The Corner

re: The Santorum Girls

Maggie, Elizabeth Santorum has been taking time off her junior year at the University of Dallas, getting an intensive seminar in politics on a presidential campaign trail instead. From a chat we had this month: 

How important is your mom to the whole campaign picture?

My Mom is the rock for our family through all of this. She’s managed to homeschool my two brothers, coordinate all the activities and demands of having six kids presently at home, care for my little sister with special needs, and a million other things — all with my Dad on the campaign trail. She makes phone calls and does interviews from home and joins my Dad on the road as much as she can. More than that though, she is a source of strength and encouragement for my Dad and our entire family.

You’re into politics — it is, in fact, your major. What’s your response to the Rick Santorum wages “war on women” kind of attacks, given you’re, obviously, a young woman?

My Dad has been a champion for women. He helped to get thousands of single moms back on their feet by reforming welfare in the 90s. In fighting for life in the abortion debates, he emphasized the value and dignity of every human life. In 2006, he authored and passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which was not only visionary as it foresaw the danger of a nuclear Iran, but it also provided support to the revolutionary movement in Iran which hoped to overthrow the government, one that is extremely oppressive towards women. On a more personal level, he has always encouraged me to reach my potential and has always supported my decisions in what I want to do with my life.

Is your generation going to defend traditional marriage? Or will the attacks on your father — and on you since you have gotten more involved — simply scare people off and make them feel like bigots?

In an overwhelming majority of the states where marriage laws have been contested, traditional marriage has won — including in California. I believe this is because when people hear the arguments about why traditional marriage is a foundational institution in our society, they see that it is one that is too economically and socially important to change. The people in these states understand that this is a policy disagreement, not a personal one. In addition, I believe, like my Dad, that people have a right to live the lives they choose and that we should have respect for the dignity of all life.

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