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Santorum: I’d Discourage Abortion if Daughter Was Raped Santorum: I’d Discourage Abortion if Daughter Was Raped

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

Santorum: I’d Discourage Abortion if Daughter Was Raped

Candidate’s wife says she would forgive Newt Gingrich for well-publicized infidelity.

January 20, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum discussed his marriage and family, his politics and his rivals’ personal failings during a wide-ranging hour-long interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan on Friday night, at one point saying that he would counsel his daughter not to get an abortion even in the case of rape.

“I would do what every father must do: Counsel your daughter to do the right thing,” Santorum said when presented with the hypothetical scenario. “You can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that too could ruin her life."

“This is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that son or daughter was created, it still is her child.”

 

Santorum’s wife, Karen Santorum, and four of their children also sat down for part of the interview, discussing the rigors of the campaign trail and the former Pennsylvania senator’s decision to run for president.

Karen Santorum at one point said in reference to rival Newt Gingrich’s past marital indiscretions — ones that have resurfaced after an interview with his ex-wife Marianne aired on ABC on Thursday night — that she believes in forgiveness and would lay off the former House speaker in this particular regard.

“Forgiveness… that’s a core part of our faith,” Karen Santorum said. “We all fall, we all make mistakes.”

Santorum was not as kind to his Republican rivals at an earlier campaign stop in Charleston. He sharpened his criticism on the eve of the South Carolina primary, expanding on a parody of the “Goldilocks” story where he calls Newt Gingrich too hot and Mitt Romney too cold.

In a speech to the Citadel Patriot Dinner, Santorum challenged Gingrich’s abilities to execute his idea, which Santorum had mockingly termed “grandiose” in Thursday night’s debate.

“The ideas are plentiful, but do you have the discipline to go out and be steady, be that strong, confident, disciplined person who can execute, not create ideas but execute those ideas, be able to deliver a strong and principled message?” he asked the audience of about 200.

Of Romney, Santorum said that his money, name recognition and organization won’t be able to win him the election. He prefers to see it as contest of ideas that he will win.

“We’ve seen now for several years that this candidate just can’t seem to pull that together, can’t seem to click with Republicans,” Santorum said.

He said his confidence has been building since earlier in the week, when he wasn’t feeling a surge in the state. The combination of being declared the winner of the Iowa caucus after a recount –- a fact he mentioned multiple times in his speech – and a strong debate performance seem to have bolstered his confidence.

Santorum also borrowed a page from Gingrich’s playbook in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity later in the evening in which he said the media was working against him to promote President Obama.

“These folks are despicable in what they will do to promote their agenda,” he said. “I've been dealing with this issue, as Newt and other conservatives have for every year I have ever been in public life. And we've been sabotaged in every possible way.” He also faulted Google for refusing to take down a website that popularized his name as a vulgar sexual act.

 

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