Rick Santorum
American politician
Rick Santorum
Richard John "Rick" Santorum is an American author, attorney, and Republican Party politician. He served as a United States Senator representing Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007, and was the Senate's third-ranking Republican from 2001 until 2007. He ran as a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, finishing second to the eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Born in Virginia, Santorum was raised primarily in Butler, Pennsylvania.
Biography
Rick Santorum's personal information overview.
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News
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Rick Santorum: Trump Is 'Hurting Himself' With Wiretap Obsession
The Huffington Post - 11 days
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Article Link:
The Huffington Post article
Santorum: Trump is hurting himself
CNN - 12 days
Former Republican candidate Rick Santorum says that President Donald Trump is hurting himself with his repeated allegations that Obama wiretapped him.
Article Link:
CNN article
Mural Shows 37 Real And Repulsive Things Politicians Have Said About Women
Huffington Post - about 1 month
The time to remain silent about misogyny and discrimination is over. As artist Zoë Buckman told The Huffington Post: “We all have a responsibility to act now.” Buckman joined forces with fellow feminist artist Natalie Frank to call out some of the real and entirely repulsive statements said by politicians about women and their bodies, in a painful yet necessary project called “We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident.”  The artists were inspired to do something about the rampant sexism that has long plagued politics after President Donald Trump’s comments about grabbing women “by the pussy” surfaced. “Women have been so traumatized about the language Trump used,” Frank told The Huffington Post, “the way he talks about sexual violence, the way he mocks it.” Unfortunately, Trump is far from the first elected official to make shameful and abhorrent comments about women’s rights and health. Frank and Buckman resolved to unearth some of the most heinous comments and share them wit ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Rick Santorum doesn't believe Russia was behind DNC hack
CNN - 2 months
Rick Santorum says he doesn't believe Russia was behind the hack into Democratic National Committee emails last year that US intelligence agencies say was an effort by Moscow to throw the election to Donald Trump.
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CNN article
Santorum urges Trump to get daily security briefings
CNN - 3 months
Former senator Rick Santorum is urging that the President-elect receive daily intelligence briefings.
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CNN article
Republicans: You're Not Pro-Life, You're Hypocrites
Huffington Post - 4 months
One of the most divisive issues in our country is over abortion and a woman’s right to choose. There is a large portion of the United States that call themselves “pro-life.” For those in the “personhood” movement in the United States, there is no doubt about when life happens—it is at conception, when the sperm meets the egg. The personhood movement has gained a foothold among anti-abortion activists who are looking to pass laws that define embryos as people with full rights. Personhood advocates aim to outlaw all abortions, along with in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem-cell research, and emergency contraception. Granting embryos personhood would also mean that someone who killed a pregnant woman at any stage in her pregnancy would be at risk of prosecution for a double homicide. And in those states that restrict a woman’s right to utilize a living will if she is pregnant, no living will could apply from the moment of conception. An accidental car accident could put you at risk f ...
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Huffington Post article
The Undeniable Rape Culture Of Donald Trump
Huffington Post - 6 months
If you are a woman in America or a man who cares about women, I urge you to read this carefully as you approach voting on November 8. Even if you have been able to ignore the fact that Trump is an incompetent, racist, Islamophobic bigot who doesn’t believe in climate change, will cut Planned Parenthood, and move us back to the dark ages with abortion, I deeply hope this will change your mind. Everything compiled and quoted below was reported by some of the most prestigious journalists in the U.S. I have aggregated the data in the hopes of clearly establishing an insidious pattern of undeniable rape culture perpetuated by Donald Trump. Donald Trump, Three-Time Accused Rapist From “Here are all the times Donald Trump has been accused of rape or attempted rape” by Taryn Hillin in Fusion: While The Donald’s reputation as a womanizer is well known, the public doesn’t often talk about these accusations. But according to legal documents, Trump has been accused of raping a 13-yea ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump Appoints Rick Santorum To Catholic Advisory Committee
Huffington Post - 6 months
Move over Michele Bachmann, there’s a new rabidly anti-queer and anti-women member of Donald Trump’s election team. Late last week the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign announced that former senator Rick Santorum has been appointed to the candidate’s Catholic Advisory Committee. The committee will “provide advisory support to Mr. Trump on those issues and policies important to Catholics and other people of faith in America,” according to a Sept. 22 press release. Santorum, who has compared fighting same-sex marriage to fighting terrorism, will join over 30 other advisors on the committee including Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, Matt Smith, president of the Catholic Advocate and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List. Together, they will aid Trump in strategizing around key issues like religious liberty, judicial nominations and pro-life activism. Santorum, who dropped out of the GOP presidential race in February, endors ...
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Huffington Post article
Rick Santorum donor data was bought by doomsday preppers
CNN - 9 months
Your pick for U.S. president says a lot about you. And Rick Santorum supporters seemed like a promising place to find FEMA-fearing, apocalyptic doomsday preppers.
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CNN article
Santorum Suggests Obama Has Inside Information on Clinton Email Probe
ABC News - 9 months
Trump supporter Rick Santorum said he isn't comfortable with what he called a "cozy relationship" between the White House and presumptive Democratic nominee Clinton.
