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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rick Santorum campaigns in Columbia

The candidate spoke against ObamaCare and gay marriage.

Feb. 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stressed his dedication to family Friday at Grace Bible Church in Columbia, during an event entitled “American Heartland: A Conversation on Faith, Freedom and the American Family."

The former Pennsylvanian senator was joined by James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, in front of a standing-room-only crowd. Santorum’s wife Karen joined the conversation via telephone.

“We’re going to allow you to hear a personal side of Rick Santorum,” Dobson said, opening the event. “I want you to know this man and his family and his character, and what he stands for, and I think you will fall in love with him.”

Santorum’s family life took over headlines last weekend when his daughter Bella, 3, was hospitalized with pneumonia. Bella has Trisomy 18, a life-threatening genetic disorder that can result in heart abnormalities, kidney malformations and other internal organ disorders, according to the Trisomy 18 Foundation.

Dobson asked Santorum why he and his wife refused to undergo amniocentesis, a medical procedure that diagnoses the disability of a prenatal child.

“This is our daughter, period,” Santorum said, inciting a large round of applause from the audience. “She is a blessing no matter what she is. She is exactly what God wanted to give us.”

The Santorums have seven children, whom Karen home-schools. Their eighth child passed away shortly after birth.

Santorum said he holds a special relationship with Bella.

“With Bella it is the simplest of relationships, the absolute basic relationship,” he said. “Bella does one thing, and that is love unconditionally, just loves us.”

Karen Santorum said when Bella gets sick it becomes very serious, which is why she was in the hospital two days before the Florida primary. She had not been hospitalized for three years before that incident.

“This is the child that no one said would live for even a day," she said. "We feel so blessed, we celebrate every moment of her life, every single day."

Santorum used his love of his family and religion to explain why he does not support Obamacare or universal health care. He said if the government gives individuals the “right” of healthcare they are also given the right to regulate it.

For example, Santorum said the secretary of health and human services said all churches and church organizations, including universities, have to provide morning-after pills, contraception and sterilization services for everyone, despite religious beliefs. Not doing so would result in large fines.

“We’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars that they’re going to coerce to make you back down from what you believe because they now own you, they now have you, they can now coerce you,” Santorum said.

Dobson said he liked Santorum during debates because he consistently talked about the importance of family, especially with it consisting of the marriage between one man and one woman.

“If we lose the family, everything else falls because everything sits on that foundation,” Dobson said.

Santorum said the institution of marriage has been failing.

“We all know what marriage is, but as with many things, we rationalize it away,” Santorum said. “We don’t want to offend people, we want to sound like we’re tolerant, but the institution of marriage is not something that you can mess with and have civilization survive.”

Santorum said the Missouri primary on Tuesday will show his true chances of winning the upcoming election. Newt Gingrich, who won the South Carolina primary, will not be on the Missouri ballot, making the only candidates Santorum, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

“We’ve raised more money this week than we’ve raised any other week,” Santorum said. “I’m confident there’s something going on out there. Obviously the people of Missouri are going to have a role to play in it.”

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