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. Jake

    half of the losers who have been voting for him just quietly put down their Santorum signs. ha!

    March 16, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Why is it that "freedom loving", "small government" conservatives are always on the hunt to pass, enact, and enforce more and more legislation that restricts, or otherwise defines, the limits of our freedoms.....however they see fit.

    March 16, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. edpeters101

    Once again Rick spouts off what is in his heart, with total disregard to any facts. Is this a great country or what!!

    March 16, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. txdeist1

    I am all for having the laws enforced, but what scares me is Santorum's narrow minded opinion on what is considered obscenity.Considering the way he and the republicans have declared a religious war on women, it could be wearing a bikini, showing your stomach, or just being female for all I know. We must stop these crazy republican attacks on women, gays, blacks, Latinos and the poor by getting the zealots out of government offices!

    March 16, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Why doesn't Santorum realize that this agenda,which pleases his base,will destroy him in the general election.There is a reason why Republicans have side stepped social issues for yrs,they know when It comes to social issues a majority of the country lean to the left,even if they are fiscal conservatives.Only the extreme religious section of the party wants this hard line"Christian" value system,the rest of America no so much.

    March 16, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. JT

    Anything to distract from his lack of knowledge on economic and foreign policy issues.

    March 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. dana

    Santorum is finished, what with his statements about Porto Rico and english and now porno, Maybe he should put his wife up for Bid.

    March 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. JohnH_in_OKC

    Rick Santorum has just alienated many, if not most, of his right wing supporters. What will Rush Limbaugh say about Santorum’s rejection of American values, freedom of speech and Internet censorship?

    Just as Newt lost his supporters for his lack of character, Rick has just become a laughingstock of this election. He just gave a lot of people a valid reason to vote for someone else because of his inane stance to end some of our long established freedoms.

    The Republican Party is in the toilet for trying to restrict everyone’s freedoms, especially women (Santorum alsp opposes all birth control except the rhythm method). Most Democrats are smart enough to stay away from 2nd Amendment public criticisms and let the gun lobby have its way. Republicans should do the same & shut up about trying to restrict our 1st Amendment freedoms & womens' rights!

    March 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Rick in AZ

    Is this moron running for President of Pope?

    March 16, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Lois S

    Rick just lost male voters from Utah, considering Utah has the highest porn subscribers in the country.

    March 16, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. marty

    Rick Santorum is very consistent pushing 'family' as THE most important choice in life. He has his 'bad' list, pornography, abortion, pre-marital sex.....the list is long. He acts in concert with the Catholic bishops regarding contraceptives, yet with
    all his pontificating, he never mentions the practice of the Church granting marriage annulments by these same clergymen. Annulments which have been granted to men (usually of means) after marriages of ten, twenty, thirty or more years. Marriages which have borne children and grandchildren. With the stroke of a pen, these men of the church, will declare that a marriage never existed, null and void. Santorum obviously agrees with this practice, otherwise he would speak out against it.

    March 16, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. Timothy

    Well considering how Prohibition worked so well, making millionaries out of the Kennedys, creating crime families, and not decreasing drinking at all – sure let's go afraid pornography.

    But first let us check ALL the family computers and cell phones of Santorum and his family and aides – – since studies have shown that SOMEONE is buying and viewing porn in America – to the tune of billions.

    Sure, go after a legal business, put people into unemployment in the United States, and shut down the internet – – the Porn Police will be trained by Iran for Santorum to enforce moral codes.

    All the other problems with America, and you center on a legal industry?

    Us poor people will agree – if you shut down all the Country Club and Golf Courses. You take away poor entertainment, you need to equal it with snobby entertainment.

    But will Santorum EXEMPT the Roman Catholic Priests? Sure, they don't watch porn, and they don't molest boys either.

    Really?

    March 16, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. L. R. Long

    Santorum is extreme, right wing ideology personified. In my opinion, he's just pandering to women by stating his opposition to pornography. He is indirectly admitting that he blew his chances for winning over the woman's vote by trying to tell them what to do with their bodies... This whole thing stinks of desperation, and cluelessness, as he has actually found time to discuss pornography in an election that is all about the economy. In fact, the ONLY thing every republican agrees on is that the focus should be the economy. Rick wants to talk about sex, baby... No chance in November. Obama all the way.

    March 16, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. L. R. Long

    Let me get this straight... Obama administration is bad for interfering with people's lives. But the Santorum administration fighting to stop Americans from buying a legal product (pornography) is good...? WOW. Holy double standard, Batman!

    March 16, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. marty

    OK Rick, what's your take on the many marriage annulments granted by the Catholic Church. Specifically, marriages of ten, twenty and thirty or more years. Marriages with children and some with grandchildren. Abortions....Annulments.....they are both destructive in their own way. Speak up!

    March 16, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Martin

    Every administration since the inception of the internet has turned a blind eye to this, and hotels have been having ppv porn for years before that.

    It's hardly an Obama administration issue.

    March 16, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. David in FL

    FINALLY a politician wakes up on this issue. I hope Romney will come out with something like this as well, enough is enough. Well done Santorum (on this issue)

    March 16, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. aaron

    Unbelievable....porn is causing brain changes....and people are voting for this loon? He's making Palin and Bachmann sound sane....thought that was impossible.

    March 16, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. CBR

    He is not a doctor. He does not have proof nor does he seem to care that he does not. Mr. Santorum speaks to get others worked up.

    His children are young. He will learn that what he believes may not be what his children believe as they grown into adults. Funny but children do have minds of their own. We can teach them just so much and then their own ideas and thoughts take over and thank goodness they do. I have faith in the next generation.

    March 16, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Little Ricky just gets more crazy and more stupid as time goes on. He doesn't want to be Commander in Chief, he wants to be Preacher in Chief. We don't need another priest and that's just what he wants to be. He's for smaller government so they can fit in your bedroom that way. He wants government out of your life except at the same into your bedroom. What's wrong with the GOP is exactly little Ricky. He's got all the vocal right wing fruitcakes following him like sheep. The GOP is going to have a huge awakening in November, no White House, no Senate, no House, hardly any state houses either except for the few southern states that are loaded with sheep.

    March 16, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. George S.

    Santorum talks of brain changes in others? Whoa! Look what religion did to his, or what's left of it.

    March 16, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Jimh77

    So, no responses seems to be a moderator issue. That said, If I am the first to comment here.

    If Santorum is the finalist to go against Obama, be scared, be very scared. America will be transformed into a place no that Iraq will look like a nice place to go.

    March 16, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    This is yet another lie (what he believes "in his heart" but not factual) promulgated by Sanitorium; the Obama Administration IS enforcing pornography laws:

    "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."

    Ricky just wants to control everyone; he's a theocrat through and through and doesn't belong anywhere near the White House.

    March 16, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. Dante666

    I would love to hear this idiot talk about the economy, jobs, international relationships and shit that is important. He spends all his time on moral issues and frankly that is a private matter. He is just a little over the top on religious issues and way short on plans to fix this mess.

    March 16, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Dante666

    FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS – Its the economy and jobs you nut job

    March 16, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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