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. Lisa P

    I suspect Rick Santorum hung out a little too long with Mitt Romney - this signing someone up for membership who is far too young to even begin to make a choice herself sounds strangely like Mormon proxy baptism. I mean, really, shouldn't Bella have some say in the matter?

    April 13, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Alex in Wisconsin

    What a sick man. There are some things that kids are just too young for. Being involved with the NRA at age 3 is one of them. Guns and politics, that's all the NRA is and those should wait till a person can understand the concept and importance of life and death.

    And what a snob, to pay thousands of dollars for a life time membership for a 3 year old.

    Who needs a college education when you can kill people?

    April 13, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. stars

    This nut dont give a damn about his daughter nor his wife. Has you notice she look like a batter women the guy is freaking nuts.

    April 13, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. Pander Bear

    Since most NRA members act like retarded 3 year olds, it makes perfect sense.

    April 13, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. Independent Jack

    Poor kid,gop will do anything to further their political career.This is the mentality of the gop at its finest.Only thing worse id the flip flopper Mr Etch A Sketch!

    April 13, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Jeffer65

    God, guns and getting rid of abortion. The Republicans need a new play book. Why is this news anyway? Rick is out of the race. Perhaps he will be the VP pick and we can get continue to laugh at his outlandish statements.

    April 13, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. fernace

    As her father, Rick Santorum has the right to do whatever he sees fit for his daughter! What I don't get is how this little girl is going to get any "enjoyment"from a lifetime membership to the NRA! Not only does she have severe physical issues, but mental developement is also delayed w/her condition! Providing she lives past the age of 10, she may never understand what a gun is let alone learn how to use 1! As other bloggers have stated, this seems to be more of a political move, than true concern for his kid! I'm sure there are better ways to spend his money that may actually help the child, than a membership she will most likely not be able to use or understand! It's a ridiculous thing to bestow on any 3 yr old, but imo Bella should be allowed to revel in her childhood, w/stuffed toys, hugs & kisses! Not become a posterchild for the NRA or her dads failed campaign!!

    April 13, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  8. Larry L

    In every election the N.R.A. starts a series of rumors to drive up the costs of guns and ammunition. They are a marketing tool for the arms industry. I made good money last time by buying "black guns" and the associated ammo early, then selling it to these morons at ridiculous prices – at the hit the peak of propaganda surge. It will work again because the population who believe this nonsense is really, really stupid. President Obama has signed one action to ALLOW handguns on certain National parks and Wilderness Areas – nothing else related to guns. He doesn't give a cr@P about your guns! He's got a country to run! How stupid can you people be? Still, I'm going again to go to the Gunbroker site and buy a few of the "manly" weapons to sell to you mindless fools later this summer. It will work because you people on the ultra-right wing don't have enough sense to pour p!$$ out of a boot!

    April 13, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. tanjainfh

    Your 3-year old child is released from the hospital and the best welcome home present you can come up with is a lifelong NRA membership. That is just sick.

    April 13, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. S.S

    No one is taking away your guns!! keep them Its a right in the second amendment!! so Rick get over it and talk about more important issues.

    April 13, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. gracie

    Stupidity strikes again. Like seriously?? And people LIKE this guy??

    April 13, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    This is WAY over the line. I posted that the kid should be absolutely off-limits in the political debate, especially since she has a most-likely terminal condition. Now her FATHER is using her as a political prop? If this is what he considers appropriate, then all the bad-taste sick-kid jokes and comments are fair game. At least, if you really want to post that crap. I'll still pass.

    April 13, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. BK

    I'm not sure that you should brag about making such decisions on behalf of a child that is too young to touch or understand a gun.

    April 13, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. FlotsamJetsam

    This is just so disgusting. To exploit your daughter like that for political gain is terrible. But then again so is the NRA.

    April 13, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  15. ted

    The GOP takes NRA membership as a badge of honor. NRA used to have a good purpose, but now is being used for nefarious political purpose. Stupid stupid stupid

    April 13, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  16. Delilah

    Pluuuuuuuuuuuze! What a panderer!

    April 14, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  17. Knew

    This is terrible. I'm not saying I oppose guns in saying its sick to use a three year old for political reasons. And signing her up for a lifetime membership? What the hell. As is what the Morgan Freeman are you doing?

    April 14, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  18. Republicans are Neanderthals

    What a sick person. Sick, sick, sick!

    April 14, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Shades of Quitta and Trig ... makes me want to hurl ...

    April 14, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  20. Regressive

    I'm speechless. Reminds me of how Palin used her son for political gain. These people are narcissistic or sociopaths or both. Disgusting.

    April 14, 2012 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  21. Orwell shrugs

    You have three minutes and twenty two seconds to buy this deserving three year old a chrome plated Glock.

    Think of her happy face, pulling its trigger for the very first time. Every child needs a personal weapon to protect themselves from the world and their family, if needed. Call now and protect Bella from abuse, she needs reliable weapons in her very own armory.

    For the first 100 callers to the super patriot hotline, 10 to 1 government-is-GOP matching grants are available for her very first happy-RPG bonus. Do not delay, communists are hunting the Santoroms down this very second. Show your appreciation NOW! Someday within her lifetime NRA membership, she will need a nuke before Arm-a-ghetto happens.

    ACT TODAY, before she looses her life to democrats in congess and democrats hiding in the bushes out to get her.

    April 14, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  22. Orwell shrugs

    I know my dog needs a lifetime NRA membership, he may be old on a Medicare scam, but my dog needs personal protection from prying Feds. Being anti-social is what my dog is all about, and obeys me, him owning a gun is my first priority in life. He is getting old and is teeth ain't good, bark is muffled. He needs a semi automatic he can be proud of.

    April 14, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  23. sick of republican phonies

    Aw, how cute! Jesus must be so proud of his armed acolyte!

    April 14, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  24. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Poor child has an extremist father who is owned by the NRA.

    April 14, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  25. Orwell shrugs

    Getting a terminally sick child a lifetime NRA membership shows true Christian love.

    Getting her a rifle she can be proud of, priceless.

    April 14, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
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