Santorum addresses pornography ‘pandemic’ position
March 16th, 2012
05:47 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum addresses pornography ‘pandemic’ position

(CNN) – Rick Santorum stood by his campaign website after a controversy over his position on pornography erupted on the internet Friday.

In an undated post, the Santorum website says the country is "suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography," including "profound brain changes in both children and adults," and the former senator from Pennsylvania told CNN on Friday that his administration would draw attention to the issue.

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"I said that as a president I would enforce the law which is not being done now," he said to reporters in Arlington Heights, Illinois Friday.

A review of candidates' websites by CNN showed Santorum as the only candidate to address the topic. Candidate websites typically include an issues section which lays out positions on economic, foreign, and social policy.

"Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children," Santorum's website read. "The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking."

His site says he would enforce current anti-pornography laws.

"Current federal 'obscenity' laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier," it reads. "Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced."

The site quotes him as saying, "If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so."

It criticizes the current administration, saying the Justice Department is failing to prosecute the law.

"The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws," the site read. "While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration."

The FBI has announced 38 convictions or guilty pleas in child pornography cases so far in March, according to a review of FBI press statements.

When a presidential candidate herself, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann signed a conservative organization's pledge which included supporting a ban of pornography. Mitt Romney refused to sign the Family Leader's pledge - which also contained provisions on gay marriage - because his campaign said the oath "contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."

Speaking on CNN Friday, GOP strategist Ana Navarra told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield that Santorum "cares about these things, as do a lot of social conservatives."

"I don't think he's saying this is going to be a central focus of his administration," Navarra said. She is currently unaligned in the presidential race, though she advised Jon Huntsman before he ended his run in January. "I think he's saying this is going to be an important issue, and it's an important issue for a lot of social conservatives, which is why Rick Santorum does well with that niche group."

– CNN Producer Raelyn Johnson contributed to this report.

Also see:

Rush Limbaugh joins Twitter

New DNC video pits Romney against women

With or without Adelson, Gingrich aims for Tampa


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Russ

    Oh come on Ricky, you've probably watched more porn than me trying to figure out if you should use it as a wedge issue and I watch a lot of it. You know what, it hasn't made me turn to violence, rape, ruined my marriage or family values, turned me into a prostitute or start sex trafficing. If anything it has made our sex life way better and I'm sure way better than yours. Good luck buddy, the porn industry is way more powerful than you are. YOU PRUDE!!

    March 16, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Calypso

    The reason that kids are exposed to porn at an early age is because most parents are to lazy to install a v-chip. Rick stay out of americas bedrooms it is none of your business. Quite turning to social issues and focus on the elephant in the room...you know? The ECONOMY.

    March 16, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Egads Santorum! There isn't any more foot left to shoot!! STOP SHOOTING!!

    March 16, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Something is seriously wrong with Santorum. There are more pressing challenges facing this country than these peripheral social issues.

    March 16, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Calypso

    Kids are exposed because most parents are to lazy to install a parental block. Hey rick why dont you focus on something important like, i dont know, the economy?Adults can do what they want in the privacy of there own homes. Dont like it? Well you dont have to look at. Freaking religous nut.

    March 16, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Lar 5

    Now he has switched gears is on a campaign against porn.
    I can't wait to hear his position on women's breasts and chastity belts. But now I have to wonder if his next pronouncement will be advocating a return to the stocks, ducking stool and scarlet letter.
    This man has off into an alien world .Maybe his problem is caused by too much investigation of porn.

    March 16, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Internet Child

    Lol, "the scourge of pornography". Aside from beastiality, rape, and child porn, when is porn ever bad?

    March 16, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    They're called web filters ricky! Use them and monitor your children's internet usage and you won't have to worry. Frankly, I don't know anybody who is a pornography addict. A coworker did get fired a few months ago because she was a Facebook addict and forgot to report to work so maybe we should address the social media 'pandemic' position.

    March 16, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Lar 5

    Now he has switched gears. He lost the Puerto Rico english nonsense, and is now on a campaign against porn.
    I can't wait to hear his position on women's breasts and chastity belts. But now I have to wonder if his next pronouncement will be advocating a return to the stocks, ducking stool and scarlet letter.
    This man has gone off into an alien world .Maybe his problem is caused by too much investigation of porn.

