Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

5/11/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The 2012 Presidential campaign is going to be a very exciting race!

His stalwart defense of life has only improved with age. So too have his skills as a communicator. His defense of marriage - and the family and society founded upon it - has been coherent and consistent. His unapologetic defense of the moral basis of a truly free society has been refreshing. Clearly, Senator Rick Santorum "gets it". He emerged the victor in this first Presidential debate and a South Carolina straw poll.

Former Senator Rick Santorum

Former Senator Rick Santorum


By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (

5/11/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, South carolina, Debate, Republican, Right to Life, Keith A. Fournier

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, May 5, 2011 the first Republican Presidential debate of the 2012 campaign was held in Greenville, South Carolina. It included Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; Herman Cain, former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza; Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota; former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; and Gary Johnson, businessman and former governor of New Mexico. It did not include Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or Mitch Daniels.

In order to circumvent the reactions which sometimes follow my "political" opinions, I begin with several clarifications. First, I write without my clerical title to again underscore that I am not somehow speaking for the institutional church. Nor am I speaking officially on behalf of Catholic Online, which I serve as editor in chief. Finally, for those who want to vent about an article of this nature appearing in Catholic Online, two more points need to be made.

First, Catholic Online is structured as a for profit entity to avoid the growing censorship being directed against those who stand for the objective truth about life, marriage, family, freedom and solidarity. It has no prohibitions against taking political positions except for those which it has imposed upon itself. Second, get used to these articles. The upcoming Presidential election may be the most important of my lifetime. We will also do everything we can to ensure that the next President is "Whole Life/Pro-Life" and a defender of true marriage and the family and society founded upon it.

I have written other articles about former Senator Rick Santorum because I respect his genuine faith, his family, his gifts, his ability and his dedication. I have known him for years and even served as the Deacon at the parish which he and his family attended years ago. He is a wonderful man and would make a great President. He has true courage, an attribute sorely needed in this desperate hour. I was there years ago in the Senate Chamber when the Senator was defending our first neighbors in the womb against being partially delivered and having their heads crushed through the infanticide called "partial birth abortion."

He spoke with passion that day, confronting the empty words of an opponent defending the brutal procedure. Pointing to a picture of a baby being delivered he proclaimed "This is a baby Senator!" At that very moment a baby cried, filling the chamber with the sounds of life and delivering the most poignant defense of the truth about life I have ever heard. I will never forget the moment. His stalwart defense of life has only improved with age. So too have his skills as a communicator. His defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon it has been coherent and consistent. His unapologetic defense of the moral basis of a truly free society has been refreshing.

So, given my background, when I watched former Senator Santorum on Thursday night I was not surprised. Instead, I was filled with hope that this 2012 Presidential campaign will have at least one candidate speaking to the issues which matter most and unwilling to succumb to the dualism and schizophrenia evident in the call for a so called "truce" on social issues most recently identified with undeclared potential candidate Mitch Daniels.

Yes, Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty acquitted themselves well. Cain's comment on his alleged "lack of experience" was a classic one liner. Yes, I saw the much touted Frank Lunz focus group. Former Governor Pawlenty had some good answers, but his manner seemed lackluster and robotic. Ron Paul was, well, Ron Paul. The absurdity of his answers on marriage and family only add to the built in problems of his brand of libertarianism. As for former Governor Gary Johnson, perhaps he got the wrong directions to another debate for those who refuse to protect the Right to Life?

My comments concern the former Senator from Pennsylvania who just keeps getting better and better. First, his bearing was confident because he is a man comfortable in his own skin. His demeanor was, to reveal my own Bostonian political roots, "Kennedy-esque."  His answers were weighty and solid. In one of his responses he noted "It's not just checking the boxes. It's having the courage to lead."  That is precisely what he demonstrated Thursday evening, the courage to lead. That is also what this Nation needs. 

When asked this loaded question from Chris Wallace "Are you willing to tone down your positions on abortion and homosexuality in an effort to reach more voters and help the GOP coalesce behind a more fiscally focused platform?," he replied with no hesitation, "Anybody that would suggest that we call a truce on the moral issues doesn't understand what America is all about."

