Rick Santorum 2012: Republican Presidential Candidate

The Santorums are devout Roman Catholics and have seven children, ages 3 to 20. The youngest, Bella, suffers from the rare genetic disorder Trisomy 18.

In 2003, Santorum gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he argued the Supreme Court should not overturn state sodomy laws, adding he doesn't have a problem with homosexuality but "homosexual acts."

He also compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, one of his most controversial statements that led directly to a Google problem that still haunts him today.

Gay activist and sex advice columnist Dan Savage launched a "Google bomb" after the statements encouraging online supporters to create a new definition for Santorum. That's exactly what happened and now the senator's last name is defined by a sexual neologism whenever it is put into the search engine.

In the same AP interview, Santorum blamed the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis on liberalism, homosexuality and the right to privacy.

"We're not talking about priests with 3-year-olds, or 5-year olds," he said. "We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship. Which, again, according to the world view sense, is a perfectly fine relationship as long as it's consensual between people. If you view the world that way, and you say that's fine, you would assume that you would see more of it."

Santorum believes there should be a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He was also against the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the now-overturned policy that barred homosexuals' serving openly in the armed forces.

He served eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee and sees Iran as a serious threat to both the United States and Israel. He also sees the country's economic problems as being connected to the "breakdown of the American family."

At the Bloomberg Television-Washington Post debate, he explained why he thinks the two are connected.

"The home -- the word "home" in Greek is the basis of the word 'economy.' It is the foundation of our country. We need to have a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage, that has fathers take responsibility for their children.

"You can't have limited government, you can't have a wealthy society if the family beaks down, that basic unit of society. And that needs to be included in this economic discussion," Santorum said.

In his 2006 Senate re-election battle, he faced Democratic state treasurer Bob Casey, Jr, the son of former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey. Casey is also anti-abortion, negating one of Santorum's key policy issues. A housing controversy --reminiscent of the one that helped him initially get elected to Congress -- also did not help his campaign.

Despite rising to the third ranking Republican in the Senate, Santorum lost to Casey 59 percent to 41 percent. After the loss, Santorum went back to practicing law, became a Fox News contributor and also launched his PAC, "America's Foundation."

After announcing on "Good Morning America" in June, he held a campaign event in Somerset County, in the western part of the state near where his grandfather worked in a coal mine after emigrating from Italy.

"I'm ready to lead," Santorum told the crowd. "I'm ready to do what has to be done for the next generation."

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