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The Gazette KCRG
Posted July 26, 2011
Santorum launches family tour minus travel-weary family

ANKENY – The only thing missing at Tuesday’s launch of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s three-week, 50-city family tour of Iowa was his family – an entourage that was resting up after a grueling 16-hour ride the day before.

Santorum, 53, a former U.S. senator and House member, said he cut wife, Karen, and their seven children some slack after they traveled from Pittsburgh, Pa., to an Oskaloosa farm where they’re staying in a cabin for about a week while he criss-crosses the state building support from Iowa Republicans he hopes will support him in the crucial Aug. 13 GOP straw poll in Ames. He said a teenaged son had planned to accompany on Tuesday’s schedule but was unable to make the 8:15 a.m. start time in Ankeny.

“The kids are going to be fishing and four-wheeling and doing some fun stuff. They deserve a break today,” he told reporters, staff and about a dozen interested Iowans who showed up at the Café Diem coffee shop for Tuesday’s kickoff event.

Santorum said he hoped his extended Iowa stay – which marks his 24th visit to the state that kicks off the 2012 presidential nominating process with its first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses – will give his campaign “a little shot in the arm” and having his family here will give him the opportunity to both spend time with them and prospective Iowa voters.

During his 45-minute stop, Santorum pushed for separate constitutional amendments requiring a balanced federal budget and protecting traditional marriages as solutions to two problems threatening the nation – curbing spending, dealing with the debt ceiling and the legalizing of same-sex marriages in Iowa, New York and a handful of other U.S. states.

“There can’t be a situation in this country where you’re married in one state and not in another. That’s ultimately an untenable situation,” said Santorum, in advocating for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be ratified by 38 states that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman, warning that same-sex marriage would “undermine every basic, traditional value” in the country.

He said he feared the same-sex marriage issue could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court that would create a “hodge-podge” of state laws similar to the aftermath of the court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade abortion ruling, and he rejected contentions by Texas Gov. Rick Perry – a potential 2012 GOP presidential contender – and other that it was a “state’s rights” issue.

“The 10th amendment doesn’t mean states can do whatever they want whenever they want it,” said Santorum, the only presidential hopeful who campaigned in Iowa to successfully defeat three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention in 2010 who supported a decision legalizing same-sex marriages in Iowa. “We fought wars over that idea. States can’t do anything. I’m for great latitude for the states to do a lot, but not anything and this idea that the 10th amendment means there is no boundary to what the states (can) do is a misunderstanding of the 10th amendment.”

He also disagreed with other GOP presidential hopefuls, like U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Ron Paul of Texas, who oppose raising the national debt ceiling, but said any compromise solution has to include a balanced budget amendment as a long-term fix to the nation’s chronic spending problem.

Santorum blasted President Barack Obama for being “aggressively negative,” engaging in “rank” partisanship and completely abdicating his leadership role to push an agenda of big government, increased spending and higher taxes. “You gave us the president,” he later told Iowans during a campaign stop in Boone, “now you can give us the anecdote.”

 

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@sourcemedia.net

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