Santorum Flip-Flops On Visiting New York To Overturn Marriage Equality: ‘I Said I ‘Would Go’…I Didn’t Say I’m ‘Going”

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"Santorum Flip-Flops On Visiting New York To Overturn Marriage Equality: ‘I Said I ‘Would Go’…I Didn’t Say I’m ‘Going”"

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, CO.

After New York state passed marriage equality in June, presidential candidate Rick Santorum declared his vociferous opposition to the new law. To show how serious he was about stemming America’s tide towards marriage equality, Santorum pledged during a campaign stop last week that “I will oppose it and I will go to New York, if necessary, to help overturn it.”

ThinkProgress spoke with the former Pennsylvania senator over the weekend to ask how he planned to fit the visit into his busy schedule. Santorum immediately backtracked. When questioned about his earlier promise to help overturn the new law, Santorum reverted to parsing his particular words, claiming that he “said I ‘would go’ to New York, I didn’t say I’m ‘going’ to New York.” (In reality, he said “I will go to New York.”)

KEYES: Senator, you said you wanted to go to New York after they passed their gay marriage bill and help overturn the law. How are you going to fit that into your campaign?

SANTORUM: I said I “would go” to New York, I didn’t say I’m “going” to New York. It’s not part of what I’m doing right now. Obviously I’m focused on this election and obviously my statements are published in New York. Certainly my attitudes that I have about this is well known and hopefully I’ll continue to make it.

KEYES: Not necessarily intended to be a factual statement that you were going there?

SANTORUM: I think I said I “would go” to New York, I didn’t think I said I’m “going” to New York. I said I “would.” At some point maybe I “will” if the occasion warrants it.

WATCH IT:

Setting aside Santorum’s tortured parsing of the words “would”, “will”, and “am”, the Pennsylvania Republican made clear that his pledge to “go to New York” was little more than a pandering bluff. It’s unsurprising that Santorum had second thoughts about trying to overturn New York’s marriage equality law, given that the state doesn’t have a voter referendum process to repeal unpopular laws. In addition, the new marriage law is supported by a majority of New Yorkers, including 70 percent of younger voters.

In April, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) made national headlines when his office released a statement defending the senator’s wildly incorrect assertion by claiming “his remark was not intended to be a factual statement.” With Santorum’s flip-flop on visiting New York, it’s clear the Pennsylvania Republican is doing his best to join Kyl in the “not intended to be a factual statement” wing of the Republican Party.

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