Article Link:
ABC News article
Full Episode: This Week 07/03/16: Hillary Clinton's FBI Interview and the Effect it May Have on Her Campaign
ABC News - 9 months
Guests: Sherrod Brown, Dan Bolz, Rick Santorum, Steve Inskeep, Cokie Roberts, Alex Wagner and Kimberley Strassel
Article Link:
ABC News article
Sunday on ‘This Week’: Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rick Santorum
ABC News - 9 months
Brown and Santorum will appear on "This Week" Sunday.
Article Link:
ABC News article
Sunday on ‘This Week’: Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rick Santorum
ABC News - 9 months
Brown and Santorum will appear on "This Week" Sunday.
Article Link:
ABC News article
Rick Santorum Says The Future Of Supreme Court Is His Motivation To Endorse Donald Trump
Yahoo News - 10 months
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Yahoo News article
Marco Rubio Says It's Unfair For His Surrogates To Know About His Accomplishments
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says it's unfair for surrogates to know about his accomplishments before they endorse his presidential campaign. When "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked him about the matter, the senator explained the surrogates were unfamiliar with his resume due to the fact they were "signing up at the last second." WALLACE: Senator, why can't officials who support you, who come out to endorse you, name a specific accomplishment of your time in the Senate? RUBIO: Well, in fairness, they're signing up at the last second. They're inspired by our message. They want to be part of our team. We haven't provided them all the information. I'm more than happy to tell you about my record. The first-term senator's thin record has already been the target of attacks from Democrats and Republicans alike. It didn't do much to help Rubio's campaign, then, when several of his surrogates struggled to name a single achievement that bolstered his case for the presidenc ...
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Huffington Post article
Ted Cruz Supporters Are Angry, Confused And Unsure What To Do
Huffington Post - about 1 year
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gulp. That was the collective feeling at Ted Cruz's election night headquarters here in Columbia, South Carolina, after the Texas senator's disappointing finish behind real estate mogul Donald Trump and effective tie with Florida Senator Marco Rubio. It was one thing that Cruz had underperformed relative to Rubio, but to have lost to Donald Trump -- a bombastic, ethically questionable, politically hermaphroditic New Yorker -- that, THAT was almost too much to swallow. "We cannot make sense of it," marveled Claude O'Donovan, an older Ted Cruz supporter.  "We all stand around and shake our heads." "I don't get it," echoed Tony Ewing. Imagine, for a moment, the quiet horror and disbelief Cruz supporters must be experiencing to have their guy lose, in the heart of Republican America, to that abortion flip-flopper, that Bush basher, that "Two Corinthians" guy -- that guy who hails from New York City, a Babylon of gays, atheists, multilingual schools, knishes ...
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Huffington Post article
All Eyes On Trump, Rubio In Eighth GOP Presidential Debate
Huffington Post - about 1 year
By Emily Stephenson MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - Donald Trump and Marco Rubio could be top targets for rivals' fire on Saturday when seven Republican White House hopefuls take the stage in New Hampshire for their eighth debate, just days before the state's high-stakes primary. Billionaire Trump held a wide lead in polls in New Hampshire, with U.S. Senator Rubio of Florida second in a rapid rise ahead of Tuesday's primary, part of the series of contests to pick the nominee for the Nov. 8 presidential election. Trump and Rubio have taken flak from competitors as candidates launched an all-out offensive across New Hampshire. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush attacked Trump for using profane language and brought out his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who accused Trump of misogyny over his criticisms of a Fox News anchor. Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also went after Rubio. All three are vying for the favor of establishment Republicans in New Hampshire ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rick Santorum
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 57
    He officially ended his campaign on February 3, 2016.
    More Details Hide Details He also endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio for the nomination. After Rubio suspended his campaign, Santorum endorsed Donald Trump for president.
    Santorum outlined plans for a potential 2016 run in an interview with The Washington Post, and officially announced his candidacy on May 27, 2015.
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    He ended his campaign on February 3, 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Richard John Santorum was born in Winchester, Virginia. He is the middle of the three children of Aldo Santorum (1923–2011), a clinical psychologist who immigrated to the United States at age seven from Riva del Garda, Italy, and Catherine (Dughi) Santorum (b. 1918), an administrative nurse who is of Italian and Irish ancestry. Santorum grew up in Berkeley County, West Virginia, and Butler County, Pennsylvania. In West Virginia, his family lived in an apartment provided by the Veterans Administration. Santorum attended elementary school at Butler Catholic School and then went on to the Butler Senior High School. He was nicknamed "Rooster", supposedly for both a cowlick strand of hair and an assertive nature, particularly on important political issues.
  • 2015
    Age 56
    On May 27, 2015, Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election.
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    In July 2015, Santorum reaffirmed his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, contending that "...we need a national standard for marriage."
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    In May 2015, Santorum made a statement concerning Caitlyn Jenner that was seen as supportive of Jenner.
    More Details Hide Details At a Republican convention in South Carolina, in response to a question about Jenner, Santorum said: "if Jenner says he's a woman, then he's a woman. My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are." Because of Santorum's consistent opposition to same-sex marriage, Santorum's apparent acceptance of Jenner's transition was surprising. At the same time, however, some people criticized Santorum for continuing to use the male pronoun in reference to Jenner. Santorum declined to take a position on whether transgender people should be allowed to use restrooms of the gender of their choice, saying only that he believed the federal government should leave the issue to local authorities. In a Facebook posting, Santorum later "clarified" his statement, writing that he "meant to express empathy", and "not a change in public policy."
