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The Rundown on Rick: Ten Things Every American Jew Should Know About Rick Santorum

NJDC — February 22, 2012 – 10:00 am | Civil Rights | Domestic Policy | Education | Election 2012 | GOP Presidential Candidates 2012 | Reproductive Rights | Republicans | Separation of Church & State | Women's Issues Comments (10) Add a comment

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Below is a rundown of the top ten things that every American Jew should know about Republican presidential candidate former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). Source materials can be viewed by following the links for each item.

1. Santorum offensively compared what’s at stake in his campaign against President Barack Obama to the threats posed by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during WWII; in fact, he does it all the time

2. Santorum—who does not believe in an absolute separation of church and state— declared “We Always Need a Jesus Candidate” on the ballot. His campaign sent out Hanukkah cards that contained a verse from Christian scripture. 

3. Santorum prides himself on being the most extreme anti-choice candidate in the Republican field and has even invoked the Holocaust to attack Planned Parenthood.

4. Santorum claimed that an important part of pregnancy care covered by the Affordable Care Act—prenatal screenings—are a means to “cull the ranks of the disabled in our society” by promoting abortion.

5. Santorum has a history of disparaging public education and even claimed that the system is “anachronistic.”  He declared on the campaign trail that preschool is a scheme to “indoctrinate your children,” and that colleges are “indoctrination mills.”

6. While opposing the Affordable Care Act has become dogma within the Republican Party, Santorum has outflanked even his own party by floating a pay-as-you-go system for health insurance.

7. Despite his personal support for Israel, Santorum followed other GOP presidential candidates in legitimizing the anti-Israel Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) by declaring he would “absolutely” vote for Paul if Paul were the GOP’s nominee.

8. In direct contrast to mainstream American Jewry—which finds inspiration for protecting the environment in the Torah—Santorum uses the bible to rail against environmental protection. He denies humanity’s role in climate change—calling it “patently absurd—and believes it to be a political conspiracy

9. Santorum willfully disregarded the truth that more than half of all women between the ages of 18-34 struggle to afford contraception and justified his opposition to insurance-covered birth control by claiming that the cost of contraception is “minor,” and “something that costs just a few dollars.”

10. Santorum vehemently opposes marriage equality and argues against equal rights for gays and lesbian Americans. In addition to comparing his fight against it to President Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves, he has called for “invalidating” existing same sex marriages and even told a gay soldier that he would reinstate the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Additionally, Santorum has repeatedly engaged in offensively anti-gay rhetoric.

Santorum’s extreme record offers an explanation as to why Pennsylvania’s Jews rejected him and his extreme positions by a 22/78 percent vote margin in favor of his challenger, then-State Treasurer Bob Casey (D-PA), the most recent time he was on the ballot—in 2006. 


craig zuckerman | February 22, 2012 – 2:39 pm

No Jew or ratioal person would ever vote for sNtorum

Annika Bos Mito | February 22, 2012 – 2:40 pm

thank you this was an incredible eye opener.  I did not know any of this.

Steve Fradkin | February 22, 2012 – 2:41 pm

Perhaps most frightening about Rick is, in my opinion, his apparent intention to run the nation based on ancient religious myth.  In 2008, he warned that “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.”
“This is not a political war at all.  This is not a cultural war at all. This is a spiritual war,” he said, describing how American institutions and our nation’s way of life are falling to evil forces.  “And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies, Satan, would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America.”  He said Satan uses “pride, vanity and sensuality” to attack American institutions.  Vanity, for instance, was instrumental in attacking those in academia, an institution meant to educate “the elites.”

Disagreeing with one another politically is one thing.  Slamming good people as evil and trying to run the nation on the basis of one radical’s interpretation of Christian dogma is quite another.

The most honest, decent, compassionate, upstanding and righteous people I know are activists who believe in human rights, freedom, caring for the disenfranchised and ending war, sickness and hatred.  Satan, if he exists, is a registered Republican.

Steve Fradkin

susan Altschuler | February 22, 2012 – 4:31 pm

He must live in an alternate dimension.

vern | February 22, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Looks like a good person to me.  Anything is betther that Barack Hussien Obama

joewitz | February 22, 2012 – 6:43 pm

this man must have studied under the Father who taught during the depression. His record for ear marks was a discrace when in Senate. He doesn’t know what positive ides are about.

Wendy Tucker | February 22, 2012 – 11:19 pm

I refer to him as Sanctotoriumous.  He is a racist, he is ignorant, he is intolerant, he is wildly and stupidly conservative, he is inaccurate and above all, is such a fool that I hope always that he won’t be taken seriously.  But those of us who care cannot ignore how dangerous he is (as well as those who share his views).  Important to publicize how important it is to defeat these sensibilities.

Neal Gendler | February 27, 2012 – 9:25 pm

I’m not a big fan of Obama, who injures Israel almost every time he talks about the Middle East, but I hope Santorum gets the Republican nomination. He should be easy to beat, dragging GOP legislators down with him.

NJDC | February 28, 2012 – 10:45 am

President Obama has been a stalwart advocate for Israel since day 1 of his presidency. Some of his pro-Israel actions include increasing security assistance to record levels, forcefully opposing the Palestinians’ unilateral declaration of a state, and leading the global coalition against Iran. Click here to learn more: and here:

David Epstein | March 2, 2012 – 6:54 pm

I have been a registered Republican for 40 years.  However, if Santorum is the party’s candidate, I willl vote for ANYONE who is running against him.

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