Rick Santorum may be riding high in the polls of late, running neck in neck with Romney, but he’s not the Mr. Clean picture of social conservative perfection he wants everyone to believe. If Santorum opposes abortion, even in the case of rape, believes birth control is harmful, and the key to improving the economy is strengthening the family, why did he marry a woman who for six years lived with a man who was an abortion provider?
In 1982 Karen Garver, now Karen Santorum was a 22 year old nursing student at Duquesne University and began a six-year relationship with 62 year old Dr. Tom Allen. According to the Daily Beast, Allen was well known for delivering babies and helping to start a “therapeutic abortion” clinic at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh years before Roe v. Wade.” Apparently, Mrs. Santorum knew exactly what Allen was all about and didn’t have any problem living with him for six years.
Pictures of Karen Santorum during the time she dated Dr. Allen reveal a fresh faced girl dressed in care free clothing. Allen said when he ran into her years later in the 1990s, she was “dressed like Hester Pyrnne,” of the Scarlett Letter. Suddenly, Mrs. Santorum doesn’t look like the picture of conservative perfection.
Why does this matter? Because Santorum has grilled Romney for being a squishy conservative at best, someone whom you can’t trust on the positions and this revelation about his wife’s past makes Santorum look like a hypocrite. His wife may have strong pro-family positions today but it doesn’t appear she always clung to those values.
As we pull back the curtain on Santorum’s candidacy for president, his biggest electability problem is Santorum is running a morality campaign. While the other candidates are making job creation, economic growth and tax reform the center of the their platforms and rightfully so with 8.3% of people jobless, Santorum has fixated his campaign on the culture wars, , rejecting birth control and holding himself up as the shining example of Godliness. Only God is perfect!
If we learned anything from the success of the Tea party movement in 2010 and Governors McDonnell and Christie, it’s that social issues aren’t Republican voters’ greatest concern right now but having more money in their wallet and food on the table is. Making wedge issues like family values the center of his campaign makes Santorum look grossly out of touch with today’s reality.
The company Santorum keeps also reinforces his problem as an electable candidate. Billionaire Foster Friess, a Santorum supporter, gives big money to the Santorum super PAC. In a recent interview with MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, Friess said:
“On this contraceptive thing, my Gosh it’s such inexpensive,” he added. “You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”
The only appropriate response to Friess’ comments is Yikes! Moreover, how does a person running for President of the United States associate with a person like this who’s living in the dark ages with his head in the sand. Friess’ said he didn’t understand why “people seem to be so preoccupied with sex.” The fact is We the People aren’t preoccupied with sex but Rick Santorum seems to be. We’re preoccupied with the economy and worried about finding a job or keeping one.
It’s still too early to predict anything in the GOP presidential nomination race. Frontrunners continue to come and go. But if the race comes down to a choice between Romney and Santorum, Romney while not the perfect choice is the saner, more capable choice of the two without question.
Someone described why young voters turned against Santorum in his 2006 re-election bid for Senator of Pennsylvania, "Young people thought he was kind of weirdly out of sync with modern times.” Nothing has changed. The Dark Ages appear to suit Santorum better than modern times. He sounds more like a character from Chaucer’s 14th century book The Canterbury Tales than a GOP presidential candidate. Next!