "trying to create this perception that this is what Rick Santorum talks about."

"Is a lesbian or a gay couple who adopt children, is that a family?" asked a reporter from WKAR in Michigan.

"Of course it's a family," Santorum scoffed.

The reporter followed up, asking whether he thought the family was immoral. Then Santorum took a page from Newt Gingrich and attacked the media for even asking.

"I think I have answered that question probably more than any other candidate in this race," he said. "The preoccupation with this question with me can be a little trying after a while. I don't think you ask these questions of everybody else with the insistency that you do with me."

Santorum claimed it was part of a media conspiracy to paint him as extreme on social issues.

"I understand the game," he told the reporter. "You are trying to create this perception that this is what Rick Santorum talks about. It's because I get asked these questions all the time, which is why they get told I talk about it."

Santorum has said he wants to pass a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and that it would lead to banning adoption by gays nationwide. He's also said on the campaign trail that children would be better off having a heterosexual father in prison than being raised by two moms.

Watch video of the Michigan interview below. And on the following pages, we list just a few of the places where Santorum has brought up his antigay agenda. It sure seems like he talks about it everywhere he goes.  

RICK SANTORUM RAGE (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COM Washington State — Santorum opted to campaign in Washington State on the day that the marriage equality bill was being signed into law. “We have a serious issue about trying to get moms and dads to marry and stay together,” Santorum told The Seattle Times. “I don't see this as encouraging that. I think that at least from my perspective it tends to water down marriage instead of encouraging men and women to form healthy marriages, and that to me should be the objective of the government because that is in the best interests of our society."

RICK SANTORUM SCRUNCHY (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMFlorida — Santorum was asked by a mother why her gay son shouldn't be allowed to adopt children, and he claimed that those rights that aren't given by God can then be doled out by the government to whoever it sees as a "healthy" fit. “There are certain things that government does that gives people privileges in order to promote activity that are healthy for society and are best for society," he said, according to ThePalm Beach Post. "And those things we promote would give people advantages or benefits, government benefits because we think that is healthy activity."

RICK SANTORUM ON MARRIAGE MUSLIM WOMAN X560 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMManchester, N.H. — Santorum suggested during a campaign event that it is better for children to have an imprisoned father in a heterosexual relationship than to have two gay parents, which would amount to "robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn't true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it's true."

RICK SANTORUM UPLIGHT (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMCalifornia? — Although Santorum wasn't in the state when Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional by an appeals court, he still sent out a statement condemning it. He was actually on the road campaigning ahead of votes in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado. "Today's decision by the 9th Circuit is another in a long line of radical activist rulings by this rogue circuit," he said in the statement, "and it is precisely why I have called for that circuit to be abolished and split up."

RICK SANTORUM GIRL (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMConcord, N.H. — During an address to college Republicans in January, Santorum said gay parents harm children. “The uniqueness of marriage is it provides an intrinsic good to society," he told them. "It’s the union that causes children to be born and raised in an environment that’s a birthright. When we deny children that birthright by saying other types of relationships are OK — I think we are harming children."

RICK SANTORUM SHADOW (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMTwitter — Santorum sent a tweet in December that claimed “1 effect of the changing definition of marriage” to include gay couples was the decline of marriage rates in the country to a new low, blaming a “changing definition” for undermining the institution.

RICK SANTORUM GLITTER BOMBED (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMFox News — Being gay is a choice, Rick Santorum said during a Fox News interview in October, and that's why gays and lesbians should not be allowed to serve openly in the military. "I know the whole gay community is trying to make this the new Civil Rights Act," he said. "It's not the same. You are black by the color of your skin. You are not, you know, homosexual necessarily by, obviously, by the color of your skin. ... There are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren't anymore." Santorum argued against repealing "don't ask, don't tell" because soldiers are "in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people."

In a September debate, he was asked a question by a gay soldier regarding the repeal of DADT and ignored audible booing from the audience toward the soldier, along with the other GOP candidates, and then didn't thank the soldier for his service. Instead, he said, "What we're doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. And that's tragic.” Later Santorum said he hadn't heard the boos.

RICK SANTORUM CADETS (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMSouth Carolina — Santorum was so proud of his record of fighting against marriage equality that he bragged about it in dramatic fashion during a campaign stop in South Carolina. “I fought the battle,” he stage-whispered into a microphone. “It’s one thing to say ‘I support it,' and it is another thing to actually go out and fight the battle.” It appeared to be a dig at Mitt Romney.

RICK SANTORUM RONALD REAGAN (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMIowa — In an interview with TheDes Moines Register in August, Santorum called same-sex marriage a “super right,” above all other liberties: “Religious liberty is now trumped because ... the courts have created a ‘super’ right that’s above a right that’s actually in the Constitution, and that’s of sexual liberty. And I think that’s a wrong, that’s a destructive element.” It was also in Iowa that he signed an antigay pledge from the Iowa Family Leader that claimed, among other things, that gay parents are inferior to straight ones.

RICK SANTORUM CORN (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMThe Philadelphia Inquirer — Santorum wrote a column in May 2008 claiming that marriage is traditionally about more than just love and equating same-sex marriage with pedophilia and incest. “I love my children," he wrote. "I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too? Marriage is and always has been more than the acknowledgment of the love between two people.”

RICK SANTORUM AGOG (GETTY) X560 | ADVOCATE.COMCampaign Website — Santorum took to his own website to compare slavery to the enactment of marriage equality in New York. "In Lincoln’s time the political debate was over the foundationally immoral institution of slavery," he wrote on RickSantorum.com in August. "Lincoln rightly criticized Stephen Douglas' 'don't care' attitude about that great moral issue this way: 'When Judge Douglas says that whoever or whatever community wants slaves, they have a right to have them, he is perfectly logical, if there is nothing wrong in the institution; but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot logically say that anybody has a right to do wrong.' ... Using Douglas' rationale today, we subject the definition of marriage to 50 different versions and that leads to settling of the conflict by the U.S. Supreme Court."

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