    In April 2015, Santorum stated on Hugh Hewitt's radio program that he would not attend a same-sex wedding, saying: "as a person of my faith, that would be something that would be a violation of my faith."
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    In 2015, Santorum signed an online pledge vowing not to respect any law, including any decision by the United States Supreme Court, conferring legal recognition on same-sex marriage.
    More Details Hide Details The pledge states, in part: "A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order. As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law."
    In January 2015, Santorum announced Bella's Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation, a book about his daughter Bella, who lives with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18.
    More Details Hide Details The book is authored by Santorum and his wife, Karen Santorum, and co-authored by their daughter, Elizabeth Santorum. It was released February 10, 2015. Articles
    At the 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit, Santorum stated that he believes that the volume of legal immigration into the United States is also too high.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum said: "We also have a problem with legal immigration," and stated that the number of immigrants lawfully entering the country was "affecting American workers", by taking jobs and lowering wages. Santorum claims that all "net new jobs" created in the United States economy since 2000 have gone to immigrants (both legal and illegal). At the Iowa Freedom Summit, Santorum said: "We need an immigration policy that puts American workers first." He supported partial privatization of Social Security, and following President Bush's re-election, he held forums across Pennsylvania on the topic. Santorum rejects the scientific opinion on climate change that stresses human causation for global warming, referring to it as "junk science". He has stated that global warming is a "beautifully concocted scheme" by the political left and "an excuse for more government control of your life." He has also rebuked Pope Francis on Francis' opinions of climate change, saying the Pope should "leave science to the scientists".
    In 2015, Santorum called for more restrictions on family-based immigration after warning of a "flood of legal—not illegal—immigrants to our country", which he blamed for depressing the median income of American workers.
    More Details Hide Details In 2006, Santorum opposed the Senate's immigration reform proposal. Instead, Santorum stated that the U.S. should act to enforce currently existing laws. He has openly stated his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. He supports the construction of a barrier along the U.S.–Mexican border, an increase in the number of border patrol agents on the border, and the stationing of National Guard troops along the border. He also believes that illegal immigrants should be deported immediately when they commit crimes, and that undocumented immigrants should not receive benefits from the government. He believes English should be established as the national language in the United States. Santorum cites his own family's history (his father immigrated to the U.S. from Italy) as proof of how to immigrate "the right way".
  • 2013
    Age 54
    Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on August 4, 2013, Santorum said, "I’m open to looking into a presidential race in 2016."
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    In June 2013, Santorum became Chairman and CEO of EchoLight Studios, a Dallas-based Christian movie company.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum has produced the Christmas-themed movie The Christmas Candle and the religious liberty film One Generation Away. Santorum has written four books: It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good (2005); American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom (2012); Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works (2014); and Bella's Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation (2015). In addition to Santorum's books, a collection of his speeches as a U.S. senator was published and released by Monument Press in 2005 under the title Rick Santorum: A Senator Speaks Out on Life, Freedom, and Responsibility. Also, he wrote a forward to William A. Dembski's 2006 Darwin's Nemesis: Phillip Johnson And the Intelligent Design Movement and a 2006 autobiography. It Takes a Family argues that the traditional family is the foundation of society. Santorum criticizes alike laissez-faire conservatives and liberal proponents of social welfare for promoting a radical view of autonomy. In particular, he criticizes the "bigs" – "big government, big media, big entertainment, big universities." The book became a New York Times bestseller.
  • 2012
    Age 53
    Following her second hospitalization in a few months, Santorum officially suspended his campaign for the United States presidential election, 2012.
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    On December 2, 2012, Santorum joined WorldNetDaily, a conservative news site, as a commentator, to publish an exclusive column on the site every Monday.
    More Details Hide Details His column was discontinued on June 23, 2013.
    In October 2012, Santorum published American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom, a book which tells the stories of 25 largely unknown heroes of the American Revolution.
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    Santorum received a primetime speaking slot at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
    More Details Hide Details He was originally slated to speak early in the evening, but convention organizers moved him to 9 pm with the other highly anticipated speakers of the evening, Ann Romney and convention keynote Chris Christie. Santorum spoke of the American dream his immigrant grandfather worked to give his family, and said Obama was turning the dream into a nightmare. He talked about his experiences on the presidential campaign trail, speaking with emotion about his daughter Bella and meeting disabled people and their families. He emphasized the importance of strengthening marriage and the family. He also condemned Barack Obama's actions on the welfare reform law, of which he was one of the chief proponents in Congress, and his actions on education, including school choice and student loans. Santorum concluded his speech to a standing ovation, saying,
    Santorum proudly calls himself a "culture warrior" and "true Christian conservative." In so positioning himself, he has garnered popularity among evangelicals, but his support among Catholics is not as robust. Santorum's emphasis on his "Christian roots" to voters was especially favored by evangelicals in the Midwest and Southern states during the 2012 primaries, although he lost the Republican Catholic vote in most states to Mitt Romney.
