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Santorum Heads to Iowa, Looks Forward to Palin Memoir



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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) tells NRO that he looks forward to reading former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s upcoming memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, once it is published on November 17. “Sarah has jumped onto the scene and has been hammered by the mainstream media,” says Santorum. “This is an opportunity for her to show a more thoughtful side. She has a gift for prose. Hopefully that comes across.”

Santorum says he knows how it feels to be a conservative author dealing with unfriendly critics. In 2005, he published It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good. That book, wrote Congressional Quarterly, “whatever its virtues as a policy document and declaration of principles,” was also a “treasure trove of material for Democratic opposition researchers . . . working overtime to portray Santorum as an extremist moralizer.”

With It Takes a Family, “we went through the book to see if it had any ‘gotcha’ lines,” recalls Santorum. “The media loves to take a small part of a book only to twist and turn it around. Out of a 400-page book, they pulled out three lines and said ‘this is what the book is about.’ That was our fault, and we should have fixed those three lines. If Sarah’s book touches any of the issues in the Holy Grail of liberalism, she too will be attacked by critics on the left.”

Santorum will visit Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday, as part of the American Future Fund’s lecture series. Though he says it’s too early to start thinking about a run for president in 2012, he lists two reasons for seeking out the Hawkeye State as a speaking venue: “Number one, when you go to Iowa, you speak not just to Iowa, but to folks across the country. This is a very important moment in America. I can address President Obama’s power grab. Number two, I’ve been traveling around the country doing a lot of speaking and listening. I’ve been to Iowa and New Hampshire on a couple of occasions. I’ve spoken with party activists who take the business of being either the first caucus or first primary very seriously. They’ve given me many good insights and good things to contemplate, to help me reflect upon the real concerns among conservatives about what’s going on in this country. I’ve been able to talk to people who are out there in the grassroots, leading the charge and leading tea parties.”

Santorum also hopes to give a voice to Americans who support life issues. When asked whether he will address abortion in Iowa, Santorum says that he doesn’t look at the issue as “just abortion,” but hopes to address the issue as part of a broader discussion on the “importance of a respect for life.”

Santorum adds that he “prays every day” for President Obama to better support and respect “the intrinsic value of the human person.” Attitudes, he says optimistically, can change. “If you look at young people confronted with the truth of abortion, you see attitudes changing all of the time when they open themselves up to the truth.” He admits that “many people have a political agenda and worldview different than what I believe is true — that all life is valuable and needs to be protected from assault at all stages from the government and those in complicity with the government.” Santorum says that President Obama “certainly does not embrace that view.”

“I hope that he can move on these issues, but I have seen no indication that he will,” says Santorum. “President Obama is, unfortunately, out of all of the presidents that we have ever had, farthest away from that paradigm. You had President Clinton who used the ‘safe, legal, and rare’ mantra. You don’t hear that ‘rare’ mantra from President Obama.”

“I’ve heard comments that socialists love people in groups of a million or more,” says Santorum. “That’s sort of the way I look at President Obama. Sure, he likes people, but only if you’re a member of a group that needs problems solved.”

Since losing his Senate re-election bid in 2006, Santorum has been a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington think tank. He also writes a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, appears frequently on Fox News, and often substitute hosts Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America,” a nationally-broadcast talk-radio program. On Thursday, you can livestream his Dubuque speech here, at 8 p.m. EST.



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