April 13th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: Daughter, Bella, now lifetime NRA member

(CNN) – Rick Santorum unveiled some new details about his three-year-old daughter, Bella, while speaking at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in St. Louis on Friday.

"(My wife) Karen and I are life members of the NRA, and we wanted to announce today that…now Bella is a life member of the NRA, too," Santorum said. "I hope it is a long life."

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Santorum suspended his GOP presidential bid on Tuesday after spending the weekend in the hospital with Bella, who suffers from a serious chromosomal condition that interferes with development. Half of patients born with the condition, Trisomy 18, do not survive past the first week of life, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The former Pennsylvania senator cited family reasons as a major factor for leaving the race Tuesday, but has since pointed to finances and political strategy, as well.

Appealing to his audience Friday, Santorum also touched on other members of his family who share a passion for the Second Amendment.

"When it comes to gun rights advocates I have to say I don't hold a candle to my wife," Santorum said. "I am hunter and I am a gun owner, but she owns way more guns than I do."

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Filed under: 2012 • NRA • Rick Santorum
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Sally

    That is just sick. No one should be signed up for a lifetime anything until they are old enough to have a say in it. What if she grows up and doesn't want to be a member or is disgusted by the group's actions and wants nothing at all to do with them. She is now always tied to them.

    Poor child. i hope she is able to cancel her membership when she is old enough to make the decision herself. but then, knowing Santorum, he'd sign her up again without bothering to tell her.

    April 13, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Jrdz

    Dose that make him father of the year or just another tool.

    April 13, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Mason

    Great investment Rick. Get her a lifetime hunting/fishing license for your state and that is good one too. Shooting, hunting & fishing are life long sports like golf. Just another piece of plastic in your wallet with your conceal to carry license and NRA lifetime card.

    April 13, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Is this news CNN?

    April 13, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    kayla

    what a fool, what a loser, what the hell
    -------------------------------------------------
    Thanks Kayla, I needed that chuckle! LOL!

    April 13, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. ARALE NORIMAKI

    How can Politician complain about health care when taxpayers are paying for there family socialized medicine?

    April 13, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. V in Chicago

    This is a very sick-minded man!

    April 13, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Squealy

    Oh, PUKE! Can it get any more pandering than that?

    April 13, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. V in Chicago

    Nothing like using your terminally ill child as a prop to gain attention. No Rick, this will not get you in to the White House as VP. All you did was make yourself look ridiculous and makes us all wonder just who's best interest you really have at heart. Obviously not Bella's. Bless her heart and I hope she had a long and wonderful life. Please quit using her!!

    April 13, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Romney is not My Hero

    Goodness! Please someone commit this monster to the insane asslyum (two s's were used for dramatic effect). Give an NRA LIFETIME membership to an ill child? – I never thought I would see the day.

    This guy is dangerous AND trying to use his sick child to get votes for the Republican'ts. Disgusting

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 13, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    our special needs children need a lot of things, but I don't think being a card carrying member of the NRA happens to be one of them. Great way to use your kid there Rick.

    April 13, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. gg

    whats with this guy -he needs a tune up at backmans clinic

    April 13, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Disgusted with Repubs pandering

    What a pandering dork! He'd give hi Mom to N. Korea if it'd get him votes.

    April 13, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. caeser

    Now she can get right out there and kill something.

    April 13, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. the Situation

    Nice Rick. Rather then investing your child future in her education, you invest her future in being a lifetime member of the NRA. Then again, you did criticize Obama, called him a snob being concern the the children of America future, in terms of their education. Loser!

    April 13, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Debbie

    Because Jesus said Peter put your sword away?

    April 13, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. MK

    With more guns available to people, such as the NRA lobbies, campaigns and supports, it's all the more likely that his daughter will not have as long of a life.... just ask Treyvon.

    April 13, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. thomas

    Three dead in Ohio restaurant shooting.

    One was a child , a young girl , maybe Bella's age.

    April 13, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. WatchDawg

    Sounds like Mitt and Rick got together and discussed pandering 101...hey Mitt 'tell the world your wife has MS and a cancer survivor'. Hey Rick, 'great idea, you should tell them all about Bella...But not that you are using publicly funded healthcare'. ...'Mitt, you sly dog...let me one-up tonight by telling the NRA that we bought her a life time membership to the NRA'...'ok Ricky...just this once...for handing me the nomination'...

    April 13, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. justaminit

    I hope that she has a long life too. Now quit pandering, it did you no good in the election.

    April 13, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Tracy

    Stay tuned Mitt will do a follow up act by enrolling Ann and his 5 useless sons to the NRA , too. Santorum is dumber than Palin and worse than Joe Walsh.

    April 13, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Lola

    I agree with Sally. Why does Santorum parade his sick child out there when it is unnecessary. Let Bella grow up and be of age to make the decision to join the NRA and any other organization of HER choosing.

    I'm sorry, but Santorum and his control-freak ways are just pathetic.

    April 13, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. clarke

    Different strokes for different folks!

    April 13, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. ron

    I hope she has a long life too, Rick. But, boy are you a tool for saying that and using your baby like that!!!

    April 13, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Dana

    Bella, like all true conservatives realizes the second amendment confers on all citizens, even 3 year olds, the right to own, carry, shoot people etc. Bella wants to get her own cruise missile! Won't she be the envy of the playground!

    April 13, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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