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The Gazette KCRG
Posted June 7, 2011
Santorum campaigns in Iowa as ‘full spectrum’ conservative

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum greets Steve Cashman, right, before speaking at a news conference at the Informed Choices Medical Clinic, June 7 in West Des Moines. Santorum announced June 6 that he will seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A day after officially entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Santorum waded into a controversy that threatens to further delay the Iowa Legislature’s adjournment.

Prior to a meeting with Iowa Right to Life, Santorum offered his support for legislation being considered by the Iowa House to ban abortions late-term abortions and, in a broader sense, allowing states to legislate access to abortions.

“I think most Americans are uncomfortable with late-term abortions,” the former Pennsylvania senator said in West Des Moines June 7. “Where do you draw the line? I draw the line at the moment that the child is human being, which is at the moment of conception.

While the Iowa proposal would restrict abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, Santorum said Congress and states should be able legislate abortion access “even beyond 22 weeks.”

Santorum is glad that his rivals for the GOP nomination also are pro-life, “but none of them have really taken the role of leadership on this issue” that he has, he told reporters. He co-sponsored legislation addressing Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s later-term abortion practice while still in the Senate. Carhart is as the center of the Iowa discussion. State lawmakers are trying to prevent him from opening a Council Bluffs clinic where late-term abortions would be performed. Carhart wants to open a clinic there because of changes in the Nebraska law that limits his practice.

“I was the author of partial-birth abortion statute; I was the author of the born alive protection act, I was a leader on the unborn victims of violence act, I was a leader on embryonic stem research,” he said. “These are initiatives that I took the lead on a national scale and took to the floor of the United States Senate and argued those things.”

He hasn’t seen that level of activity from his rivals, Santorum added.

“It’s one thing to go before a pro-life group and say I’m pro-life; it’s another thing to go out and actively work as an elected official to make real changes in the culture when it comes to this issue,” he said, arguing that this issues separates him from the GOP pack.

Santorum, who described himself as a “consistent conservative” who is active on cultural issues, economic issues, national security issues – “the full spectrum” – wants to see the U.S. Supreme Court decision that opened the door for legal abortion, Roe vs. Wade, overturned.

A late-term abortion ban would be “a good place to test the court.”

“I think anytime we can bring a decision to the court and give them an opportunity to relook at abortion cases is a good thing and if the federal government wanted to do that I certainly wouldn’t oppose,” he said.

Earlier, appearing on WHO Radio, Santorum emphasized his “full spectrum” conservative political positions, touching on Social Security, border security, Libya and a host of other issues.

Santorum said the case for being involved in Libya has not been made.

“I had trouble when the president decided to do what he did. I thought it was a bad decision,” he said. “We should not be deploying our military at behest of Arab League and the UN.”

As much as the U.S. might want to support its allies – the French and British, “we should not get involved in activities unless there is a national security interest.”

Santorum believes it’s unlikely anyone would design a Social Security system like the one that exists today, “but we’re stuck with it … and what we have to do is make the most of it to provide a safety net for those who are in need in our society.”

Means testing has to be a part of the conversation, he added, suggesting that, to a degree, means testing is a part of the system today. Higher income retirees get a lower percentage return on their contributions than others, Santorum said.

He called border security is a “matter of will, political will.”

“It’s not a matter of money, not a matter of technology, it’s a matter of deploying the resources that are necessary to make sure this problem is no longer a problem,” he said. Unfortunately, the two most recent administrations have not shown that will, he said.

“I will tell you I will have the political will to do so,” Santorum said. “We will never get this problem under control, the problem of illegals in this country” without securing the border.

“This is creating a divide here in America, it’s creating tension in America that would go away if we could say America’s borders are secure,” he said.

Santorum, who said he was making his 14th visit to Iowa of this election cycle, is running because he believes this is the most critical time in the nation’s history.

“I want my children to be free. I want my children to live in a country that the government doesn’t tell them what they have to do, what insurance they have to buy, what car they have to drive … What commode and what light bulb you have to buy” he said.

“We see this creep and creep of government all for good reasons, all because smart people think they know better than you and think they can provide better for you than you can for yourself,” he said.

Source Media Group News Des Moines Bureau Chief Rod Boshart contributed to this post

 

One Response to Santorum campaigns in Iowa as ‘full spectrum’ conservative

  1. Rick Santorum: the GOP version fo “full-spectrum” herbicide…

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