    More Details Hide Details Exit polls found only 42% of those Catholics and less than a third of Protestant evangelicals knew Santorum was a Catholic. After Santorum won Protestant-majority states Alabama and Mississippi, but lost in heavily-Catholic Puerto Rico, the Huffington Post said he "seemed exasperated by the trend" and said his base support came from "people who take their faith seriously", not necessarily fellow Catholics. Santorum has written for Catholic publications and frequently comments on political issues from a religious standpoint. He has said, "I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The First Amendment means the free exercise of religion and that means bringing people and their faith into the public square." In an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, Santorum said that the distinction between private religious conviction and public responsibility, espoused by President John F. Kennedy, had caused "great harm in America". He said: "All of us have heard people say, 'I privately am against abortion, homosexual marriage, stem cell research, cloning. But who am I to decide that it's not right for somebody else?' It sounds good, but it is the corruption of freedom of conscience." Santorum has been criticized for not separating his politics from his personal faith, and has been accused of advancing a "Christian theocracy" through his work. He told a group of college students in 2008 that the United States had been founded on "Judeo-Christian" ethics, and now "it is a shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."
    Santorum also lent support to the "NO Wiggins" effort in Iowa to oust Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins in the 2012 retention elections, who they say carries a political and personal agenda in the court.
    More Details Hide Details They have also been vocal in opposition to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which they say threatens parental rights and U.S. sovereignty. Although he was raised in a nominally Catholic household, Santorum's faith began to deepen when he met his future wife, Karen. By his account, conversations with her father, Dr. Kenneth Garver, a staunch Catholic and pro-life advocate, solidified his understanding and opposition to abortion. He and his wife have since become increasingly religious. Santorum now considers himself a devout Catholic and acknowledges his Catholic faith as the source of his politics and worldview. He attends Mass almost daily and organized a Catholic study group for lawmakers while in Congress.
    In June 2012, Santorum launched Patriot Voices, a 501(c)(4) non-profit with a mission to "mobilize conservatives around this country who are committed to promoting faith, family, freedom and opportunity" in support of causes and candidates across the country.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum supported U.S. Senate candidates Ted Cruz in Texas and Richard Mourdock in Indiana in their respective Republican primaries; both won their hotly contested primaries. In the general elections, Patriot Voices endorsed eight U.S. Senate candidates and four House candidates.
    Following the hospitalization of his daughter Bella and losses in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, Santorum announced the suspension of his campaign on April 10, 2012 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum had won 11 state primaries and nearly 4 million votes, more than any other candidate except Mitt Romney. Santorum topped Romney in polls for a brief period. Upon the conclusion of Santorum's run, Romney acknowledged his former rival, saying that Santorum is "an important voice" in the GOP.
    In January 2012, Santorum said, "when there is certainty, that's the case that capital punishment can be used", but "if there is not certainty, under the law, it shouldn't be used."
    More Details Hide Details In June 2011, Santorum said he would continue to "fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement." In an interview with NPR in the summer of 2005, Santorum discussed what he called the "libertarianish right", saying "they have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulation low and that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world, and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can't go it alone." While in Congress, Santorum supported efforts to fight global HIV/AIDS, provide assistance to orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries, combat genocide in Sudan, and offer third world debt relief. In 2006, rock musician and humanitarian Bono said of Santorum, "he has been a defender of the most vulnerable." On the domestic front, Santorum supported home ownership tax credits, savings accounts for children, rewarding savings by low-income families, funding autism research, fighting tuberculosis, and providing housing for people with HIV/AIDS. He supported increased funding for Social Services Block Grants and organizations like Healthy Start and the Children's Aid Society, and financing community health centers.
    In a position paper circulated in March 2012, Santorum said he would order his attorney general to "vigorously enforce" existing laws that "prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier."
    More Details Hide Details In March 2005, Santorum expressed misgivings about the death penalty in light of wrongly convicted individuals who were sentenced to death. He went on to say, "I agree with the Pope that in the civilized world... the application of the death penalty should be limited. I would definitely agree with that. I would certainly suggest there probably should be some further limits on what we use it for."
    James Poulos, a writer from Forbes, wrote on March 19, 2012, that Santorum's criticism of pornography is an "ability to transform relatively irrelevant issues into politically relevant controversies."
    More Details Hide Details Santorum defended his assertions by saying that "the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families", and that department's insufficiency to prosecute the porn industry "proves his point." He then mentioned that Obama has not put a priority on tackling the porn industry, therefore "putting children at risk as a result of that."
    On March 23, 2012, Santorum posted on his campaign website that there is "a wealth of research" demonstrating that pornography causes "profound brain changes" and widespread negative effects on children and adults, including "violence to women."
    More Details Hide Details Researchers say that there is no such evidence of brain changes, although pornography's harmfulness "is still in dispute."
    Fifteen years later, their handling of their infant son's death attracted scrutiny in January 2012 following Santorum's success in the Iowa caucuses.
    More Details Hide Details One psychologist interviewed by ABC News said what the Santorums did was encouraged at the time, although no longer recommended; another told the media outlet: "It's not far out of the norm at all... There is nothing pathological about it or particularly alarming." Writers who had experienced a stillbirth defended the Santorums' actions, with columnist Charles Lane writing that he personally regretted not showing the body of his stillborn baby to his then six-year-old son, and Jessica Heslam, writing that holding her own stillborn baby brought her "much peace". The four eldest children appeared with their parents on Piers Morgan Tonight in January 2012. Elizabeth, who was five at the time of Gabriel's death, said she was glad to have seen him, and that he holds a place in her heart.
