Rick Santorum Calls Penn State Scandal ‘Horrific’

Nov 10, 2011 8:53pm

NEW BOSTON, N.H. – Rick Santorum called the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed his alma mater, Penn State University, “horrific” today after a speech and town hall he held here.

“To see people turn a blind eye to this monster is just devastating,” Santorum said to reporters after his speech. “How does a guy walk by, a 28-year-old man walk by, and see somebody doing this to a child in a shower and not take a baseball bat and beat the guy’s head in?”

Penn State’s long-time football coach, Joe Paterno, was ousted Wednesday. Two top school officials have been arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report allegations that former Paterno assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, has abused children.

Paterno was alerted to one incident and the coach informed a school official, but did not call the police.

Santorum is a 1980 alumnus of the school and has called Paterno “a friend.”

Santorum said he doesn’t know Sandusky and “doesn’t recall ever meeting him” – though Santorum sponsored the assistant coach nine years ago for a “Congressional Angels in Adoption” award, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

It’s standard procedure for senators and members of congress to issue awards such as those on an everyday basis, and Santorum said he was “doing those awards routinely for years.”

“He ran a very respected charity who did a lot of work for kids in trouble,” Santorum said. “I had a lot of friends who were on his board and spoke highly of him, so it seemed to me to be pretty natural. But obviously it was a huge mistake.”

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