Roundup: Santorum Tries to Get Back His Anti-Choice Street Cred


This story may be proof that no matter how anti-choice a politician is, someone will always be able to say they aren’t anti-choice enough. This is what happened to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who may be toying with the idea of running for president in 2012.

Before he was the featured speaker at the Iowa Christian’s Alliance’s 2010 “Spring Kick-off” in Des Moines on Tuesday, someone was putting out robotcalls against Santorum, hitting him on his anti-choice credentials. CNN reports:

An anonymous recorded telephone message began hitting some Iowa households Monday afternoon attacking former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a potential presidential candidate, ahead of his Tuesday evening appearance before the influential Iowa Christian Alliance, two Hawkeye State Republicans told CNN.

In the 40-second call, an unidentified female voice blasts Santorum as “a pro-life fraud” because of his past support for former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Republican-turned Democratic Pennsylvania Arlen Specter, both of whom support abortion rights. Whitman, the call claims, was “the abortion promoting governor of New Jersey.” Specter is labeled a “radical abortionist.”

So Santorum took much of his speech before the Iowa Christian Alliance to basically say, ‘nah-uh, it’s not true, I am so pro-life.’ The Iowa Independent reports:

“There are a lot of people who vote pro-life, but there are very few people who stand up and fight for life,” he said. “And there is a reason for that: You pay a price.”

He never uttered the word “abortion” during his years in the House or his first term in the Senate, Santorum said, preferring to work behind the scenes on the issue. He thought, and other assured him he was correct, that speaking out on abortion would cost him with voters.

“You pay a price when you stand up out of the foxhole and you fight for life, not just vote for life,” he said.

But he eventually started attending a new church, as well as regular Bible study, and “as I grew, I recognized the blind spots. As a husband, as a father, and as a leader.”

What many people remember about Santorum is his infamous remark where he put homosexuality in same camp of unlawful to marry as man-on-dog. So in his remarks he was sure to remind everyone that he is very much against gay marriage, let them call him a bigot for it, he will suffer their slings and arrows. From the Iowa Independent:

Santorum discussed how important it is for Christians to stand up and fight to overturn the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision last April to legalize same-sex marriage, ultimately calling marriage equity “an attack on religious liberty”

“Anybody who stands up and opposes the redefinition of marriage is considered a bigot,” he said. “Someone who speaks from the pulpit is considered hate speech. This is what we face.”

By the way, another speaker at the Iowa Christian’s Alliance’s event was Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition but better known these days for his ties to the Jack Abramoff scandal. Reed is announcing today if he is running for Congress in Georgia. Although according to MSNBC some unnamed Republican strategists are hoping he doesn’t.

“He quickly rises to the ranks of Public Enemy 1 through 10 for the Democrats,” [the GOP strategist said.] “It’s low-hanging fruit.” And he said a Reed candidacy could be used in general elections across Georgia. “Do you stand with Ralph Reed? Do you support his candidacy?” would be the question for an opponent to ask. Now, it might not make a difference among Republicans, the strategist said, but it could be a problem in a general election and for a national GOP message.

Bonus item 1: Bakersfield residents aren’t sure what to make of their newly gay State Senator Roy Ashburn.

Bonus item 2: Two Chicago bloggers are encouraging women to wear red pumps today to call attention to National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

March 10, 2010

Another House Democrat Demands Abortion Restrictions New York Times (blog)

Stupak challenged for Democratic nomination Detroit Free Press

Santorum defends record against abortion in Iowa visit DesMoinesRegister.com 

Laws, Lies and the Abortion Debate New York Times 

Economic Downturn Hurts Birth Control Efforts Hartford Courant  

Pro-Choice, Women’s Groups Blast Brady MyFox Illinois

Massa refuses to answer Larry King’s question ‘are you gay?’ The Hill (blog)

Include gays in the fight against HIV China Daily 

Constituents conflicted over gay legislator San Francisco Chronicle

Gay marriages expected to create wedding-related jobs in DC Washington Post 

Proposed Law Denies Tax Breaks for Films with Gay Characters TheCelebrityCafe.com

March 9, 2010

Fact-checking Stupak on abortion msnbc.com

Stupak’s response msnbc.com

House committee advances abortion proposal Daily Mail – Charleston

Home abortion drug use effective, safe for most Reuters 

Bill Requires Written Consent For Abortion WSMV Nashville

Ralph Reed plots his comeback msnbc.com

In Florida, Gay Adoption May No Longer Be Forbidden89.3 KPCC

Genital herpes is widespread, CDC says Los Angeles Times blog

Bloggers Unite to “Rock the Red” for HIV/AIDS Examiner.com

Circumcision may not cut HIV spread among gay men Reuters

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with Rachel Larris please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.