    In 2012, Santorum said that half of all euthanizations in the Netherlands are involuntary, that Dutch hospitals euthanize elderly patients for financial reasons, and that 10% of all deaths in the Netherlands are the result of such involuntary euthanizations.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum's claims were called "bogus" by both Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler and FactCheck.org, which noted that no evidence supported the claims. Santorum's comments caused a significant backlash in the Netherlands.
    Santorum has also referred to his grandfather's historical encounter with Italian fascism as an inspiration for his 2012 presidential campaign.
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    He similarly criticized President Obama's foreign policy, saying he was "not focused on trying to win the war" in Afghanistan, and said he was against any withdrawal in Iraq in 2012, saying, "We want victory."
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    He ran as a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, finishing second to the eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
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  • 2011
    Age 52
    He formally announced his run for the Republican presidential nomination on ABC's Good Morning America on June 6, 2011, saying he's "in it to win."
    More Details Hide Details He initially lagged behind in the polls, but gained as other conservative candidates slumped. By the weekend before the Iowa caucuses, polls showed him in the top three, along with Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. The Des Moines Register also noted that the momentum was with Santorum. In the closest finish in the history of the Iowa caucuses, the count on the night put Romney as winner by a margin of eight votes, but the final result announced two weeks later showed that Santorum had won by 34 votes. Santorum later focused on the states holding votes on February 7, a strategy that paid off as the former Pennsylvania Senator won all three. Santorum then surged in polls taken shortly after, taking first place in some and a close second in others. In the March 13 primaries, Santorum narrowly won in both Mississippi and Alabama and followed up with a victory in Louisiana on March 24.
    In the years following his departure from the Senate, Santorum worked as a consultant, private-practice lawyer, and news contributor. On June 6, 2011, Santorum announced his run for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details Upon announcing his campaign suspension on April 10, 2012, he had won 11 primaries and caucuses and received nearly 4 million votes, making him the runner-up to eventual nominee Mitt Romney. Santorum officially endorsed Romney on May 7, 2012.
    He formed a presidential exploratory committee on April 13, 2011.
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  • 2010
    Age 51
    On January 15, 2010, Santorum sent an email and letter to supporters of his political action committee, saying, "I'm convinced that conservatives need a candidate who will not only stand up for our views, but who can articulate a conservative vision for our country's future".
    More Details Hide Details He continued, "And right now, I just don't see anyone stepping up to the plate. I have no great burning desire to be president, but I have a burning desire to have a different president of the United States".
  • 2009
    Age 50
    On September 11, 2009, Santorum spoke to Catholic leaders in Orlando, Florida, saying that the 2012 presidential elections were going to be "a real opportunity for success."
    More Details Hide Details He then scheduled various appearances in Iowa with political non-profit organizations.
    In the fall of 2009, Santorum gave a speech at the University of Dubuque on the economy, fueling speculation that he would run for president in 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum later recalled, "It got a lot of buzz on the Internet, so I thought, 'Wow, maybe there's some interest'". He decided to campaign after multiple conversations with his wife, who was not enthusiastic at first.
  • FORTIES
  • 2008
    Age 49
    In 2008, Karen Garver Santorum gave birth to their eighth child, Isabella, who was diagnosed with Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18), a serious genetic disorder, with only a 10% chance of survival past one year old.
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    In September 2008, Santorum expressed support for McCain as the nominee, citing McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate as a step in the right direction.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum was mentioned as a candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2010. At one point, he was said to have "quietly but efficiently put his fingerprints on a wide-array of conservative causes in the state." However, Santorum declined to seek the gubernatorial nomination and instead endorsed eventual winner Tom Corbett.
    On February 1, 2008, Santorum said he would vote for Mitt Romney in the 2008 Republican presidential primary race.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum criticized John McCain, questioning his pro-life voting record and conservative values. Santorum later said he endorsed Romney because he saw him as the "best chance to stop John McCain", whom he considered too moderate.
  • 2007
    Age 48
    In 2007, he joined the Board of Directors of Universal Health Services, a hospital management company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
    More Details Hide Details He also began writing an Op/Ed column, "The Elephant in the Room", for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Santorum earned $1.3 million in 2010 and the first half of 2011. The largest portion of his employment earnings—$332,000—came from his work as a consultant for industry interest groups, including Consol Energy and American Continental Group. Santorum also earned $395,414 in corporate director's fees and stock options from Universal Health Services, and $217,385 in income from the Ethics and Public Policy Center think tank. In 2010 he was paid $23,000 by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his work as a freelance columnist.
    In March 2007 he joined Eckert Seamans, where he primarily practiced law in the firm's Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., offices, providing business and strategic counseling services to the firm's clients.
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    In February 2007, he signed a deal to become a contributor on the Fox News Channel, offering commentary on politics and public policy.
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    In January 2007, Santorum joined the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a D.C.-based conservative think tank as director of its America's Enemies Program focusing on foreign threats to the United States, including Islamic fascism, Venezuela, North Korea and Russia.
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  • 2006
    Age 47
    Such speculation faded when, during the course of the 2006 campaign and in light of unimpressive poll numbers in his Senate race, he declared that, if re-elected, he would serve a full term.
    More Details Hide Details After he lost, Santorum once again ruled out a presidential run.
    Before the 2006 election, Santorum was frequently mentioned as a possible 2008 presidential candidate.
