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. GI Joe.

    Now he's gonna lose a big chunk of male voters. Porn is the only entertainment some of those republican men have.

    March 16, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  2. cali girl

    Sure, go ahead.... And your ideas for the economy?

    March 16, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. Larry L

    He seems focused on contraception, sodomy laws, pornography, gay marriage, and vaginal probes? Does he have anything to say about Social Security, Medicare, the war, the deficit, taxes, imigration, environmental pollution, energy, nuclear proliferation, or jobs? Moron. Next he'll want to make all Puerto Ricans speak only English...

    March 16, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
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