Rick Santorum Wants to Save Us From Barack Obama

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail

Traynham has a particularly interesting vantage point on Santorum. He’s gay, and Santorum has made plenty of waves with his remarks regarding homosexuality. (He’s said any sex act outside of traditional heterosexual sex undermines society and the family.) But Traynham says he’s never heard the Senator utter a homophobic word, and that during their tenure together, Traynham’s sexuality was never an issue. “When I told him I was gay, he said, ‘Oh, Robert, I knew that. It doesn’t change how I feel about you.’” The only place he and Santorum disagree, Traynham says, is over gay marriage, which Santorum adamantly opposes.

 

It’s interesting that after four years of living a civilian life — including fighting with health insurance companies over Bella’s treatment — Santorum seems not more open to the idea of government helping people with problems, but less so. Indeed, while he expresses a grudging admiration for the scope of the legislation Democrats have been able to pass over the past two years — “Give Barack Obama credit. They’ve done historic changes” — he’s also clearly horrified by it. Obamacare? Of course it needs to be repealed. Government bailouts? Political giveaways.

Santorum saves his sharpest darts, however, not for the President’s policies, but for the President himself, whose very patriotism, it seems fair to say, he questions. In September, the morning after several big Tea Party victories around the country (including Christine O’Donnell’s stunner in Delaware), Santorum speaks at a fund-raising breakfast in Charleston, South Carolina, for a Republican candidate for the state legislature. Turning to President Obama’s views on America’s place in the world, Santorum urges the crowd to go back and read some of Obama’s campaign speeches from 2008. “They’re long on hope and change, but read the stuff before he gets to hope and change,” Santorum says. “It’s a blanket condemnation of America. He wraps it around George Bush, but he’s not condemning Bush policies, he’s condemning America. He talks about, ‘Oh, we’re not respected around the world.’ Well, that’s not because of Bush. It’s because of America asserting its influence in the world, which Obama thinks is bad. … You can’t be a president who wants to be the most loved character in the world. I think President Bush is a lot more respected in the world than Barack Obama is.” Santorum pauses for a moment. “Despite his Nobel Peace prize.” The crowd — about 40 people, most looking fairly preppy — laughs.

This is typical of Santorum’s remarks about Obama, all of which say, in effect, “Wake up, folks! Can’t you see he’s ruining the country?” At another point in the same talk, he urges the group to read a recent interview with Obama in which the reporter asked the President if he believed in “American exceptionalism” — the idea that because of our founding principles and devotion to liberty, America is unique in the world. “His answer was: I believe in American exceptionalism, just like I know the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greece’s exceptionalism,” Santorum says, sounding incredulous. “He doesn’t believe in us! He doesn’t believe in the principles that made this the greatest country in the history of the world.

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  • James

    I didn’t subscribe to Philadelphia Magazine to get right wing propaganda. If I did, I would have subscribed to NewsMax and National Review.

  • John

    BigCheese…propaganda. This article reads like journalism – very rare these days.

  • Scott

    Philadelphia Magazine, when did you move so far right ? what a disgusting article from a disgusting individual

  • DEBORAH

    What is wrong with Phily Mag wrining a nice article about Rick Santorum!! Does the Left Wing Media have the right to bash any canadate simpley because they have a different political belief. What a re