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    In the November 7, 2006, election, Santorum lost by over 700,000 votes, receiving 41% of the vote to Casey's 59%, the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent senator since 1980.
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    Toward the end of his campaign, Santorum shifted his theme to the threat of radical Islam. In October 2006 he gave a "Gathering Storm" speech, invoking British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's description of Europe prior to World War II.
    More Details Hide Details As evidence that Islamists were waging a more than 300-year-old crusade against the Western world, Santorum pointed to September 11, 1683, the date of the Battle of Vienna. Casey responded, "No one believes terrorists are going to be more likely to attack us, because I defeat Rick Santorum." Noting that he had been "even more hawkish" during this time period than President Bush, Santorum later said, "Maybe that wasn’t the smartest political strategy, spending the last few months running purely on national security". A heated debate between the candidates occurred on October 11, 2006. Bill Toland of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described both candidates' performances during the debate as "unstatesmanlike".
    In fact, two of the persons cited in Santorum's campaign ad actually gave contributions to Santorum in 2006, and one died in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum's campaign countered that those donations were not kept, and had been donated to educational institutions.
    One of his children appeared in a 2006 re-election campaign ad saying, "My dad's opponents have criticized him for moving us to Washington so we could be with him more."
    More Details Hide Details Santorum ran a television ad suggesting that Casey's supporters had been under investigation for various crimes. The negative ad backfired, as the The Scranton Times-Tribune found that all but a few of Casey's contributors donated when he was running for other offices, and none were investigated for anything.
    Mary Isenhour, a Democratic strategist, reflected on Santorum's campaign and his connection to the unpopular president, "In 2006, we were doubly blessed—we could run against George W. Bush and Rick Santorum".
    More Details Hide Details Santorum chose to campaign alongside George W. Bush, and called him a "terrific president", hurting his popularity. Also problematic was Santorum's 2004 endorsement of his Republican Senate colleague Arlen Specter over conservative Congressman Pat Toomey in the primary for Pennsylvania's other senate seat. Many socially and fiscally conservative Republicans considered the Specter endorsement to be a betrayal of their cause.
    His seat was considered among the most vulnerable for Republicans and was a prime target of the Democratic Party in the 2006 elections.
    More Details Hide Details George W. Bush had a 38% approval rating in Pennsylvania in 2006.
    In 2006, Santorum sought re-election to a third Senate term.
    More Details Hide Details He ran unopposed in the Republican Party.
  • 2005
    Age 46
    In his 2005 book, It Takes a Family, Santorum advocated for a society oriented toward "family values" and centered on monogamous, heterosexual relationships, marriage, and child-raising.
    More Details Hide Details He opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions, saying the American public and their elected officials should decide on these "incredibly important moral issues", rather than the Supreme Court, which consists of "nine unelected, unaccountable judges."
    In addition, a past article Santorum wrote to The Catholic Online resurfaced in 2005, in which he linked liberalism and moral relativism in American society, particularly within seminaries, to the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.
    More Details Hide Details He wrote, " it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm." His remarks were heavily criticized, especially in Massachusetts, and he was asked for an explanation. Santorum did not retract his statement and defended his premise that it was "no surprise that the center of the Catholic Church abuse took place in very liberal, or perhaps the nation's most liberal area, Boston." In addition, the question of Santorum's association with the K Street Project was an issue that his opponent made use of during the campaign. Santorum stated that he spent "maybe a month a year" at his Pennsylvania home, raising allegations of hypocrisy as he had denounced his former opponent Doug Walgren for living away from his House district. Critics also complained that Pennsylvania taxpayers were paying 80% of the tuition for five of Santorum's children to attend an online "cyber school"—a benefit available only to Pennsylvania residents—when all his children lived in Virginia. The Penn Hills School District, which covered the tuition costs for the cyber school through local taxes, unsuccessfully filed a complaint against Santorum for reimbursement in 2005, but won reimbursement from the state in September 2006 in the amount of $55,000. In response, Santorum asked county officials to remove the homestead tax exemption from his Penn Hills property, saying he was entitled to it, but chose not to take it because of the political dispute.
    In November 2005, several months after the indictments of Abramoff and Delay, Santorum told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "The K Street project is purely to make sure we have qualified applicants for positions that are in town.
    More Details Hide Details From my perspective, it's a good government thing." A few months later, however, Santorum emphatically denied any connection with either the K Street Project or Norquist, saying: "I had absolutely nothing to do—never met, never talked, never coordinated, never did anything—with Grover Norquist and the quote K Street Project." In January 2012, The Washington Posts "Fact Checker" concluded that "we can't prove definitively whether or not Santorum collaborated on the K Street Project", saying that it "depended on how you define the initiative".
    In support of the bill, Santorum criticized the National Weather Service in September 2005, saying its evacuation warnings for Hurricane Katrina were "insufficient".
    More Details Hide Details Santorum is a supporter of the War on Terror and shares the views of neoconservatives and the Bush Doctrine in regard to foreign policy. Santorum felt that the War in Iraq was justified, and, in 2006, declared that weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) had been found in Iraq. Santorum made the declaration regarding WMDs based, in part on declassified portions of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. The report stated that coalition forces had recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions that contain degraded or vacant mustard or sarin nerve agent casings. The specific weapons he referred to were chemical munitions dating back to the Iran–Iraq War that were buried in the early 1990s. The report stated that while agents had degraded to an unknown degree, they remained dangerous and possibly lethal. However, officials of the Department of Defense, CIA intelligence analysts, and the White House have all explicitly stated that these expired casings were not part of the WMDs threat that the Iraq War was launched to contain.
