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Daily Santorum 3/14/11

Published by Daniel Malloy on .

bobmarleyToday's Daily Santorum comes with a thought exercise: Imagine a young Rick Santorum inhaling a bag of Funyuns and rocking out to a killer live version of Punky Reggae Party in the late 1970s in State College while passing around a joint with his frat brothers. And discussing partial-birth abortion or whatever it is those kids talk about while stoned.

In an interview with the National Review published Friday, Santorum -- with no equivocation about inhaling -- says he smoked marijuana in college, and compares that moral failing with fellow presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's marital infidelity that might hurt his chances with the social conservative set. Resisting the opportunity to slam Gingrich, Santorum says the former House Speaker should be able to make his case:

“There is a difference between legitimate issues of character — someone’s behavior — and the issue of whether someone who has done something wrong in their life, now because of those mistakes, can’t talk about what is the right thing to do,” Santorum explains. Politicians who have stumbled personally, he says, are capable of making values-based arguments. “I don’t think that’s hypocritical,” he says. “That’s a dangerous line that many folks tend to cross over — that because you made a mistake, you can’t talk about this or that issue. We all make mistakes.”

“For example, I smoked pot when I was in college. Does that mean that I can’t talk about drug use? Does that mean that I can’t talk about how that’s a bad thing? Of course not,” Santorum says. “You learn from those experiences.”

“Even during that time, I knew that what I was doing was wrong,” he continues. “But just because I failed, that does not mean that I shouldn’t be able to talk about it. That’s a different issue. It’s not hypocrisy, as long as you don’t say, ‘I thought it was right, and now think it was wrong.’ If you knew what was going on, and most people do, you have moments of weakness. It happens to all of us. But that should not deter people from talking about what they believe is right.”

Staying on the drug theme, Santorum once again compared Democrats to drug dealers for pushing their beloved government programs on the public and getting us all hooked on evil things like public schools. In New Hampshire Friday, Santorum argued that the Head Start program, which would have its budget severely cut in the House Republicans' appropriations bill, is a kind of elaborate mind control for kids. Politico has more:

Santorum brought up the Head Start program, charging that the program is ineffective even as Democrats object strongly to congressional Republicans’ proposal to cut funding for it.

“They fund it more,” he said of Democrats. “Why? Because it brings more children into their domain. It brings more children out of the household … Their agenda is to socialize your children with the thinking they want in those children’s minds.”

Santroum, who home-schools his own seven children, said he supports voucher programs that would allow parents to send their children to private schools.

“I would support anything that gets the money in who should be in control — or who should be the object — of the education system in this country. And that is not the children but the parents. Because parents have the obligation to raise and educate their children.”

The Schedule: Today Santorum is speaking at a luncheon for Catholic Citizenship, a group pushing more Catholic participation in the civic arena, in Newton, Mass., just outside of Boston. Tonight he's talking national security at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Also, Western Pennsylvanians, mark your calendars for a rare trip to the area from your former senator: He's addressing the Fayette County Republicans' Lincoln Day Dinner in Uniontown on Thursday night.

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