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Rick Santorum on Barack Obama’s outrageous abortion comment, and how it’ll play in Pennsylvania and across the country.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008
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HH: Pleased to welcome back Senator Rick Santorum, formerly the Senator from the great state of Pennsylvania. Senator Santorum, always a pleasure, and happy last day of March to you.

RS: Happy last day of March to you, too.

HH: Are you going to meet up with the Pope when he wanders through Washington, Senator?

RS: I hope to be at the welcoming ceremony at the White House. I’ll be out on the lawn. I mean, I’m not going to be up there on the stage, but I mean, it’ll be an opportunity to get to see him, and be part of welcoming him here to the United States. It will be great to have him here.

HH: It is going to be a very important couple of days. I’m going to talk with Father Fessio about him tomorrow.

RS: Yeah.

HH: But let’s get to the question of what Barack Obama said today. He was talking about his two daughters, he’d gotten a question or into a debate about abortion rights for minors, and he got…he said look, I’ve got two daughters, nine years old and six years old, I’m going to teach them first about values and morals, and then he said this:

BO: If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16.

HH: So Senator Santorum, you served with Senator Obama. What do you make of that response?

RS: It’s chilling to suggest that children, even at that age, I mean, not at that age, obviously not six years old, but even when he’s talking about age 16, that that’s a punishment, I mean, that’s just a remarkable twist that I think shows some insight. I mean, one of the things I’ve been saying about Barack Obama, this is a guy whose not gotten the attention of the media. It’s all been sort of flowery speeches and everything, all these kinds of comments that may have been made in Iowa and places like that have gone sort of unreported. Now he’s going to get the microscope, and these little snippets, just like this one, are going to teach you a lot about this man that the mainstream media is not going to want to let you know. This is a man who in the Illinois legislature, when after the Born Alive Infant Protection Act bill passed, which says that once a child is born, you cannot kill it – now that sounds almost remarkable, but that’s a bill that we passed in the Congress about five years ago, that I authored. Well, a similar bill was in the Illinois legislature. When he was a state Senator, he voted against it, not once, but three times. And he actually was the only member of the Illinois legislature to stand up on the floor and argue against that giving rights to a child before they’re nine months gestation, in other words, until they’re to term, is wrong and will injure the woman’s right to abortion. This is an extremists on this issue, and these little snippets, this little gotcha moment of seeing children as punishment, is the mindset of a man who I think has an almost, I mean, as far out of the mainstream view of life as anybody I’ve heard in politics.

HH: Now there’s another controversy today. Over at Politico.com, where the independent voters of Illinois, Independent Precinct Organization, gave him a questionnaire to fill out in 1995, and he filled out an absolute opposition to parental involvement with minors who are pregnant. And then he went back and he appended some handwritten notes to it, saying well, maybe if they’re 13 or 14, something like that. He’s always denied that he filled it out, but today, Politico is reporting, look, he’s got his own handwritten notes on this answer, and so obviously, he reviewed it. So he was an absolutist then. But today, he goes even farther, Rick Santorum, because when he says if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby, he doesn’t say I want them to have the choice. I want them to have the choice. He says I want them to have an abortion.

RS: Yeah. This is, again, this is the extreme position. You know, most people, obviously, would not, don’t want children to be sexually active at that age, and don’t want them to become pregnant. But the idea that if something like that should happen, that these children should be, in a sense, in his mind, forced to have an abortion so they aren’t punished, or given no options, is just, again, his view of the world is one in which really there is no room for these unwanted lives.

HH: Now Rick Santorum, one of the most dishonest campaigns of ’06, Bob Casey, your opponent, went around the state of Pennsylvania and told everyone he was pro-life, pro-life, pro-life. He endorsed Barack Obama last week.

RS: Yeah.

HH: Is that consistent with being pro-life? I don’t know how you can do that.

RS: Well, I don’t know how you do that, except for the fact that Hillary Clinton is not a whole lot better, although I will say for Hillary Clinton, she did not vote against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, that passed unanimously. And so, she is not, she has made some pretty outrageous statements on the issue of abortion, but none as extreme as Obama is. So I don’t know. I think Casey’s sort of caught up in the Obama-mania, and the idea that he’s the de facto nominee at this point. I’m sure that’s why he jumped on the bandwagon late. But nevertheless, he’s there, and I don’t know how you defend it. But again, Bob Casey is not his dad. His dad would never have jumped on board with a candidate who held these views on abortion, without question.

HH: Now Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania’s a pro-life state. It always has been. That’s why you have to be a Bob Casey Jr. or Sr. to win there, and Rick Santorum has done so well there for so many years. Can a Barack Obama-led ticket win in Pennsylvania against John McCain?

RS: I think that if Obama is the candidate, we have an excellent chance to win Pennsylvania, much, I would argue a much better chance than if Hillary Clinton was the candidate. You know, right now, it looks like the race is tightening, only because the Democrats are sort of circling the wagons now, trying to get Hillary out of the race, and showing their strength to try and end this horrible primary that has dragged on and on and on. And I understand why they’re doing it, but if they’re looking at November, and they’re looking at how they’re going to cobble together the electoral votes to win this election, Ohio and Pennsylvania are states the Democrats at least this time around are going to have to win to win the election. I don’t think Obama wins either one of those states.

HH: Now both of us, you and I were both opposed to the McCain nomination, but he’s the nominee. And I’m very comfortable saying on life, he’s a lot better than either of these two by about ten miles.

RS: Yeah, I was going to say head and shoulders would not be even close to comparing those two with John McCain. Look, John McCain’s never been, my criticism of McCain, he’s never been out there talking about these issues and fighting for these issues. But to his credit, he’s always voted, with the exception of stem cell, he’s always voted 100% pro-life. And so I have no doubt that John McCain will do the right things when it comes to abortion. He’s not going to lead on it, and he’s not going to talk about it a lot, but he’s going to do the right thing. And it’s better having him say nothing than Barack Obama go out here and try to change the culture to say that children are not only unwanted by some, but unwanted by all. I mean, we just can’t have these kids having any children if they get pregnant? That, to me, is absolutely outrageous.

HH: Last question, you know the national media very well, Senator Santorum. Do you expect that this comment will get much coverage outside of conservative media, center-right new media?

RS: No, because this is not an outrageous comment to them. Put in the context with being punished by STD’s, and being punished by other things, they’ll just say well, it’s just, you know, an alliteration, he didn’t really mean children would be punished, and you’re just taking it out of context. That’s, I mean, they’ll just slough it off as…look, they have a vested interest in seeing, as you know, a liberal getting elected. And they think this is the best chance, and he is by far the most extreme…I thought John Kerry was out there on the extreme. This guy matches George McGovern, and maybe even to the left of McGovern on some of the things he believes.

HH: Rick Santorum, always a pleasure to talk to you, Fox News consultant. Always a pleasure, Rick Santorum.

End of interview.

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