7 Cringeworthy Rick Santorum Quotes That Could Set His Campaign Back Decades

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum announced today that he will officially join the Republican race for the presidency. This will be his second presidential campaign — he finished second to Mitt Romney in 2012's Republican primary. While his history as a politician might bolster him with name recognition, some of Santorum's outrageous quotes from the past could come back to haunt him

Since announcing his candidacy earlier today, Santorum has tweeted that he wants to "take back America" by scrapping "the corrupt tax code" and putting "a stake in the heart of Common Core." As bold as these statements are, they don't necessarily offend — unless you live, breathe, exude Common Core, in which case, you do you — but they do indicate the type of aggressive, pointed campaign we might see from Santorum in coming months. 

Also suggestive of this potential campaign strategy are the comments he has made in months and years past. He's taken aim at birth control, gay marriage, and plenty of other hot-button issues. Although his views in general align well with the strong Republican base that he needs to please for the presidential primary, the way he's chosen to voice these opinions makes us wonder if he's running for election in 2016 or in 1916. 

On Birth Control

One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country… Many of the Christian faith have said, 'Well, that's OK, contraception is OK.' It's not OK. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. 

This quote comes from a 2011 interview with the blog Caffeinated Thoughts, when he was running for the Republican nomination in 2012. In the same interview, he also said that he "will die on the hill" to prevent gay marriage from becoming legal. 

On Women In The Workplace 

In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don't both need to… Sadly the propaganda campaign launched in the 1960s has taken root. The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.

Santorum expressed this view in his 2005 book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good. To be fair, he tries to make the point that a woman's decision to stay home and raise her family should not be undervalued, but the language he uses seems to discredit the advances that women have made in the workplace in recent decades. 

On Gay Marriage 

In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog or whatever the case may be.

This gem comes from a 2003 interview with the Associated Press. Santorum also clarified that he has "no problem with homosexuality." Apparently, it's homosexual acts that he doesn't approve of. 

On "Black People's Lives"

I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.

Santorum gave this response to a question about the economy during a campaign stop in Iowa in 2012. Whether you support welfare or not depends on your politics — and Santorum's desire to provide capitalistic opportunity instead of so-called handouts is not surprising. His desire to single out black people, on the other hand, raises a red flag or 50.

On Obama's Race & Abortion

The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life — is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, "We're going to decide who are people and who are not people."

Santorum went there in an interview with CNS News in 2011. Interestingly enough, he told the AP in that 2003 interview that he is not completely against states legalizing abortion. "…If the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in," he said.

On Being A Republican

If you haven't cursed out a New York Times reporter on the course of a campaign, then you're not a real Republican.

This quote from a Fox News segment in 2012 pretty much speaks for itself. Santorum called BS on a Times' reporter's question because he felt that his comments were taken out of context. One can only hope his campaign will turn this quote into a t-shirt. 

On Sweater Vests

One of my supporters said this is my Second Amendment vest — the right to bare arms.

During a CNN segment in 2012, Santorum jokingly gave us his version of "sun's out, guns out." He might have some outdated views and lack a sensible filter sometimes, but at least he has a sense of humor. 

Images: Getty Images (7)

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