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Iowa Politics Roundup: Branstad Makes Supreme Court Picks - Page 2 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Saturday, 26 February 2011 21:17

Santorum Tweaks Obama on Gay Marriage, Middle East Protests

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said Thursday on Iowa Press that he is disappointed in the Obama administration for declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional this week.

“This was a way for the feds to preserve sovereignty of the states [regarding the legalization of gay marriage], instead of favoring one side,” Santorum said. “What Obama has essentially done, over the course of two years, was go from finding this law to be fine and constitutional to completely unconstitutional. I don’t think the language of the bill has changed. This was move driven by politics.” The Obama administration on February 23 notified Congress that it would no longer defend aspects of the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Santorum, who is Catholic, said the best situation for children is to be raised by both a mother and father.

“All I can say is that if we do not, as a party and a people, stand behind the institution of marriage as the glue that holds the family together, we are going to destine for our children a lower standard of living,” he said. “A truce, in this case [of the same-sex marriage issue], means giving seeding ground to the other side.”

Santorum said that regardless of whether he seeks the presidency, he will continue to speak up on issues impacting the U.S. political landscape.

Santorum expressed disappointment in the Obama administration’s handling of protests and turmoil in Cairo and Libya, accusing the president of flip-flopping and indicating enemies would be lent U.S. support.

“Not only am I disappointed in Obama’s handling of the Middle East, I’m also disappointed what led up to how it was handled,” Santorum said, claiming the Obama administration promoted political freedom in nations under oppressive regimes then “supported the ruling regime against a pro-democracy revolution” in Iran.

“Eighteen months later, in Egypt, where the ruler was a friend of the U.S., did he choose to side with our friend? No, he sided with the protesters, and said [Egyptian President Honsi] Mubarak had to go,” Santorum said. “He tells our nation’s friends, ‘If you get in trouble, don’t come to us for help,’ and to our enemies, ‘If you get in trouble, we’ll help you.’”

Thursday marked Santorum’s 10th visit to Iowa since the last presidential election. “Expectations are low for someone like me,” he admitted. “I’m still walking through this process [of deciding whether to run]. Right now, my feeling is: Go out and deliver the message, [and] talk about what this nation needs.”

Santorum said he does not know when he will make a decision, citing funding as a major factor. “The money’s not there right now,” he said. “The economy has taken a hit in the last two years. You need fuel in the tank, and there’s no fuel right now.”

Barbour to Decide in April on 2012 Run

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who visited the Iowa Capitol on Monday to meet Branstad and legislative leaders, said he’s exploring whether to run for president in 2012 but won’t make a decision until April.

Barbour, former chair of both the Republican Governors Association and Republican National Committee, said he did not directly ask Branstad for his support should he run.

“Told him that I’m thinking about running, [and I’m] not going to make a decision until April, and it’s unfair to ask people to make a commitment to you if you haven’t even made a final decision to run,” Barbour said. “I wouldn’t do that to my friends.”

The Mississippi governor said his age and the length of the commitment involved in being president are factors in the decision by him and his wife, who have been married for 39 years.

“I have been political director of the White House under Ronald Reagan; I understand what I’m getting into,” Barbour said. “I’m 63 years old, and this is a 10-year commitment. If you run and get elected, you’re committing yourself for re-election, so you’ve got to be prepared for a 10-year commitment, and that’s the majority of the rest of my productive life, and you have to decide: Am I willing to take on the most consuming job in the world ... ? And I have to see whether I’ve got the fire in the belly and the willingness to the exclusion of all other things to take that on. It’s a serious decision.”

Barbour said his decision will come in April because that’s when the Mississippi legislative session ends.

“I don’t believe in running for the next job until I’ve finished the job I’ve got,” he said.

Barbour is not scheduled to attend the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Spring Event and presidential forum March 7 in Waukee but will headline the Chairman’s Dinner on Tuesday, March 15, in the Quad Cities to kick off the Republican Party of Iowa’s year-long series of events designed to support and prepare county organizations for the 2012 presidential cycle. Barbour also said he’ll be back in late March.

“I will be back in Iowa several times before I make a decision,” he said.

The Mississippi governor called for a scaling back of all entitlements, defense, and farm subsidies.

This weekly summary comes from, an online government and politics news service

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