Last night on Fox News, former Pennsylvania Republican senator Rick Santorum jumped on a popular right-wing meme and criticized President Obama for taking his wife on a date to New York City for dinner and a Broadway show. Santorum said that Obama is a “role model…whether he likes it or not, in the African-American community.” He then told Obama to act like a role model and…take his wife “down to the corner bar and have a drink, a shot and a beer”:
And you have an African-American community, particularly in the poor inner city areas, we’re looking at out of wedlock birthrates in three quarters to 75 percent (sic) of children being born out of wedlock. Marriage is an institution that’s a bridge too far for too many African-American woman and is not desirable among African-American males.
Here we have a president of the United States who says that marriage is cool. You have respect for your wife, and you treat her with the respect and dignity that she deserves. And she is part of this team. And it’s not just part of professional team, but it’s also part of a personal, romantic team. I think that’s all great. So I think it’s important that he keeps having his date night. [...]
I think he has to realize that flying to New York is…self-indulgent. Go down to the corner bar and have a drink, a shot and a beer. It does not matter where you go with your wife, is that it’s with your wife.
Steve Benen writes, “I’m not sure which part of this is the most ridiculous — Santorum’s condescending attitude, his errors about African-American families, his apparent belief that he’s qualified to give dating advice to the president, or the fact that this discredited former senator continues to be a fixture at major news outlets.”