Rick Santorum Calls Obama’s Abortion Stance ‘Remarkable For A Black Man’

Jan 20, 2011 1:25pm

ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:

UPDATED: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a potential 2012 Republican presidential contender, injected race into the debate about abortion rights, saying that President Barack Obama’s stance on the issue is “almost remarkable for a black man.”

In a recent interview with the CNS News, Santorum argued that because of his race, Obama should be able to say definitively that the life of unborn children is protected under the Constitution.

“The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says ‘no,’” Santorum said in a televised interview. “Well if that person — human life is not a person — then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘we're going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”

In a statement to ABC News on Thursday, Santorum doubled down on his remarks to CNS.

“For decades certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the constitution," he said in a statement. "Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the constitution.  I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country.”

Santorum was referring to comments, now more than two years old, that Obama made as a candidate for president in which he said that the question of whether a baby should have human rights was “above my pay grade.”

Obama offered that answer in August 2008 at a forum on religion and politics organized by California pastor Rick Warren.

“Just about everything else in the world he’s willing to do — have the government do — but he can’t answer that basic question which is not a debatable issue at all,” Santorum told CNS News’ Terry Jeffrey.  “I don’t think you’ll find a biologist in the world who will say that is not a human life.”

The mingling of race and the abortion debate — two extremely volatile issues — is likely to present problems for Santorum’s presidential ambitions.

He has been sending signals that he wants to be a contender for the Republican nomination. On Wednesday he announced that Republican activist, Claira Monier, will serve as chairwoman of his political action committee, America’s Foundation, in New Hampshire. And earlier this month, he named political operative Mike Biundo as his top staffer in the early primary state.

But Santorum is still not well known nationally. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll showed him getting 1 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents when asked who they prefer as the 2012 GOP nominee. The conservative former Pennsylvania senator is far behind other potential contenders like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.  

A spokesman for Santorum did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the remarks.

Watch the interview:

 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to CNSNews.com as the Christian News Service. It is the Cybercast News Service.

 

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