Santorum defends '06 loss, handling of Terri Schiavo case
January 2nd, 2012
07:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum defends '06 loss, handling of Terri Schiavo case

Polk City, Iowa (CNN) - Rising GOP contender Rick Santorum is brushing off a chief Republican concern about his campaign: a stunning 18-point loss in his race for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

"I lost an election in the worst election year for Republicans in the history of our state," Santorum said to CNN.

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A major factor in Santorum's defeat was his controversial vote to have a judge intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who was living in a vegetative state at the time and whose family was deeply divided over whether to remove her feeding tube.

Santorum defended his vote to CNN.

"What I cared about with Terri Schiavo was that a judge looked at the case fairly and they did. And they made their decision," Santorum said.

"I didn't think that was an unreasonable thing to do," Santorum added.

Polls conducted before Santorum's re-election defeat found voters in Pennsylvania opposed to the Congressional intervention in the case.

Santorum's handling of the Schiavo situation did agree with social conservatives who are now flocking to his campaign.

One day before the Iowa caucuses, the former Pennsylvania Senator picked up the endorsement of Jim Bob Duggar, a reality TV star and Christian conservative who backed Mike Huckabee in 2008. Huckabee won the caucuses with the support of evangelical votes.

Duggar and roughly half of his 19 children accompanied Santorum on stops across Iowa on Monday.

The reality show family traveled in a "Santorum for President" bus.

Also see:

Gingrich mulls strategy shift after Iowa


Leading Perry backers head to Iowa for final push


Bachmann: Polls not a good measure of support


Romney goes on offense


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. FRANK FROM LAS VEGAS

    His actions in the Terri Schiavo case was and is the typical GOP lie. They scream from the rooftops that government should stay out of our life except when they don't like what YOU are doing. In the Schiavo case they didn't like what the doctors and the family knew had to be done. Instead they he jumped in with his own believes and tried to get the government to over rule the family and doctors. The same as they want to dictate to a woman what she can do with her own body, no matter what. The same as they want to dictate who gays can love. The GOP wants government out of your life BUT insist upon being in your bedroom. If you don't agree with them then obviously YOU are wrong. Vote democratic for every office, national, state and local!

    January 2, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. buck cameron

    Paul – "Santorum is too liberal". Translation – he no longer lives in a cave.

    January 2, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Santorum was foolish to intervien on the Shivo case. This is a case of an ideology gone too far. Paul is like that with the government shouldn't be doing anything. He thinks that government is the evil in the world and that the corporate world is faultless.

    January 2, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. Harry

    Santorum should have minded his own business and the fact that Mr. ( I love to plant my seed) Duggar has endorsed Santorum is just another reason not to vote for him (among too many to count.)

    January 2, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Santorum believes in freedom – as long as you do everything his way. I know this hypocritical religious extremist will never be President, but think his rise should serve as a warning to all Democrats. The evangelical freakshows who put Bush in office and thought nothing of the government interfering in the Schiavo family's situation are still around. Diligence is required to make sure they never hold any power whatsoever ever again.

    January 2, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Jake

    Santorum lost, because we in PA couldn't stand him! He was an embarrassment to our great state! the fact that he is having a surge in the GOP field right now is laughable!

    January 2, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    "Duggar and roughly half of his 19 children accompanied Santorum on stops across Iowa on Monday."
    And I thought the over populator had one too many kids. This duggar woman is worse than a rabbit!!
    If you read blogs about that family I would say 80% of people think she has had one too many kids. Way to pick losers.

    January 2, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. Sanctimonious

    Most of the republicans just CLAIM to be a freak show. Sanctimonious really delivers!!!!

    January 2, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"I lost an election in the worst election year for Republicans in the history of our state◄
    But if you won that year, you'll be shouting and bragging about that your reelection was great
    Santorum may be on the rise – he's deserves his 15-minutes – but will drop like all the rest
    So let him enjoy his bout as his head grows larger thinking he's now the BEST!

    Obama 2012!!

    January 2, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. Karl Jonas

    OMG he got Duggar's endorsement?? The 19 spawn looney tune reality tv guy? Nuff said...

    January 2, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  11. Jane

    What happened within the Schiavo family was noone's business but that of the Schiavos. It was a sin and shame, the pain this moron inflicted on these people at such a difficult time in their life. Sadly, this event is indicative of how the GOP and the so-called Evangelicals are all about small government and freedom, unless it's not THEIR freedom. Every time I listen to one of these judgmental, interfering 'christians', I am reminded of the words of the great Mahatma Ghandi: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are Nothing like your Christ."

    January 2, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  12. mk1

    Rick Santorum could never be elected on a national level as there is no question he is way way out of the mainstream on way too many issues. The evangelical right wing are not the mainstream of America thank God and Santorum's extreme views are way too bizarre for most Americans. We do not want to go back to the days of discrimination in the name of religion and that is exactly what he, and others would do. Bigotry and hatred are still bigotry and hatred, even cloaked in religion, which actually makes it far worse.

    January 2, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Right !

    Then why didn't you run again ?

    January 2, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. enuff

    You can't say you are for less government and push to have it put its nose where it does not belong. It doesn't work both ways.

    January 3, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. Alan Halliday

    Did I read this correctly? 19 children, he is following along in a long line of right wing conservative males, keep their wives bare foot and pregnant and as the bible says obedient to their husbands. Who could argue with this logic? Just don`t let the females get any power at all keep them subservient and therefore not likely to demand equality with their husbands.

    January 3, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Santorum should never have interfered in the Schiavo case; it was a family matter. He only did it to prove once again that these freedom-loving, small government Repubs want to inflict their decidedly un-Christian ideas on Americans.

    January 3, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  17. kat

    I guess I'm not informed, How did Santorum rule in the Schiavo case, I believe a mistake was made and she should have been allowed to live.

    January 3, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  18. Tyler Durden

    Repugnicans: the party that wants government in everybody's business (except their own) – even when the target is in a vegetative state. Your tax and spend trickle down hero Reagan must be doing barrell rolls in his grave.

    January 3, 2012 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  19. don in albuquerque

    PLEASED to meet you,
    Won't you guess my name.
    Whats confusin' you
    Is just the nature of my game.

    January 3, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  20. Chris Willett

    Big government conservatism: We'll use the US Congress to come between you and your doctor and impose our religious views! Republicans only want government out of the way when it comes to business interests. But when it comes to personal issues, they have no problem dictating what occurs in your bedroom.

    January 3, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |