Rick Santorum on Families & Children

Republican Jr Senator (PA); 2012 presidential frontrunner


More nuclear families will improve the economy

If you're a single parent, a child of a single parent, and you grew up in a single parent family, the chance of you reaching the top 20% of income earners is 3%. That's not good enough. We don't have the courage to use the powerful tool a president has, the bully pulpit to encourage a national campaign to rebuild the American family and give every child its birthright which is a Mom and a Dad who loves them. That will change this economy.
Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican Undercard debate , Jan 14, 2016

FactCheck: Yes, ISIS declared fatwa to kill disabled kids

Santorum said, "This week ISIS put out a fatwa on disabled children and killed dozens of them because of their disability. Now, I am the father of a disabled child. I have known the face of evil. And I, if you give me the opportunity, will defeat it."

Could that be literally true? We checked; indeed it is: "ISIS has issued an order to exterminate children with Down syndrome, the Mosul Eye reported. The Sharia Board issued a fatwa to 'kill newborn babies with Down syndrome and congenital deformities and disabled children.' The group confirmed more than 38 cases where the terrorist organization executed babies born with disabilities using either lethal injection or suffocation. The victims were ages 1 week to 3 months, and killed in Syria and Mosul. ISIS claimed that children born with Down syndrome came from "foreign fighters" who married Iraqi & Syrian women. The order was issued by the terror group's Saudi judge Abu Said Aljazrawi." (NY Daily News, 12/14, reporting from "The Mosul Eye").

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2015 CNN/Salem Republican debate , Dec 15, 2015

This campaign is all about two words: "Working Families"

This campaign has all been about two words for me, working families. We have to start making things in America again. We need a president who is going to talk about the dignity of being a welder. The dignity of being a carpenter, about going to work and earning success. Also, the importance of fathers, and mothers raising their children.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Family means economy; make both strong

The word "economy" comes from the Greek "oikis" which means family. The family is the first economy. And the one thing that we do not talk about enough is how stable families are vitally important for the middle of America to be prosperous and to grow and be safe. And I will have policies, not just tax policies, but others that will make sure that families are strong again in America.
Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Book "Bella's Gift" about their special-needs youngest child

Rick and Karen are the co-authors of a book entitled Bella's Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation. Bella's Gift chronicles the inspiring story of life with the Santorums' special-needs youngest child. Bella was born with a condition called Trisomy 18, and she wasn't expected to survive her first birthday. Beating all the odds, Bella turned 7 in May of 2015 and is a joyful and loving little girl. Bella's miraculous life has only strengthened Rick and Karen's belief in the dignity of each and every life.

Rick Santorum is also the author of the 2005 New York Times best seller It Takes a Family, American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom, and Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America that Works.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website RickSantorum.com, "About" , May 27, 2015

Patriot Voices: online community to restore American dream

Rick and his wife of 25 years, Karen, are the parents of seven wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella.

In 2012, Rick and Karen co-founded Patriot Voices, a grassroots and online community of Americans committed to finding ways to restore the American dream for hardworking families. Patriot Voices impacted a number of economic, social and national security issues by mobilizing its army of grassroots volunteers.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website RickSantorum.com, "About" , May 27, 2015

Strong families help produce a strong economy

Rick believes that strong families help produce a strong economy. We must expand opportunities for all Americans by encouraging incentives for marriage, children, and free enterprise.

Rick also believes that we must renew America's manufacturing sector

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website RickSantorum.com, "About" , May 27, 2015

Marriage at historical low; illegitimacy at historical high

Today, marriage rates are at a historical low while illegitimacy is at a historical high. And just as marriage-an institution older than any government and the foundation of a stable society-- has fallen into this crisis, activist courts are redefining it in a way that extinguishes whatever meaning it had left. Let me be clear-- I am not blaming the breakdown of marriage and the family on the same sex-marriage movement. The sexual revolution has been taking a jackhammer to that foundation for fifty years. No one would be talking about same sex-marriage if we had not lost the real meaning and purpose of marriage years ago.
Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 19-20 , Apr 28, 2014

Government policy facilitates breakdown of family

There is one thing government can do, or better yet, one LESS thing--quit trying to replace the family with cradle-to-grave government programs. Did more government assistance cause the breakdown of the family, or did the breakdown of the family require more government assistance? Look at the out-of-wedlock birth rate in 1964, around 3% to 5%. The current rate is over 40%. In only one period did the increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock birth abate, the decade after the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. The act required work and put a time limit on the receipt of income assistance for unwed mothers, and required the establishment of paternity. By 2006 many of these reforms had been watered down by big liberal states.

Obviously, there are other more important factors affecting the illegitimacy rate. Government policy, however, is at least facilitating the dramatic decline in stable 2-parent families through what on the surface seems to be compassionate assistance for families in crisis.

Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 100-1 , Apr 28, 2014

Double child tax credit to $6,000 per child

A tax code can encourage certain behavior and punish other behavior. In addition to punishing work, ours punishes marriage. Since marriage is a critical factor in avoiding poverty, the tax code should encourage it. Removing the "marriage penalty" from the code is a good start, but we out to go further and establish more tax benefits for married couples.

Let's look at how families with children are treated by the tax code.

There are a few provisions that lighten the tax burden on families with children, primarily the personal exemption.

We should double the tax credits from $3,000 to $6,000 per child so that young couples can afford to raise a family.

Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p.171-3 , Apr 28, 2014

Marriage disappears where government dependency is highest

In America we believe in freedom, and the responsibility that comes with it, to work hard to make that dream of reaching our God-given potential come true. We believe it because it still works. Even today.

Graduate from high school, work hard, and get married before you have children and the chance you will ever be in poverty is just 2%. Yet if you don't do these three things you're 38 times more likely to end up in poverty!

We understand many Americans don't succeed because the family that should be there to guide them, and serve as the first rung on the ladder of success, isn't there or is badly broken.

The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest. Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 28, 2012

Severely disabled daughter is still life worth living

They came to see us--oh did they come--when they found out Karen and I are blessed with caring for someone very special too, our Bella.

Four and a half years ago I stood over a hospital isolette staring at the tiny hands of our newborn daughter who we hoped was perfectly healthy. But Bella's hands were just a little different--and I knew different wasn't good news.

The doctors later told us Bella was incompatible with life and to prepare to let go. They said, even if she did survive, her disabilities would be so severe that Bella would not have a life worth living.

We didn't let go and today Bella is full of life and she has made our lives and countless others much more worth living.

I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God's children--born and unborn--and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 28, 2012

Contraception for teens helps fix fracturing families

Q: You told an evangelical blog, if elected, you will talk about what "no president has talked about before--the dangers of contraception." Why?

SANTORUM: I was talking about a society with an increasing number of children being born out of wedlock, and teens who are sexually active. What we're seeing is a problem in our culture with respect to children being raised by children, children being raised out of wedlock, and the impact on society economically, the impact on society with respect to drug use and a host of other things when children have children. The family is fracturing. Over 40% of children born in America are born out of wedlock. How can a country survive if children are being raised in homes where it's so much harder to succeed economically? The left gets all upset. "Oh, look at him talking about these things." You know, here's the difference between me and the left, and they don't get this. Just because I'm talking about it doesn't mean I want a government program to fix it.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

Address breakdown of American family from bully pulpit

Q: The presidency is often called the bully pulpit. How would you use the bully pulpit to try to shape American culture?

SANTORUM: I haven't written a lot of books, I've written one: in response to a book written by Hillary Clinton called, "It Takes a Village." I didn't agree with that. I believe it takes a family, and that's what I wrote. And I believe that there's one thing that is undermining this country, and it is the breakdown of the American family. It's undermining our economy, and you see the higher rates of poverty among single parent families. We know there's certain things that work in America. If you graduate from high school, and if you work, and if you marry before you have children, you have a 2% chance of being in poverty in America. And to be above the median income, if you do those three things, 77% chance of being above the median income. Why isn't the president talking about that and trying to formulate policy to help people do those things?

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

Gay adoption is a state issue; no federal ban

Q: We're in a state where it is legal for same-sex couples to marry. Your position on same-sex adoption?

SANTORUM: Well, this isn't a federal issue. It's a state issue, number one. The states can make that determination. I believe the issue of marriage itself is a federal issue. If we don't have a federal law [on marriage], I'm certainly not going to have a federal law that bans adoption for gay couples when there are only gay couples in certain states. So this is a state issue, not a federal issue.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Promote the family as economic anchor point

I grew up in a very modest home and was very blessed to have all my basic needs met. And one of the most basic needs was that I was blessed to have a mother and a father. That was the most important gift that I was given, that I had two parents who were together, who loved me, who supported me and made me feel safe. And made the little things feel like luxuries because I had that sense of security.

Unfortunately, we see the family continuing to break down. And with that, the economic status of those families. Single-parent households in America now have poverty levels approaching 40%. What we can do as a federal government, [is] to try to promote this institution of marriage. Try to promote the family and make sure that families are elevated and supported and fathers and mothers are there to take care of their families and be there for their children. That's the most important luxury, is a mom and a dad.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa , Dec 10, 2011

Poverty rate 5% with two parents; 30% with one parent

Q: Over the last 30 years, the income of the wealthiest 1% of Americans has grown by more than 300%. And yet, we have more people living in poverty in this country than at any time in the last 50 years. Is this acceptable?

