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VIDEO: Santorum Struggles To Explain Why He Called For Clinton To Resign, Yet Gives Vitter A Free Pass

By Lee Fang  

"VIDEO: Santorum Struggles To Explain Why He Called For Clinton To Resign, Yet Gives Vitter A Free Pass"

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ThinkProgress filed this report from Creston, Iowa

In the wake of the Anthony Weiner scandal, many are wondering why Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), a member of Congress who was caught regularly using a prostitute service, has not faced public pressure to resign. On Monday at a campaign stop in Ames, Iowa, ThinkProgress asked Rick Santorum about the double-standard. He told us that he never calls on other members to resign and that he would only talk about his own conduct. However, in 1998, when he was still serving in the Senate, Santorum called on President Bill Clinton to resign if Republicans gained seats in the midterm because Clinton would undoubtedly face impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

So on the following day, I asked Santorum what he would do if he had done what Vitter did. Santorum dodged the questions, before quickly jumping into a car and driving away:

FANG: We talked a little bit yesterday about congressional scandals. You said you would only talk about what you would do. If you did what Vitter did, would you resign?

SANTORUM: If I did what Vitter did, would I resign? Well I wouldn’t have done what David Vitter did.

FANG: That’s kind of a cop-out.

SANTORUM: No, that’s not a cop-out. No I didn’t.

FANG: You called on Clinton to resign for his sex scandal. In 1998, yes you did. You suggested that he should resign because of his sex scandal. Why the double standard for Vitter and not for Clinton?

SANTORUM: President of the United States, I said he should resign–

FANG: A senator can use a prostitute?

SANTORUM: I said he should resign because he lied about it to the American public–

FANG: Vitter didn’t lie? He didn’t lie to his wife, to his family, to the American people, to his office?

SANTORUM: Not in a court, in a deposition, which is what the President did and why I voted for his impeachment.

Watch it:

Santorum has tried to distinguish himself as the most pro-family values, most consistent conservative in the Republican primary for president. His dissembling to defend Vitter’s lying and prostitute use may be instructive.

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