He continued his defense of the Right to Life and of liberty saying "America is a country that is based on this concept, and the Declaration of Independence, that we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. Rights come from God and the first of which is life.Those two concepts really transformed the world because it said that government was going to be limited. Allow people to be free, and to pursue their own dream and to serve their God, to serve their family and community. And if we have a respect for human life because of course we're all created equal. A lot of people out here can check the boxes and say they have conservative positions, but I've led on life. I've got the arrows in my back from the mainstream media to prove it."

Later, in an interview following the debate he continued, "If you look at the founding document of this country, the Declaration of Independence, it's the why of America, it's what we are all about. And we're a country that was formed about keeping people free. You can have limited government and free people unless you have solid families and communities and faith - that structure that structures a society that allows people to continue to be free."

"If you don't have strong families, don't have strong faith, then you have people who are not going to live good lives if I don't have that, guess what happens, you get bigger and bigger government. The idea that we can focus on the economy and not worry about the culture, not worry about families being able to inculcate those virtues into their children and having stable families and strong churches to do that, you can't have limited government, you can't have low taxes, you can't have smaller government."

Clearly, Senator Rick Santorum "gets it". He emerged, in this pundit's opinion, the victor in this first Presidential debate. I have been involved in public policy activism for years. I know some so called "experts" will have all kinds of reasons why he will not emerge as the nominee. Yet, there are a few interesting coincidences which might be drawn between the Kentucky Derby and the 2012 campaign. I bet my readers were wondering about what this title was all about.

On Mother's day, some of our adult children, their spouses and our grandchildren came to our home to watch the Kentucky Derby. My wife loves horses and thoroughly enjoys watching the Derby every year. We do not bet on the race, but we do enjoy hearing the human interest stories behind the horses, their jockeys, their owners, and the struggles which so often accompany their arrival at the Derby. Often, they are an inspiring metaphor for life.  This particular Derby was touted as the most wide open field in over a decade; somewhat like the Republican primary field of candidates for the 2012 Presidential campaign.

As the afternoon unfolded, the stories about the horses, jockeys, trainers, owners and all of the human interest stories just kept getting more interesting. However, no-one expected the eventual result in this race. A horse who had never raced on dirt, or finished first in any major race, ridden by a last minute replacement jockey, with 20-1 odds against it - not even considered in the top tier by many "experts"-  won the most exciting Kentucky Derby in years!

On the Saturday following the first Presidential debate Rick Santorum won the presidential straw poll of Republican Party activists.  However, the South Carolina debate was not the only recent impressive performance of the Senator. On April 28, 2011 he gave a significant address on foreign policy at the National Press Club entitled "Americans & the World: Resetting Our Course." He concluded with these words:

"The world will soon consider the life and contribution of a partner of Ronald Reagan's in reshaping the world, Pope John Paul II. He, along with another Polish hero Lech Walesa, helped to bring freedom back to Poland. His faith informed his courageous stand against a totalitarian regime. John Paul II warned of the "death of true freedom" and observed that "freedom itself needs to be set free."

"Lech Walesa last visited our nation last year and he offered this observation: "The United States is the only superpower. Today they lead the world. Nobody has doubts about it. Militarily.  They also lead economically but they're getting weak. But they don't lead morally and politically anymore.  The world has no leadership.  The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations. There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States. Today, we have lost that hope..."

"But I have not and my sense from traveling the country is that neither have the American people - they are bursting at the seams to have a leader who believes in them and our country again.In his farewell address to the nation, President Reagan reminded us of this when he told the story of the USS Midway that was patrolling the South China Sea in the early 1980s.  A sailor on the Midway saw a tiny boat, filled with refugees from Indochina, and a rescue launch was sent to them.  As the Americans came into view, one of the refugees smiled, stood up, and shouted out: "Hello American Sailor.  Hello Freedom Man!"  That is who we are-Freedom Men.  And Women.  And Children.  Let us not forget that privilege nor neglect that legacy."

The starting gate has been opened and the 2012 Presidential campaign is going to be a very exciting horse race! Beware of the "experts".


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President François Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Couple heartbroken after doctor performs abortion without mother's ...
  • 'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest ...
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, November ...
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD
  • 5 unbelievable times children taught us to be better human beings
  • Advent Wreath Prayer HD

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More