A: There's more to it than that. The biggest problem with poverty in America we don't talk about in an economic discussion. And that is the breakdown of the American family. You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have a husband and wife working in them? It's 5% today. A family that's headed by one person? It's 30% today. We need to do something. We need to talk about economics: the word "home" in Greek is the basis of the word "economy." It is the foundation of our country. We need to have a policy that supports families; that encourages marriage; that has fathers take responsibility for their children. You can't have limited government, you can't have a wealthy society, if the family breaks down that basic unit of society.

Source: 2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH , Oct 11, 2011

No-Fault Freedom: doing whatever we want damages society

The liberal definition of freedom is the freedom to be and to do whatever we want--freedom to choose, irrespective of the choice, freedom without limits (with the obligatory caveat that you can't hurt anyone else DIRECTLY. But someone always gets hurt when masses of individuals do what is only in their own self-interest. That is the great lie of liberal freedom, or as I like to say, "No-Fault Freedom" (all the choice, none of the responsibility).

Believers of No-Fault Freedom turn a blind eye to the damage such a notion of freedom causes not to this or that individual but to society as a whole. We have sexual freedom: and the resulting debasement of women, mental illness, and an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases causing infertility, cancer, and death. Adults have freedom to divorce (No-Fault) when it suits them: and too many children end up being scarred for life. This is but a taste of the collateral damage inflicted on society, families, and individuals by No-Fault Freedom.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 14 , Apr 30, 2006

Shotgun marriage wasn't all that bad in some cases

The government in the form of the social worker communicates loud and clear that it doesn't believe low-income, minority couples can maintain a marriage. It effectively says: don't bother trying, just be sure the father establishes paternity so we can come after him for child support. But where are the churches, the civic groups and community organizations? Have they given up hope as well? Sadly, the answer is, with a few notable exceptions, yes. We've gone from the days of shotgun marriage (which I'm not sure in some cases was all that bad) to the days of shotgun paternity establishment. As communities facing out-of-wedlock pregnancy, we've gone from common concern to common indifference.
Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 26 , Apr 30, 2006

Pre-marital cohabitation makes 50% more chance of divorce

Take cohabitation, or living together outside of marriage, as an example. Today's conventional wisdom holds that it is better than harmless, that it is a healthy way for a couple to "test drive" marriage. Some even say that cohabitation is better than marriage, since people should be together only when they are in love with one another, and we can never know how and whom we will love in the future: a vow of lifelong love, they say, is unrealistic.

The problem is that the myth that living together leads to better marriages is wrong. The opposite is true. One study found that marriages preceded by cohabitation have nearly a 50 percent greater chance of ending in divorce than marriages that we not preceded by cohabitation. Furthermore, children born to parents who are just living together instead of married do not fare very well.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 29 , Apr 30, 2006

Covenant Marriage: do whatever it takes to keep together

The concept of Covenant Marriages--started in Louisiana and now also available in AZ and AR--gives couples an option when they go get a marriage license. They can choose the usual marriage with no-fault divorce escape hatch. Or they can choose a covenant marriage, which binds them by law to get premarital counseling, and to do whatever it takes, including counseling, to keep the marriage together. Here is what couples agree to:

"We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together for so long as they both may live. We have chosen each other carefully and disclosed to one another everything which could adversely affect the decision to enter into this marriage. We have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes & responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a Covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling."

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 79-80 , Apr 30, 2006

Automatically awarding custody to moms celebrates sexism

In disrupted families, only about 1 child in 6 sees his father as much as once a week. The divorce courts are often not kind to fathers. Ten years after a marriage breaks up, approximately 2/3 of children report that they haven't seen their father for over a year. Divorced wives can make it difficult for the fathers of their children to visit. Personally, I cannot imagine the pain of not being able to be a part of my children's formative years.

There are many fathers out there who do not take an active role in their children's lives, but who are sadly barred from doing so by courts and mothers. Many fatherhood groups rightly complain that the family courts automatically award custody of childre to mothers, irrespective of the circumstances. It is one of the few places in our culture where sexism is not only condoned but virtually celebrated. This can lead to devastating consequences for the whole family.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.313-314 , Jul 4, 2005

Church scandals caused by "right to privacy lifestyle"

Q: In an article you wrote, you blamed in part the Catholic Church scandal on liberalism. Can you explain that?

A: : You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home?

Q: The right to privacy lifestyle?

A: The right to privacy lifestyle.

Q: What's the alternative?

A: In this case, priests were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men. We're not talking about priests with 5-year-olds. We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship. Which, again, according to the world view sense is a perfectly fine relationship as long as it's consensual between people. If you view the world that way, and you say that's fine, you would assume that you would see more of it.

Source: Associated Press in USA Today: Santorum Interview , Apr 23, 2003

Voted YES on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.

Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-114 on May 13, 1999

Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record.

Santorum scores 100% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

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