Who is Rick Santorum?

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Early Life

Attorney and Republican Party politician Rick Santorum was born on May 10, 1958, in Winchester, Virginia and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was psychologist Aldo and Nurse Catherine Santorum’s second child, both of whom were Italian immigrants. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980 and a MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.

Politics and Controversy

Rick Santorum’s political career began in 1990 when he ran as a candidate for the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district for the first time. He became a Senator in 1994.

A father of seven, Santorum has always been strongly against same-sex relationships. In 2003, he compared homosexual relationships to abusive "man on child, man on dog" sex. His remarks outraged liberals and gay rights activists. He has been confronting so-called ‘Google problems’ ever since columnist Dan Savage advised his readers to come up with a new definition for Rick’s last name, to avenge his remarks on homosexuality. This controversy was the talk of the town and was detrimental for his reelection in US Senate.

Tough Times

In his bid for re-election in November 2006, Santorum lost by a wide margin of 59-41 percent (more than 700,000 votes) to Democrat Bob Casey. It was the largest margin of defeat that an incumbent senator has seen since 1980. During his post-Senate career, he maintained a relatively low profile, working as a lawyer as well as Fox news cable network contributor.  

Return and Presidential Bid

Santorum returned to the national politics scene in 2011 when he announced his presidential ambition. He referenced a speech he gave in 2009 at the University of Dubuque on the economy, and the “buzz” it got on the internet – thus feeding his perception that there could be some interest. With the help of Tea Party and evangelical supporters, Santorum was almost able to build momentum after a slow and weak start. Due to his ‘consistent conservative’ image, he was the winner in Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kansas. However, Romney defeated him by a large margin in Pennsylvania. In the meantime his youngest daughter, Bella was sick and taken to hospital several times during his campaign. Finally, he withdrew his candidateship on April 10, 2012.

Presidential Bid, Again

In May 2015, vowing to fight for middle class, Santorum announced his second presidential bid. Inspiring voters to change their fate and elect him, Santorum said, “American families don't need another president tied to big government or big money.”

Sympathizing with the middle class crisis, Santorum added, “As middle America is hollowing out, we can't sit idly by as big government politicians make it harder for our workers.” In his Pennsylvania speech, he encouraged people to fight back the crisis. He said, “Today is the day we are going to begin to fight back!"

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