Maddow: Santorum May Add to Google Problem

Maddow: Santorum May Add to Google Problem

Rachel Maddow gets a kick out of Republicans using her name to fund-raise — and of a recent Rick Santorum direct-mail campaign that refers to Dan Savage’s invented meaning for the politician’s name, which she thinks will encourage recipients to look it up.

“It is very flattering to have people try to raise money off of the sheer outrageousness of the mention of your name or your description, especially when you’ve never met those people and you think of them as kind of a bigger deal than you,” Maddow said on her Thursday MSNBC show, after showing clips of various Republicans citing her criticism of them in hope of inspiring donations. “It’s flattering. It’s also hilarious.”

One of the clips she showed was a robo-call from then–Ohio congressman Bob Ney’s 2006 reelection campaign that refers to her as a “cross-dressing lesbian.” (Maddow is an out and proud lesbian, but her sporting of tailored pantsuits hardly qualifies as cross-dressing.) Before the election, Ney was convicted and sentenced to prison on corruption charges related to financial favors involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

She also showed a recent fund-raising letter from Santorum, the antigay former senator from Pennsylvania who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. In it, he condemns columnist-activist Savage and HBO talk-show host Bill Maher for “vile attacks” on him and says, “Liberals like Rachel Maddow serve as Savage’s lackeys on national television, pushing his smut.”

Savage has used “Santorum” to mean a by-product of anal sex and made sure that references turn up in Web searches. The Santorum letter does not mention the meaning, but says, “Savage and his perverted sense of humor is the reason why my children cannot Google their father’s name.” Maddow wondered if this encourages supporters to find out, saying. “If you were a supporter of Rick Santorum who had not yet heard about the whole ‘Google Santorum’ problem, if you received that letter ... would you run to your checkbook, outraged by the mere mention of these liberal names ... or would you, out of curiosity, Google ‘Santorum’ to see what all the hullabaloo is about?”

She concluded, “Rick Santorum, knock yourself out. It worked out great for Bob Ney.”

Watch the video below.

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