Santorum's wife: Rick doesn't hate anyone
January 16th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum's wife: Rick doesn't hate anyone

(CNN) – Karen Santorum, wife of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, defended her husband Monday against same-sex marriage proponents targeting the former Pennsylvania for his social conservative views.

"I think it is very sad what the gay activists have done out there. They vilify him, and it is so wrong," Karen Santorum said at a South Carolina forum. "Rick does not hate anyone. He loves them. What he has simply said is marriage shouldn't happen."

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Santorum, who bills himself as an unapologetic social conservative, has been known to engage in arguments with audience members on the campaign trail over his opposition to same-sex marriage.

His wife's comments Monday came in response to a question from a supporter with a gay son. While the woman said her son was fine with Santorum's position on same-sex marriage, she still feels conflicted over her son's impression that Santorum "hates gays."

"Help me," she said. "How do I deal with that?"

His wife quickly jumped in to denounce the reputation Santorum has gained among some activists as "anti-gay."

"As far as hating, it's very unfortunate that that has happened. A lot of it is backyard bullying," Karen Santorum said Monday.

Long before Santorum jumped in the race, some gay rights advocates attempted to "redefine" Santorum's name online by creating a website that lists a graphic, sexual definition for the word "Santorum." The website eventually gained enough traction so that it now falls as the first listing for a Google search of the candidate's name.

Santorum has also taken heat from rival GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, who told Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" last month that the former senator doesn't like "gay people."

Along with his wife, Santorum weighed in on Monday, saying some people misinterpret his views against same-sex marriage as attacks.

"I'm doing what I'm called to do, which is love everyone and accept everybody," the candidate said. "But this is a public policy difference, and I think that some see that public policy difference as a personal assault."

– CNN's Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.

Also see:

Paul scores sought after endorsement in South Carolina

DeMint: I will not endorse

Romney nabs Florida endorsement

FIRST ON CNN: Huntsman to drop out


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • Same-sex marriage • South Carolina
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    We know Karen. But the leftists are just so full of hate they can't help themselves.

    January 16, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. mdn

    Rick is not a hater. He just likes WHITE PEOPLE! I like white people too. The difference is that I like other people too.

    January 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Sorensen

    She must be totally stupid!

    January 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    I know whereof certain evangelicals speak, and it is never without devious purpose.

    To be an evangelical, one has to not only condemn other groups, but one has to look down their nose at them, villify them, insult them, tell congregations and other church members that they're "less" because they don't believe the same way. It's hate. You can call it a rose if you want to, but it still stinks.

    January 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Santorum is a hater. His wife just confirmed it by using the word "hate" when no one accused Santorum of hating anyone. She made the connection between "dislikes gays" and "anti-gay" to "hate."

    January 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm sure Magda Goebbels said the same thing about her husband, before they poisoned their six children.

    January 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. logicnLA

    if his words and actions aren't hate, then he just doesn't 'like" anyone

    January 16, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. yo

    Is that his mother or his wife?

    January 16, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Truth, you keep spewing your hate here everyday. You just don't like the fact we call you and your ilk on it.

    January 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Brian

    So Santorum does not hate gay people. He just feels that they are not deserving of the same rights as human beings as others. I can see how many would conclude that he hates them. Santorum's views on such social issues are based on his personal religious beliefs. 74% of Americans are Christians. While that is a vast majority, that should not be grounds to limit the freedoms of others to make them feel better.

    January 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. flanoggin

    Um-if elected he would push to have my marriage nullified-but of course he doesn't hate me....he just wants to force me to adhere to his religious values....then contraception, then divorce....Beware America

    January 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Mr. Frothy is simply misunderstood. He expresses his love for humanity in very odd ways.

    January 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. cali girl

    Anyone ever hear his interviews on Conservitive Talk Radio? Maybe Karen doesn't term it as hate, but come on. He spews the words about gay and lesbians being WRONG, does not approve of "sin". Of course that is in the Bible, but it is the way he says it and the feeling you get when you hear him discuss it. Just downright cold and full of hate.

    January 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Rudy NYC
    Santorum is a hater. His wife just confirmed it by using the word "hate" when no one accused Santorum of hating anyone. She made the connection between "dislikes gays" and "anti-gay" to "hate."◄

    That's right – I could care less that Santorum believes marriage is between a woman and a man – there is NO HATE there. And what "@Truth and Nothing But the Truth" is saying does not make sense – There are GAYS on the Right too and most likely, they are the most "hateful" because the RIGHT does not accept them at all!!!

    There's no HATE Mrs. Santorum, really, because no one cares!!

    Obama 2012!!

    January 16, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    Karen – Your husband is embarrassing to us real catholics – You know he's a d.c. insider – always have been -he's one of the good 'ol boys that's one of the "earmark" kings ! He took lessons from the one from your next state below you, (not MD) Remember the senile one, that finally died in a wheel chair ?? There will never be anyone like him, as far as the king of earmarks. I don't believe anyone will ever pass him. His history was around 20 billion, in 70 years.

    January 16, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Josh in Orange County

    Rick Santorum is a religious zealot who wants to use government to impose his religious beliefs on everyone else. He delights in telling our country’s gay citizens that they are flawed, second class citizens who aren't good enough (or free enough) to marry the person they love. This guy is straight up hateful. There is no other word for it.

    January 16, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |