Santorum Explains ’06 Loss, Still Supports State Right to Outlaw Contraception
Jan 2, 2012 6:59pm, Jake Tapper, ABC News
Rick Santorum is the man to watch in Iowa. After months near the bottom of polls, but living in the state and visiting all 99 counties, the former Pennsylvania Senator has surged into contention, placing third in the most recent Des Moines register poll.
He’s pointed to his ability to get elected statewide twice as a conservative senator in Pennsylvania. But he doesn’t as much mention his blistering, 18 percentage point defeat there in 2006 to Bob Casey, a conservative Democrat.
Today he explained away that loss because 2006 was an historically bad year for Republicans, who lost control of both houses of Congress.
“It was the worst election year for republicans in the history of the state, this isn’t going to be 2006,” said Santorum, who stopped between campaign stops in Iowa to talk to ABC News.
“If I was the only guy that lost and everybody else won you could say that, oh well, that guy is in trouble. We stood up and didn’t flinch. We stood up and said this is what we believed the problem are… I was prepared to stand up and fight for what I believed in, and I wasn’t supposed to win any of the elections I ever ran, and I won the first four against odds no one would have ever taken. And they were decent election years, some good, some not so good. We were able to win those elections in heavily democratic districts, because we stood up for what we believed in, and you know what and when that went south in a big way we lost, its ok, this is not that election year.”
I pointed out that Democrats say that one of the reasons Santorum lost in 2006 was because they say he’s more conservative than mainstream America. One issue was Santorum’s opposition to the Supreme Court’s 1965 ruling that invalidated a Connecticut law banning contraception. Santorum said he still feels that a state should be able to make such laws.
“The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have. That is the thing I have said about the activism of the Supreme Court, they are creating rights, and they should be left up to the people to decide,” he said.
“You shouldn’t create constitutional rights when states do dumb things,” Santorum said. “Let the people decide if the states are doing dumb things get rid of the legislature and replace them as opposed to creating constitutional laws that have consequences that were before them.”