Santorum Claimed Divorce Has ‘Biggest Impact On Family Disintegration’ In 2007– Why Does Newt Get A Pass in 2011?

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"Santorum Claimed Divorce Has ‘Biggest Impact On Family Disintegration’ In 2007– Why Does Newt Get A Pass in 2011?"

On Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) attempted to side-step my question about how Newt Gingrich’s divorces would effect his ability to lead on “family issues” — which he is emphasizing in the early stages of his exploratory bid for president. Santorum — who has always been quick to judge gay people or supporters of a woman’s right to choose — refused to pass judgment on the former Speaker, saying only, “I think that’s for people of Iowa and other places to decide.”

But in a 2008 interview with SIRIUSXM’s Michelangelo Signorile at the 2007 GOP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Santorum admitted that divorce is actually more disruptive to families than same-sex unions and praised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for speaking frankly about his failures:

SIGNORILE: Sarah Palin, her daughter is the product of a Christian Conservative family and her daughter is obviously somebody who is now in a very difficult situation and they are dealing with it. How does gay marriage factor into that as something that helped break down the family. It seems to me that here’s an example of people who espouse Christian conservative values and they are heterosexual, nothing about gay marriage in that and yet conservatives are always focused on gay marriage as something that breaks down the family.

SANTORUM: Well, I would say that first and foremost the thing that his broken down the family is divorce, has had the biggest impact on family disintegration in America and is a huge problem. And I think you’re right in suggesting that folks who are marriage advocates don’t go out and say look, we need… John McCain, to his credit, said that his greatest failure in his life was his divorce… [divorce] hurts families, it hurts children, it hurts moms, it huts dads. It’s a destructive and coercive element in our society with respect to families.

Listen:

Earlier this week, Gingrich also tried to justify his divorces, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that he engaged in his affairs because he was overworked and overcome with patriotism for America “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” he said. “And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.”

As Steve Benen reminds us, in April of 2009, Gingrich offered this gem, “The Democratic Party has been the active instrument of breaking down traditional marriage.” I wonder if Santorum agrees.

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