    March 16, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Favorite movie is "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

    March 16, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    They're called web filters. Use them and monitor your child's internet usage and you won't have a problem. Frankly, I don't know anyone who is into that sort of thing, but a coworker was fired recently for failing to report to work for several days because she was spending all of her time on social network sites, and she isn't alone. IMO, addressing the social media 'pandemic' position is a far more pressing issue than blaming others for your failure to accept responsibility for your children's behavior.

    March 16, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Romney is not My Hero

    This guy is out to infuriate everyone in the US (gays, women, minorities, sane people, people who can read, etc.). He'll have to pick up and move soon, but not to Puerto Rico – they speak too much Spanish. Maybe he should move to Antarctica or something. No, he will have problems with the polar bears not being holy enough. Well, at least he's showing ALL of his true colors. No holds barred – Go get 'em Santimonious, ya loser!

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 16, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    It's the economy stupid!

    March 16, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. 4merRepubCT

    "Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children," Santorum's website read. "The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11."
    _____________________________________________________________________
    What are the sources for these statements? And why would Santorum want to expand the size and scope of government to suppress individual's exercise of their First Amendment rights?

    March 16, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Arthur

    what a moron. No I correct that the people actually voting for him are the true morons he's more like an insane hobo "prophet" and thinking he makes the most sense and should run things. God I hate middle america!

    March 16, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Zer0Striker

    Well it's not like was going to vote for him anyway, but now we need to make sure he never becomes president. Using political power to force one's values on others epitomizes anti-Americanism. This is far more vile than any hardcore content I've seen on the internet!

    Obama 2012!

    March 16, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Hmmm

    Well he may want to address the "standard banner" for the Republican party, Mr, Rush Limbaugh, who recently demanded that those receiving contraceptives through their employer's insurance must post videos of their sexual encounters on You Tube. Sounds like this could be his promotion of pornography or the desire of his dirty mind. What a disgrace to the "Family Values" party!

    March 16, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    Unfortunately, most people don't care anymore about pornography or profound brain changes in kids and adults because the root of it is supported by so many free spirited teachers, authors, professors, actors, singers, politicians, journalists, tv personalities that have convinced people that it is okay. People don't care anymore.

    March 16, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Larry L

    This candidate such a solid platform based on critical issues like: contraception, pornography, Puerto Rican's speaking English, vaginal probes, sodomy laws, and gay marriage. If it wasn't for the Puerto Ricans everything he has to say would be about sex.

    I would appreciate it if he'd just touch on some less important issues like: jobs, environmental protection, energy, the deficit, the war, Social Security, Medicare, Syria, and maybe say something specific about his intentions for stopping nuclear proliferation.

    March 16, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Wow...impressive. That "Aftershock Survival Summit" nonsense even gets up on CNN under "From Around the Web." I guess CNN will take money from anyone. What a freekin farce.

    March 16, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Bob

    He has had sex on the brain for quite some time now.

    March 16, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    "I don't think he's saying this is going to be a central focus of his administration," Navarra said. "I think he's saying this is going to be an important issue, ......"
    ----------------------
    Admit it. It is a more important issue than jobs to Santorum. You talk about this sort of stuff after you are elected, Rick. It is called a hidden agenda. Every politician has one. If you are openly discussing this and other "important issues", it makes us wonder what is on your hidden agenda.

    March 16, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. John

    The Ayatollah Santorum is going to ban sex on the Internet, eh? The only less likely occurence would be his election as President.

    March 16, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. TG

    I have come to the conclusion...this man is obsessed with SEX!!! I believe he is horny and not getting any......He is more worried about what is going on in people's bedroom's and not my pocket!!! He has some SERIOUS issues!!

    March 16, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "According to a Pew Research Center survey released last September, the public has serious trust issue with both politicians (59% did not trust information from Congress) and the media (39% did not trust national news organizations)."

    Well isn't that convenient....abotu 20% trust the steaming feces that passes as contemporary "journalism" more than they trust elected officials. Guess what? They're in bed together. Who do you is filtering everything your elected officials say and spinning and slanting everything that finally reaches you while avoiding any critical, fact based, research supported analysis of it so that false equivalencies can be established by playing he-said-she-said controversy hype games? My god people are stupid. TRUST NEITHER.

    March 16, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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