Guy Benson
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Following in the footsteps of a gaggle of evangelical leaders who recently offered their electoral support to the former Pennsylvania Senator, influential social conservative icon, Dr. James Dobson, has endorsed Rick Santorum for president.  Via Santorum's camp:
 

The institution of the family is the key issue facing this great nation.  It is the foundation, the bedrock, upon which every dimension of Western Civilization rests.  If it is undermined or weakened by cultural and governmental forces, the entire superstructure will collapse in short order.  And indeed, today it is in serious jeopardy.  The very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself. 

Of all the Republican candidates who are vying for the presidency, former Sen. Santorum is the one who has spoken passionately in every debate about this concern.  He has pleaded with the nation and its leaders to come to the aid of marriages, parents, and their children.  What a refreshing message.  The Congress voted in 1969 to impose a marriage penalty tax on husbands and wives who were struggling to raise their children.  That unfair tax continued for 32 years, until George W. Bush rolled it back. Now, if Democrats and some Republicans have their way, the marriage penalty tax will be re-imposed in 2013.  We desperately need a president who will intercede on behalf of those who are caring for the next generation and working to build this nation. 

While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour. His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live.  This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign.


This nod isn't surprising, but it could be a shot in the arm of a campaign that has been slumping in Palmetto State polls.  Dobson is best known for the organization he founded, "Focus on the Family," which promotes traditional social values.  Among the remaining four candidates, Santorum seems like a no-brainer for the Dobson crowd.  He's ardently pro-life, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, and has a squeaky clean personal life.  Mitt Romney boasts the latter attribute, but his commitment to social conservative orthodoxy smacks of Johnny-come-latelyism, at best.  Newt Gingrich checks the social conservative policy boxes, but his personal life is...well, you know.  And Ron Paul, though pro-life, thinks government should get out of the marriage business altogether.  Will Dobson's support, coupled with the Marianne mess, move some votes within South Carolina's sizable evangelical community?

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Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography