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Runner-Up Santorum Praises Professional Women in Family Runner-Up Santorum Praises Professional Women in Family

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Runner-Up Santorum Praises Professional Women in Family

photo of Mike Magner
February 28, 2012

The runner-up in Republican presidential primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, used his concession speech to highlight the professional women in his family.

Speaking in an ornate hotel in Grand Rapids, Mich., Santorum opened his remarks with emotional recollections of his parents and his wife. He harkened back to the family values he has emphasized throughout his campaign. But this time he made clear his is not just a traditional family.

“My mom was a professional who actually made more money than her husband,” he said. “It taught me a lot of things about how to balance work and family.” He made a point of saying his mother -- a nurse -- was "a very unusual person for her time," graduating from college in the 1930s and going on to work with her husband at the old Veterans Administration.

 

His wife Karen, Santorum said, was a recruit to his law firm who then decided to leave—to stay home and raise her children. “But she also found time to be an author of two books,” Santorum added, stressing that his family, like him, has always found a way to balance professional careers and families.

“We’ve been very, very blessed with great role models for me, someone who goes out and tries to balance what I’m doing right now—maintain a rigorous campaign and support a family,” he said.

The speech was notable in its contrast to Santorum's recent focus on his blue-collar grandfather, his conservative views on contraception and family life, and his characterization of President Obama as a snob for pushing students to attend college.

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