Santorum stresses stand against gay marriage, swipes at Daniels (VIDEO)

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is the guest on this weekend’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television (the video is already online). This afternoon’s taping started with questions about gay marriage, specifically President Obama’s recent directive to the Justice Department to stop defending the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” and Santorum took a swipe at another potential presidential candidate, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.  (Daniels has suggested it’s time to “call a truce” on social issues.)

Read the transcript of Santorum’s remarks below:

Santorum: I’m obviously very disappointed.  The President, when he was campaigning, was very clear about his support for a bill that passed with over 90 votes in the United States Senate, was signed by President Clinton, which did something very basic which was that states would not be bullied into changing their marriage law by other states and mostly other state courts like what happened here in Iowa, that state courts wouldn’t impose marriage on one state and then litigators from that state then go to other states to force them to recognize Iowa’s marriage law or Massachusetts’ marriage law.  So, this was a way for the federal government to preserve the sovereignty of the states.  And it was a way of being sort of neutral on the issue of marriage instead of favoring one side over the other, let the people decide.  And what President Obama has done is in a two year period of time he went from finding this law to be perfectly fine and constitutional to finding it to be somehow unconstitutional even though, to my knowledge, the language of the Constitution hasn’t changed any in the last two years, yet his interpretation of it has.  And I think it is driven by politics, not by any real change in the Constitution and its meaning.

AP’s Mike Glover: And you issued a statement harshly critical of the President at the time that he acted.  But there has been sort of a strange silence from a lot of potential republican presidential candidates.  I haven’t heard much from a lot of them.  Why not?  Why haven’t I heard more?

Santorum: Look, I mean, all I can say is that if we do not, as a party and as a people, stand behind the institution of marriage and understand its essential role as the glue that holds the family together, the family, the building block of society, the first economy, the first school, the first place where children’s character is formed we are going to destine our children and destine the future of this country for a lower standard of living and less free and prosperous country.

Glover: Should we hear more from the other potential candidates?  Would you ask them to address the issue?

Santorum: All I can say is I have spoken loudly and will continue to speak loudly and if others choose not to I think they have to take the pluses and minuses in not doing so.  But I am going to be and have been a vocal supporter of traditional marriage.  I believe it is essential.  I’m not surprised.  In the Iowa elections, as you know, there were three justices up for, um, retention, I’m sorry, couldn’t find the word, thank you, Dean, up for retention in the last election and of the potential republican candidates I was the only one that came into the state, jumped on the judge bus, talked about the issue of having people decide what marriage laws should be, not courts and no other republican potential nominee or candidate came in to do the same.  So, I think it shows that there are some people who are willing to stand up and fight for the family and others who would rather, to use the comment of one potential candidate, call a truce on these things.  Well, a truce, in this case, means ceding ground to the other side.

Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson: How do you think this issue will play out in the Iowa caucus campaign in the contest among you and other candidates?

Santorum: Obviously the issue of marriage is an important one.  Never before in the history of Iowa, I’ve been told, were judges up for retention thrown out, in this case all three of them thrown out.  It is clear why they were thrown out is because they abused their position and imposed a novel meaning of marriage on the Constitution.

Henderson: But do you think in 2012, whenever the Iowa caucuses may be, that Iowa republicans will go into those meetings and vote for a candidate based on this issue?

Santorum: I think it will be a factor just like the jobs bill, I mean, the jobs issue will be a factor, just like national security will be a factor but I think it will be an important factor.  It is a relevant issue, obviously, in this state and I think it is an important issue for our country in understanding how essential it is to have strong families and marriage being the glue that holds that family together.

Henderson: For Republicans in the general election in 2012, is it a relevant issue of contrast with President Obama?  Do you think it will be a motivating factor for voters in 2012, November?

Santorum: Obviously here in Iowa it was a motivating factor.  In other states where there have been fights on marriage, 31 states have had referendums on the issue of marriage and those who supported traditional marriage have won 31 out of 31.  So, it is a motivating factor, it is a debate that is worth having.  I think one of the reasons that it has won in all 31 states including states like California and Maine is because once the debate happens people begin to see the ramifications to society at large of what a change in the marriage laws will mean, what is means to education, what it means to people’s religious freedom, what it means to churches and what they can preach.  All of these things then come into focus and we realize this isn’t just a harmful thing that affects people that we want to be kind to.  I certainly want to be kind and if people want to love somebody else they are perfectly free to love whoever they want to love.  It’s different, though, if you’re asking us to change the law about marriage and the impact of changing that law is on our schools and our children’s education and on our religious institutions.

Glover: Is there a political risk to you in taking this position on same-sex marriage and maybe a reason some of the other candidates have been less vocal?  I have seen some polling suggesting that for people under 40 this is a loser of an issue and it doesn’t motivate people in the overall universe.

Santorum: Mike and Kay, Dean, I’m sure you’ve looked at my political resume and I think you have looked at the issues that I have taken on in the sixteen years I was in public life and I don’t think anyone would accuse me of looking at the polls and determining what positions I fight for.  I look at what I think is in the best interest of the future of our country and it is clear to me that the best interest of the future of our country is that we have strong marriages and strong families and we raise children in the best possible atmosphere for those children to be raised and that is highlighting and supporting a child being raised by a mother and a father.  That is the ideal place.  Can children be raised in a different environment?  Yes.  But we want to do what is best for children and what is best for children, by any measure, and even the left now admits this, scientifically, social science work, children raised in two-parent homes with moms and dads do better.  And so as a society it is in our interest to encourage that and I think be re-defining marriage we don’t encourage it, we discourage it.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.

Comments

  1. George Vreeland Hill says:

    When two people get married, it is because they love each other.
    They want to be together in a bond that makes them one with each other forever.
    It is a wonderful thing to have such a bond.
    It is special.
    It is love.
    When a man and a woman get married, no one blinks an eye.
    If two men or two women do the same, then many people do not approve.
    They claim that it is not right or that it soils the real meaning of marriage.
    What is the real meaning of marriage?
    The answer to that question is in line one of this article.
    It is because they love each other.
    Does it matter if the couple is gay or straight?
    Should it matter?
    No!
    After all, why should it.
    Gays want their equal rights and among those equal rights is the right to be married.
    I agree with wanting equal rights.
    We are all people which means we are all the same.
    It does not matter if someone is gay, white, black, a man, a woman, tall, short, young, old or whatever.
    We all want our equal rights.
    That is our right.
    However, we need to go beyond equal rights when it comes to gay marriage.
    Society needs to understand that any marriage is not about the right to be married.
    It is about wanting to be married as a loving couple.
    Love is not something that should be decided on by voters.
    It is not a court issue either.
    It should not be an issue at all.
    Marriage is between two people in love.
    It is not between two people, the voters, the courts and anyone else who has an opinion.
    Gay marriage does not bring down the meaning of marriage.
    It makes the true meaning of marriage even better.
    That is what love does.
    It makes things better.
    Society has come a long way in the last fifty years in terms of equality, but we still have a long way to go.
    It is a shame that love is something that needs to be fought for.
    I am not gay, but I am the same as you as you are to me.
    May love conquer all.

    George Vreeland Hill