    Santorum introduced the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 which aimed to prohibit the National Weather Service from releasing weather data to the public without charge where private-sector entities perform the same function commercially.
    More Details Hide Details The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association was organizing a lobbying effort in opposition to the legislation, but it never passed committee. The motivations surrounding the bill were controversial, as employees of AccuWeather, a commercial weather company based in Pennsylvania, donated $10,500 to Santorum and his PAC. The liberal advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington cited the bill as one of several reasons for listing Santorum as one of its "most corrupt politicians".
    In January 2005, Santorum announced his intention to run for Senate Republican Whip, the second-highest post in the Republican caucus after the 2006 election, saying he expected the incumbent whip, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, to run for Senate Republican leader to succeed Bill Frist of Tennessee, who was planning to retire.
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    In 2005, Santorum sponsored the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which appropriated $10 million aimed at regime change in Iran.
    More Details Hide Details The Act passed with overwhelming support. However, Santorum nevertheless voted against the Lautenberg amendment, which would have closed the loophole that allows companies like Halliburton to do business with Iran through their foreign affiliates. Santorum reflected on his last year in the Senate as one spent talking a lot about Iran, and was characterized by The Atlantic Wire as an "extreme hawk" in his approach with Iran. Santorum stated that Iran was the creator of Hezbollah and the driving force of Hamas. He said Iran was at the center of "much of the world's conflict" but he was opposed to direct military action against the country in 2006. Santorum was one of only two senators who voted against confirming the nomination of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. Santorum stated that his objection was to Gates's support for talking with Iran and Syria, because it would be an error to talk with radical Islamists.
  • 2004
    Age 45
    He and his wife were invested as Knight and Dame of Magistral Grace of the Knights of Malta in a ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on November 12, 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum's net worth has been estimated between $880,000 and $3 million, which is mainly held as five rental properties around Penn State University, two personal homes in Great Falls and Penn Hills, and some IRAs. In 1997, Santorum purchased a three-bedroom house in the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills. In 2001, he bought a $640,000 house in Leesburg, Virginia, sold it in 2007 for $850,000, and purchased a $2 million home in Great Falls, Virginia. According to The Washington Post, Santorum has paid $50,000 per year out of pocket for medical expenses not covered by insurance for his daughter Bella. The Santorums once paid $25,000 to have Bella airlifted from a Virginia hospital to a children's hospital in Philadelphia. In his free time, Santorum is an avid fantasy baseball player.
    The initiative became politically toxic for Republicans when the Jack Abramoff scandal broke in late 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Although some sources indicate that Santorum played a key role in the K Street Project, Santorum has denied any involvement.
  • 2003
    Age 44
    During a 2003 interview, Santorum expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, said that he favors having laws against polygamy, sodomy, and other actions "antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family", and compared homosexuality to bestiality.
    More Details Hide Details The remarks drew a retaliatory response from sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage, who launched a contest to coin a "santorum" neologism among his blog's readers. Since 2004, the website Savage set up for the campaign has regularly been among the top search results for Santorum's surname, leading to what commentators have dubbed "Santorum's Google problem". Santorum has characterized the campaign as a "type of vulgarity" that was spread on the Internet. In September 2011, Santorum unsuccessfully requested that Google remove the content from its search engine index.
    He sponsored the Syria Accountability Act of 2003 to require Syria cease all activity with Lebanon and end all support for terrorism.
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  • 2002
    Age 43
    Santorum traveled, in 2002, to Rome to speak at a centenary celebration of the birth of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei.
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    In 2002, Santorum called intelligent design "a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes", but by 2005 he had adopted the Teach the Controversy approach.
    More Details Hide Details He told National Public Radio, "I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom. What we should be teaching are the problems and holes... in the theory of evolution." Later that year, Santorum resigned from the advisory board of the Christian-rights Thomas More Law Center after the Center's lawyers lost a case representing a school board that had required the teaching of intelligent design. Santorum, who had previously supported the school board's policy, indicated he had not realized that certain members of the board had been motivated by religious beliefs. Santorum critics said he was backtracking from his earlier position because he was facing a tough reelection fight for 2006. When asked in November 2011 about his views on evolution, Santorum stated that he believes that evolution occurred on a tiny, micro level.
  • 2001
    Age 42
    Santorum added to the 2001 No Child Left Behind bill a provision that would have provided more freedom to schools in teaching about the origins of life, including the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution.
    More Details Hide Details The bill, with the Santorum Amendment included, passed the Senate 91–8 and was hailed as a victory by intelligent design promoters. However, before the bill became law, scientific and educational groups successfully urged its conference committee to strike the Santorum Amendment from the final version. Intelligent design supporters in Congress then preserved the language of the Santorum Amendment in the conference committee report of the legislative history of the bill. The Discovery Institute and other intelligent design proponents point to this report as "a clear endorsement by Congress of the importance of teaching a variety of scientific views about the theory of evolution."
  • 2000
    Age 41
    He was re-elected in 2000, defeating U.S. Congressman Ron Klink by a 52–46% margin.
    More Details Hide Details In his re-election bid of 2006, he lost to Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. by a 59–41% margin.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1996
    Age 37
    In 1996, the Santorums' son Gabriel was born prematurely after 20 weeks of pregnancy and died in the hospital two hours later.
    More Details Hide Details Karen wrote that she and Rick slept with the dead infant between them in the hospital that night, then brought him home the following day and introduced him to their other children as "your brother Gabriel".
    Although Santorum was in the Senate at the time, he was not a sponsor of the bill when it was introduced in 1996, or when it was reintroduced in 1997 and 1999.
    More Details Hide Details Once signed on as a co-sponsor, Santorum remained so throughout his tenure in the Senate. Santorum founded the Congressional Working Group on Religious Freedom in 2003. The working group included members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and met monthly to address issues such as the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, tax-exempt status for churches, the CARE act, international religious freedom, and anti-semitism.
    In 1996, Santorum endorsed moderate Republican Arlen Specter in his short-lived campaign for president.
    More Details Hide Details Reporters have observed that though Santorum and Specter differed on social policy, Specter provided him with key political staff for his successful run in 1994. The National Taxpayers Union, a fiscal conservative organization, gave Santorum an "A-" score for his votes on fiscal issues, meaning that he was one of "the strongest supporters of responsible tax and spending policies" during his tenure, and ranked fifth in the group's rankings out of 50 senators who served at the same time. In 2002, Santorum was a co-sponsor of that year's attempt to pass the Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA). The bill had first been introduced in the Senate by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in 1996, having been introduced in the House by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in 1994.
    In 1996, Santorum served as Chairman of the Republican Party Task Force on Welfare Reform, and contributed to legislation that became the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act.
    More Details Hide Details Santorum was an author and the floor manager of the bill.
  • 1994
    Age 35
    After his election to the Senate in 1994, Santorum sought to "practice what he preached" and hired five people for his staff who were on welfare, food stamps, or other government aid.
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    The theme of Santorum's 1994 campaign signs was "Join the Fight!" During the race, he was considered an underdog, as his opponent was 32 years his senior.
    More Details Hide Details
    He was first elected to the Senate during the 1994 Republican takeover, narrowly defeating incumbent Democrat Harris Wofford 49% to 47%.
    More Details Hide Details
    Santorum was elected as a United States Senator for Pennsylvania in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details He served two terms until losing his re-election bid in 2006. A devout, practicing Catholic, Santorum is a social conservative who opposes same-sex marriage and artificial birth control. While serving as a senator, Santorum was the author of what came to be known as the Santorum Amendment, which promoted the teaching of intelligent design. In 2005, Santorum introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act along with Senator John Kerry.
  • 1993
    Age 34
    In 1993, Santorum was one of 17 House Republicans who sided with most Democrats to support legislation that prohibited employers from permanently replacing striking employees.
    More Details Hide Details He also joined a minority of Republicans to vote against the North American Free Trade Agreement that year. As a member of the Gang of Seven, Santorum was involved in exposing members of Congress involved in the House banking scandal. Santorum served in the United States Senate representing Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007. From 2001 until 2007, he was the Senate's third-ranking Republican.
  • 1992
    Age 33
    Although the 18th District was redrawn for the 1992 elections, and the new district had a 3:1 ratio of registered Democrats to Republicans, Santorum still won re-election with 61% of the vote.
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  • 1990
    Age 31
    They married in 1990 and have seven living children.
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    In 1990, at age 32, Santorum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh.
    More Details Hide Details He scored a significant upset in the heavily Democratic district, defeating seven-term Democratic incumbent Doug Walgren by a 51%–49% margin. During his campaign Santorum repeatedly criticized Walgren for living outside the district for most of the year.
    Santorum left his private law practice in 1990 after his election to the House of Representatives.
    More Details Hide Details Having been groomed by Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, Santorum decided Democratic congressman Doug Walgren was vulnerable, and took up residence in Walgren's district. Needing money and political support, he courted GOP activist and major donor Elsie Hillman, the chair of the state Republican Party.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1981
    Age 22
    Additionally, while working on his law degree, Santorum was an administrative assistant to Republican state senator Doyle Corman, serving as director of the Pennsylvania Senate's local government committee from 1981 to 1984, then director of its transportation committee.
    More Details Hide Details After graduating, Santorum was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar and practiced law for four years at the Pittsburgh law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, a firm known for raising political candidates and lobbyists (later named K&L Gates). As an associate, he successfully lobbied on behalf of the World Wrestling Federation to deregulate professional wrestling, arguing that it should be exempt from federal anabolic steroid regulations because it was entertainment, not a sport.
    He then completed a one-year MBA program at the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details In 1986, Santorum received a JD degree with honors from Dickinson School of Law. Santorum first became actively involved in politics in the 1970s through volunteering for Senator John Heinz, a Republican from Pennsylvania.
  • 1980
    Age 21
    Santorum attended Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate studies, serving as chairman of the university's College Republicans chapter and graduating with a BA degree with honors in political science in 1980.
    More Details Hide Details While at Penn State, Santorum joined the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1976
    Age 17
    After his parents transferred to the Naval Station Great Lakes in northern Illinois, Santorum attended the Roman Catholic Carmel High School in Mundelein, Illinois, for one year, graduating in 1976.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1958
    Born
    Born on May 10, 1958.
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